Cinematic Cocktails: Johnny Diamond’s Sober-Up Fast Sauce

>> Monday, December 1, 2008

Warning!!! Don’t try this at home! The following recipe is revolting; likely inedible; could cause diarrhea, vomiting, or death; and would very likely curb your cocktail consumption. Stay away from it at all costs.

El Dorado (1966) features one of the most disgusting concoctions ever depicted on film--Johnny Diamond’s Sober-Up Fast Sauce. It isn’t really a cocktail. In fact, it is explained that “It does something to a man’s stomach, so it naturally won’t hold any liquor.” However, because this mixture is one of the most memorable cinematic concoctions, it feels only right to include it here.

In the picture, Sheriff J.P. Harrah (Robert Mitchum) is three sheets to the wind, and the bad guys are on their way. Due to the state of affairs, the sheriff’s friend, Cole Thornton (John Wayne), asks his companions, Bull (Arthur Hunnicutt) and Mississippi (James Caan), “Either one of you know a fast way to sober a man up?” Mississippi offers the following solution:

MISSISSIPPI: Johnny Diamond had a recipe. Let’s see. Cayenne pepper, mustard--the hot kind, ipecac, asafetida, and oil of cloves… or was it? No, it was croton oil.
BULL: Croton oil?! I’ll be a suck-egg mule. You know what that mixture’ll do to a fella?
MISSISSIPPI: Guaranteed kill or cure.

As they are stirring the mixture together, Mississippi reveals the final ingredient--gunpowder. “I hope you don’t blow him up,” Thornton (Wayne) observes.

After administering the black, oily medicine to the unwilling patient, the sheriff (Mitchum) reacts as one would expect. “You dirty, lousy, rotten, sheep-herdin’--What did you do to me?” he bellows. “What’d you give me? I’m all crawlin’ inside.” The sheriff takes a swig of whiskey, but it doesn’t sit right. Mercifully, the messiness that follows takes place off-camera.

El Dorado (Paramount Centennial Collection)


bigsoda December 1, 2008 at 11:52 PM  

I think I was served this at the Annex in DeKalb one night. Don't think it worked, though... I still wasn't ready for the bad guys.

Yayo January 9, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

haha... there's a similar recipe in Back To The Future III

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