An Excuse To Drink – May 23, 1883: Douglas Fairbanks Cocktails

photo by classic film scans via

Happy Birthday to Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman, aka Douglas Fairbanks (Sr.), born today in 1883 in Denver Colorado. Fairbanks was the “The King of Hollywood” in his day, starring in numerous silent films such as The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, The Mark of Zorro, The Iron Mask, and even a few “talkies” (Taming of the Shrew, The Private Life of Don Juan). His famous romance and eventual marriage to Mary Pickford brought Hollywood its first celebrity couple and they would go on to be the first actors to place their hands in the cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Fairbanks was also the first host of the Academy Awards and a founding member of United Artists.

There are actually several drinks with some history in print bearing the name of Douglas Fairbanks:

Douglas Fairbanks #1

Apparently created in Cuba when Fairbanks asked the bartender to name a drink after him. Recipe adapted from, based on the recipe in Sloppy Joe’s Cocktails Manual: Season 1934 by Jose Abeal and Valentin Garcia

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz apricot brandy
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz egg white

Glass: Champagne Flute

Garnish: None

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute.

Douglas Fairbanks Cocktail #2

recipe adapted from

  • 1 oz Gin (some sources specify Plymouth Gin)
  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

Glass: Cocktail

Garnish: Orange Twist

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh orange twist.


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