Story of my life… I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

Some Like It Hot cast

Some Like It Hot (1959)

AFI 100 Years… 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) Ranking: #22

Time for some more Billy Wilder! Full of witty banter and all the classic movie trademarks (spats! sleeping cars! gangsters that are constantly flipping a coin!), this film is a fun ride that proves everything’s better in drag đŸ™‚

Jack Lemmon plays the long-suffering second banana to Tony Curtis’ smooth-talking tenor saxophone player. Lemmon’s character endures all manner of undignified scenarios thanks to his friend, who pawns his overcoat to bet on a losing racehorse, makes him lie to cover for missing a date with a girl, coerces him to stay out all night with an aggressive admirer, takes his presents, and also steals the girl that Lemmon’s character had his eye on first! “Isn’t he a bit o’ terrific?”

Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe

I was thoroughly amused by all the complaints about women’s clothing (“How DO they walk in these things?” / “Look how she moves… it’s just like Jell-O on springs! They must have some sort of built-in motor or something!”), and by Curtis’ Mid-Atlantic / Cary Grant impression as the mysterious millionaire, Junior (although he DID pull the oldest trick in the book to make Marilyn’s character proposition him, rather than the other way around).

And I’m not sure how I feel about the comparison between women and baked goods – Lemmon plays kid-in-a-candy-store perfectly (“When I was a kid I used to have a dream I was locked up overnight in a pastry shop and there was goodies all around…”), with Monroe’s Sugar “Kane” Kowalczyk as the icing on the cake! Or maybe all this talk of jelly rolls, mocha eclairs, sponge cake, Boston cream pies, and cherry tarts is just making me hungry. Let’s make some cocktails.

Cocktail #1: Manhattan

Don’t worry, you don’t have to drink it out of a hot water bottle like Sugar does. Courtesy of Speakeasy Cocktails.

  • 2 oz rye
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • garnish: orange peel or maraschino cherry

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into an old fashioned glass and add garnish.

Cocktail #2: Some Like It Hot

Inspired by the similarly-named cocktail from barmini by Jose Andres.

  • 1 oz tequila
  • 1 & 1/2 oz pink grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz chili honey

The chili honey was easy enough to make, I just heated a bit of honey with crushed red pepper flakes and some chopped dried red chills on medium heat for a few minutes. Then I turned off the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes, but next time I think i’ll leave it much longer, as there wasn’t much heat in the end product. When cool, transfer to glass jar or bottle and store.

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a coupe glass. Tart and refreshing, but definitely could have used more of a kick!

Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe

I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoyed Marilyn Monroe’s performance in this movie. Sugar Kane isn’t quite as vapid as Monroe’s typical breathy blonde characters, and is even a bit self-deprecating and aware of herself and her flaws, including her weakness for saxophone players and her lack of intelligence (“I’m not very bright I guess”). Yes, she is a gold digger, but makes up for it with her fantastic rendition of “I Wanna Be Loved By You” and the way she fills out a sequined dress. She also gets to take part in some of the hilarious dialogue in this movie, such as the following exchange between Sugar and Junior:

Some Like It Hot cast

“Tell me, who runs up that flag – your wife?”
“No, my flag steward.”
“Who mixes the cocktails – your wife?”
“No, my cocktail steward. Look, if you’re interested in whether I am married or not…”
“Oh, I’m not interested at all!”
“Well, I’m not.”
“That’s very interesting!”

I wish I had my own cocktail steward…

Bonus Cocktail! Society Syncopator

Found while I was browsing the web for drinks that involve peppers. A delicious pineapple cilantro serrano cocktail from Cookie and Kate.

  • 1 tbl fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 small lime, juiced
  • 1 small, round slice of serrano pepper (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 & 1/2 oz silver tequila
  • 3 oz quality pineapple juice
  • agave nectar (optional), to taste

Muddle cilantro, lime, and serrano pepper in an empty cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and add tequila, pineapple, and agave. Garnish minimally with a lime round, or get fancy with a slice of pineapple and a sprig of cilantro.

Jack Lemmon