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What Henry Cavill is Drinking in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Bartender Charles Joly conjured up three vintage cocktails inspired by our cover guy's killer new film.

“The Man From U.N.C.L.E” (which stands for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement, if you’re wondering) features an unlikely bromance between a CIA agent and a top KGB guy, who work together to take down a nuclear threat during, yes—the Cold War. Our September cover guy Henry Cavill plays hero Napoleon Solo from the original 1960s TV show.

Now that you know the basics, there are bound to be all kinds of questions popping up in your head. How could two such rivals ever work together? What’s this mysterious nuclear threat? How awesome does Henry Cavill look while jumping off roofs into the back of moving vehicles?

Or, maybe you're preoccupied with a more pressing question: What’s that in his glass?

For answers, we turned to renowned bartender Charles Joly. Owner of Crafthouse Cocktails, and recently named the greatest bartender in the world by the Diageo Reserve Bartending World Class Competition, he also confessed to having knocked back a few with U.N.C.L.E.'s director Guy Ritchie. He mixed us three 1960s-inspired cocktails with a serious cool factor, and near-guaranteed superspy approval.

Enjoy responsibly while discovering the answers to questions one, two, and three. Though, honesty, we think we know the answer to that last one. 

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1. Espionage

The idea: Inspired by the classic martinis enjoyed in the era, but embellished to add complexity, character, and intrigue.

Prep: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir well to chill and dilute (please don’t shake this one). Strain into a chilled coupe. Mist with grapefruit oil, tie twist around fresh rosemary sprig and place garnish.


2 oz. Tanqueray 10

¼ oz. Yellow Chartreuse

½ oz. Bianco/White Vermouth

½ oz. Dry Vermouth

Dash hop-grapefruit bitters (or substitute orange bitters in a pinch) 

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2. The Solo

The idea: Named for our protagonist, Napoleon Solo, we took our inspiration from a proper, stirred Manhattan and upped the ante. Throughout the film, Solo’s Russian partner, whom he begrudgingly pairs with, calls him “cowboy”. What other spirit than Bourbon could play the leading role in this namesake cocktail?

Prep: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir well to chill and dilute (please don’t shake this one). Strain onto fresh ice in an old fashioned glass. Mist with orange oil and place twist decoratively.


2oz Bulleit Bourbon

¾ oz Sweet Vermouth

Barspoon Benedictine

Barspoon Cherry Heering

Dash coffee bitters

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3. Coalition

The idea: Paying homage to the unlikely team of heroes in this film, an American special agent working along side a Russian elite operative during the Cold War, the Coalition combines two spirits that don’t seem to match but end up complimenting one another perfectly.

Prep: Combine Don Julio Reposado, Zacapa Rum 23, citrus, simple syrup and bitters in a shaker tin. Add ice, shake gently to chill and combine ingredients. Pour in beer and roll together (never shake with carbonated ingredients.) Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with mint sprigs.


1 ½ oz Don Julio Reposado

½ oz Zacapa Rum 23

½ oz fresh lemon juice, ½ oz fresh lime juice

¾ oz simple syrup (1 part sugar:1 part water)

3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters

Roll in 1 ½ oz lager or ale

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