The Celluloid Pantry: "Victory Lemonade" with a Punch and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)

The Celluloid Pantry: "Victory Lemonade" with a Punch and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)

Nora Maynard
Jun 19, 2007

"If I'd drunk that much lemonade I'd be sour for a week."

When, in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), small-town, racily named ingenue Trudy Kockenlocker (Betty Hutton, center) sips lemonade at a farewell party for the troops, writer-director Preston Sturges is dancing with the censors.

The evening begins innocently enough. Trudy jitterbugs with the boys in uniform and tries some of the "Victory Lemonade" even though she can't help wincing when she drinks it. As part of the war effort, you see, the sugar's been left out.

But the next morning, Trudy's mysteriously stricken with amnesia. She wakes up with a wedding ring on her finger, and later, we'll discover, she's "in a family way." It seems to her it must have been one of the departing soldiers, though her head is hurting something terrible and she's not quite sure which guy.

When her childhood friend Norval (Eddie Bracken) accuses her of drinking, Trudy denies it. "I've never had a drink in my life!" Everything can be explained--to him and to the censors--not by the lemonade, but by the bump she got when she conked her head on the dance hall mirror ball.

"Victory Lemonade"
(serves 6)

1 cup mint leaves
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups vodka

In a large bowl, muddle the mint and sugar with a pestle (or the back of a spoon), then add the water, lemon juice, and vodka. Chill several hours in the fridge. Strain into a pitcher and serve over ice garnished with mint sprigs and/or lemon.

Tell us your favorite way to punch up lemonade.

- Nora

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