Douglas Coughlin’s Red Eye Cocktail request has become one of the iconic lines of 1988’s Cocktail Movie. When Tom Cruise’s Brian Flannigan walks into the TGI Friday’s on 63rd and 1st, Coughlin asks “Do you know how to make a Red Eye” as he casually cracks an egg into his glass and downs the drink. This Bloody Mary derivative became iconic in an instant. It sounds pretty terrible. I found out.

A Little Red Eye Research

Watching the scene from the movie, Douglas dumps in a beer, adds some tomato juice (off camera), drops in a couple of pills (which we can assume is aspirin) and finally cracks in a whole egg before chugging it back. As he mentions later in the film while having a post shift drink, “Beer is for breakfast, drink or be gone”. Therefore we can assume that this is him having a drink to get the day started, and may be suffering a hangover. Ah, the good old days. Of course, this is also the 80s, so there’s nothing to say its not speed. We’ll assume Aspirin.

I’d assumed that this would have had vodka or something included too, but there’s no evidence of that, or in fact any spices either, so we’ll try to stay authentic as far as possible.

Red Eye Cocktail Recipe

  • 6oz (180ml) Lager beer
  • 3oz (90ml) Tomato Juice (or purée)
  • 2 Aspirin (optional, not reccomended!)
  • 1 Whole Egg

Build with no ice, drink.

So, How Does The Red Eye Taste?

Absolutely not as bad as it sounds! The tomato does a good job of hiding the flavour of the beer but the carbonation still comes through. The whole egg certainly adds some texture to the drink which some might dislike, but overall, not that bad!

Red Eye Cocktail

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