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Citizen Kane

DRINK MATCH: Citizen Cane

If there's a lesson to be learned from Orson Welles' masterpiece CITIZEN KANE, it's that one's last words from the deathbed should always be distinct and unambiguous. You'll save everyone a ton of time from trying to figure out your cruel riddle, which in this film's case is the solitary word "rosebud." Cinema was a different world in 1941, and as many film history courses will tell you, this movie virtually established the modern Director of Photography handbook. Welles had full creative control over his first feature both as an actor and a director, and he used it to take on the most powerful man in media at the time, William Randolph Hearst. A funny thing happens when you make a movie that lampoons the man who owns 90% of the advertising in the country: no matter how great it is, it becomes the target of a smear campaign. The movie flopped, though it did receive nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture (and won Best Original Screenplay). It was eventually re-relased to the public in the mid-1950's and is now commonly considered one of the best films ever made. There's even a cocktail named after it, the Citizen Cane (recipe below).

"I want another drink, John."
Watch Susan (Dorothy Comingore) deal with the inquisitive Thompson.

A young Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) with his coffee.

Citizen Cane
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • ½ ounce overproof rum
  • ¾ ounce red vermouth
  • ½ ounce caramel liqueur
  • 1 ounce passion fruit purée
  • 2 ounces sugar cane juice
  • 3 dashes peach bitters
  • pear slices
  • raw sugar
Arrange the pear slices around a saucer, pour on some raw sugar and the overproof rum, then light on fire! The pears will carmelize; this is the drink garnish. Throw the rest of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass and serve.