Iconic Martini Moment from 1934

The 1934 film, The Thin Man, is known as one of the best chronicles of classic cocktail culture. The movie, based on a novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett, finds a detective (Nick) and his heiress wife (Nora) try to solve a murder mystery on a path lined with plenty of cocktails.

My favorite line, which Nick delivers to a crew of white-vested bartenders: “The important thing is to always have rhythm in your shaking. A Manhattan you shake to foxtrot time. A Bronx–to two-step time. A dry Martini you always shake to waltz time.”

Notice also the Martini match-up in the second clip–where Nora orders five Martinis to catch up to her pleasantly buzzed husband. The film (and its sequel) are so important to today’s perception of classic bar culture that you still occasionally hear references to dainty “Nick & Nora” glasses, which you can buy here. The cocktail glasses in the film look like they couldn’t hold more than three or four ounces, but after five rounds, that’s still quite a gulp.