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Forbidden Cocktails

We sat down the Andre Darlington author of the new book Forbidden Cocktails: Libations Inspired by the World of Pre-Code Hollywood.

The Pre-Code Era covers films from 1930 to mid 1934. During this time studios basically ignored the code and films covered a variety of adult topics and situations. They depicted drinking, open relationships, violence, sexual innuendo, single motherhood and much more! Women often had great roles in these films and they bolstered the careers of stars like Mae West, Norma Shearer, Jean Harlow and Barbara Stanwyck. There are multiple books, documentaries and podcasts that cover this fascinating era of Hollywood history that was all too swiftly brought to an end. See a preview of the book in an article for Entertainment Weekly by Maureen Lee Lenker.


Andre, Liz and I each made a cocktail for this episode. Since I can't drink alcohol, Liz took one of the recipes in the book and created a mocktail version for me.

"Balanced Account" paired with the movie The Divorcee (1930) presented by Andre


1 ounce London Dry gin

1 ounce dry vermouth

1 ounce Lillet Blanc

2 dashes orange bitters

Lemon peel, for garnish


Stir gin, dry vermouth, Lillet Blanc, and bitters with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

"Asta" paired with the movie The Thin Man (1934) presented by Liz Locke


Absinthe, to rinse

1 ounce white rum

1/2 ounce Cointreau

1/2 ounce dry vermouth

3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/4 ounce vanilla syrup


Rinse a Nick & Nora cocktail glass with absinthe. Shaker rum, Cointreau, dry vermouth, lemon juice, and vanilla syrup with ice and strain into the prepared glass.

Tarzan's Mate (Mocktail version) paired with the movie Tarzan and his Mate (1934) presented by Karie


1 oz Pineapple Juice

0.5 oz Lime Juice

0.25 oz Vanilla Syrup (I used store-bought Torani brand)

Dash of Angostura Bitters

2 oz Sparkling Water

Lime Slice (garnish)


Combine pineapple juice, lime juice, vanilla syrup, and bitters in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Top with sparkling water, and stir gently. Garnish with a lime slice.

Special Guests

André Darlington is the author of Bar Menu and Booze Cruise, among many other food and drink titles, as well as the co-author of Booze & Vinyl, The New Cocktail Hour, and Movie Night Menus. He lives in North Carolina.

Liz Locke is the founder of, a weekly guide to cocktail and movie pairings, as well as a frequent contributor to Moviejawn. Originally from western Pennsylvania, she now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and very adorable rescue dog. When not writing or watching her favorite classic films, she can usually be found with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other. Her debut novel, Follow the Sun, was published in 2023.


Final Result

These all turned out well and everyone enjoyed their drinks!

There are tons of great Pre-Code movies available on DVD, Streaming and Turner Classic Movies. Here are some of the great titles Andre covered in the book.

Please consider supporting Hollywood Kitchen on Patreon or Buy Me A Coffee!

Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more food, fun and film history.


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