Today kids aren't as familiar with channel surfing. I was talking to a 9 year old who didn't even know what a commercial was. They have no concept of specific channels, let alone double features. Disney Channel was like a lifestyle when I was in middle school. I feel like the late 90’s/early 2000’s DCOMs belong to a small generation, but god damn am I a part of it. Getting home from school when your parents aren't back from work yet, making all of the possible snacks and plopping in front of the TV to binge, or pulling an all nighter at a friends sleepover for no reason other than to rewatch The Luck of the Irish 3 times.
I hang onto my favorite childhood memories for dear life, and not just for the nostalgia, but in some ways I'm not all that different than I was when I was a kid. I genuinely enjoy a handful of the things I did at 11; milkshakes, writing notes, pizza day, and, of course, bad movies. With bad movies come Disney Channel movies. Sure, they're awful, but they're also forever hilarious. So many actors and actresses started their career on this beloved channel... I'm looking at you CAMILLA BELLE AND KATHERINE HEIGL. Most of them involve either switching bodies, aliens, or some sort of athletic competition, but one thing you can always be sure to get out of the movie is a good old fashion lesson on morality.
So with the heavy nostalgia aside, I think I might just really like all of these shitty dated movies and I've left my shame somewhere far away in a dark corner. As I'm re-watching all of these while I have a drink in my hand, I can't help but think, is this what every parent felt like? For those of you that brazenly still love these classics, make a day out of it and stir up some drinks to keep your popcorn company.
I'm telling you, laughing hysterically while realizing you still have 90% of the lines memorized even with a buzz on is somehow reassuring and comforting to your adult self. I did my best to embody each movie's quirks when choosing the ideal cocktail to match.
Andy Brink is all about blading and hates on anyone who sells out, until he's forced to migrate over to the corporate side when his family begins struggling with money. It's hard for me to imagine a teenager not being interested in making some cash and potentially becoming famous, but hey maybe some high schoolers really do have some moral high ground. I don't know if roller blading ever really became cool, but any chance it had is thanks to this movie and Erik von Detten's rad mannerisms. I was going to just go with a beer, but I thought I'd be a bit more creative. How Sweet Eat's awesome Michelada has beer, some spice and a chili salt lime. That seems pretty chill to me.
Johnny Tsunami (1999)
Everyone has a shameful love for shamrock shakes. If you say you don't, you're lying. Teen heart throb Ryan Merriman and a Kitchen Treaty's Boozy Shamrock Shake are a flawless Irish pairing in my opinion. Just when you thought shamrock shakes couldn't get any better, you add baileys and creme de menthe. Caution: more than one will most certainly induce barf.
Get a Clue (2002)
This era was Lindsay Lohan's heyday. Mean Girls, Freaky Friday and this gem of a flick. She is basically a teens James Bond in Get a Clue so only a classic Vesper will be her match. It also seems like a great cocktail for a spoiled, rich teen (tween?) with "too" much fashion sense.
So this movie is terrifying and I'm pretty sure I blocked it out after watching it when I was a kid. When looking for spooky ass drinks I came across this Poison Berry Splash from Camilla Styles and now I'm counting down the days until Halloween. I figured if I'm sipping on some of my favorite things (gin, bubbles, blackberries) I won't scream as loud when Larry Houdini crawls out from under the bed.
The Thirteenth Year (1999)
A frozen margarita is the only drink that seems fitting when mermen are involved. As if being 13 isn't weird and uncomfortable enough, Disney Channel decided to add the classic transitioning-into-a-merman-dilemma. Puberty sucks. Also, can we just leave half fish people to women? It's so much sexier. Back to the drink front, I went with a Coconut Lime Frozen Margarita from the Nutmeg Nanny. With a lime sugar rim and toasted coconut garnish, you could accidentally polish off an entire blender of these. Happy summer!
Rip Girls (2000)
Did anyone else forget about Camilla Belle's Disney Channel debut?! She's super bummed when she has to leave home and move to Hawaii, because that's not everyone's dream or anything. This Pineapple Punch from A Beautiful Plate has all your favorite tropical ingredients; pineapple, rum, ginger, orange, and lime. The perfect remedy to forget you're "stranded" on a beautiful island learning how to surf.
In honor of their coveted trophy, The Mighty Apple, and the fact that these misfits pride themselves in being hip and retro, I went for the 1920's classic, a Jack Rose, a famous one from The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. I completely forgot about apple brandy, but then again I completely forgot about this teen bowling movie so that also seems fitting.
A drink to match mom's dates cravings: the Red and Black from Smitten Kitchen. So maybe it's bright hue comes from strawberries and not blood, but that only reminds us of the trusty kids sneaky moves. The coarse black pepper in the simple syrup gives this berry based cocktail the perfect kick.
Wish Upon A Star (1996)
Okay, so technically this isn't a DCOM, but it was the last movie aired on Disney before their originals started. And it's just too good not to give homage to, especially being one of Katherine Heigl's first on screen performances. She really grew up in those four years from her debut in That Night. Her role in Wish Upon a Star, Alexia, is the kind of girl that makes fun of her friends for having stubble on their legs and brings a fake doctors note to gym class everyday, alongside her sister who sticks her gum on her orange juice glass and thinks love is making out in between classes in your car. To showcase the beautiful combo of grunge meets glam, we'll have a Dark and Stormy. Movita Beaucoup has a classic recipe that is all about the perfect proportions and some crystallized ginger for that extra ginger spice.
Can of Worms (1999)
I was tempted to go with a gummy worm cocktail, but quickly realized thats something not even 16 year old me would have been into so a Melon Gin and Tonic sounded more bearable, especially this one from A Cozy Kitchen. The color matches our favorite worm friend and its more refreshing than sweet.
Considering this movie is all about breaking the rules, a Long Island Iced Tea seems like the way to go. A disgusting blend of way too many things that is somehow easy to drink pairs well with a teen who is desperately looking to cut loose, and who better to do that with than Eric from Boy Meets World?
Double Teamed (2002)
This Pomegranate French 75 from Jessica Levinson uses way less added sugar while staying festive for the big win. Also, it matches their jerseys so thats another bonus. Pomegranate juice is always so expensive but it has such bold flavor that it goes way further than you'd expect. I've started splurging on it every now and then to add a tart taste to my drinks.
Stepsister From Planet Weird (2000)
Maybe it's because there are so many diary entries read aloud in this movie, but there are some top notch embarrassing one liners in this movie. For one, "Cutter Cobran is the most extreme kid in high school. last year he skated down an entire mountain. Well, he fell mostly but it was still totally rad". Not to mention this boy that she's so love sick for thought her name was CORGAN, or VEGAN and then stole her chips. He's the worst. Lastly, the fact that Megan's in to sit at the popular table was lying about being Jewel's cousin is my favorite thing. Poor Megan's life is so hard and her alien step siblings don't make things any easier. Aliens are kind of magic to us, right? So this Magic Hour Cocktail is perfect to sip while watching Megan and her squad defeat the emperor of Planet Zircalon with hairdryers and a leaf blower, plus the drink's pink hue matches Ariel's natural gaseous bubble form.
Phantom of The Megaplex (2000)
I completely forgot about this one and now I want to watch it on repeat for an entire day. If only I could kick the fact that Pete is that nightmare of a human, Oliver, from the OC than this would be a perfect movie. If I can figure out how to smuggle this Vodka Root Beer Float with Coconut Ice Cream into the movies, my whole life will change. The Minimalist Baker did it again with this one, quite possibly the most delicious thing you've ever tasted. Sip this float with some buttered popcorn and you are diving head first into a utopian world that only involves snacks and movie theaters.