Hooked: Once Upon a Time

The purpose of the story... To look out with new eyes upon the many-featured, habitable world; to be thrilled by the pity and the beauty of this life of ours, itself brief as a tale that is told; to learn to know men and women better, and to love them more. Bliss Perry, via "A study of fairy tales."

You probably know by now that I'm a sucker for a good story. I've rewatched my favorite movies and shows so many times I've lost count. I reread my favorite books from time to time. I seek out new stories that I can form emotional attachments to. Stories fill the empty corners of my soul in a way nothing else can.

I know that I'm about 3 years behind the times, but I recently started watching ABC's Once Upon a Time, and promptly sped through 3.5 seasons in roughly as many weeks. I wouldn't say that it is the best show to ever grace my TV screen, but it is the perfect combination of delightfully cheesy, nostalgic, fun, sexy, and-- dare I say-- thought-provoking. I really appreciate the way the creators and writers have interpreted and mashed-up the tales I grew up with, so much so that I find many of these retellings preferable to the originals for many reasons:  Strong female heroes; layered, non-traditional relationships; failure; the collision of fantasy and real life...

I think this show has made such an impression on me because it's left me constantly thinking about stories, especially the stories I grew up with; ones I left behind to "grow up." I have an appreciation for fantasy and folklore, but I can admit to being judgey when it comes to fairy tales. Maybe this stems from a lifetime of exposure to The Disney Princess, but my favorite fairy tale stories from childhood have never felt, well, good enough to love as an adult. They felt too juvenile, too silly. But I think that's exactly what makes fairy tales so important, and Once Upon a Time honors their relevance by giving the stories a modern makeover that remains sincere. I'm feeling a connection to these tales that I haven't felt in a long time.

At the heart of this show is the idea that believing in something-- just about anything-- makes it so. Maybe you can save this weird, cursed little town if you risk believing that you are meant to do so. Maybe your power is greater than you've ever thought, and believing in that power sets you free. Maybe believing in imperfect, impractical, improbable true love (in all of it's forms) makes it a reality. And maybe your story can be whatever you want it to be, if only you believed you could change it.


Powerful, hopeful possibilities snuggle right into those two syllables.

But hidden between my deep thoughts about story and belief you'll find superficial thoughts about this guy right here.

Once Upon a Time Captain Hook

Captain Motherfuckin' Hook, y'all. Who knew the old guy with the feathered hat was such a babe?

In an era where many popular stories center on the antihero (or, some argue, the villain's origin story {Breaking Bad spoilers}) Captain Hook's OUaT backstory is a rather fascinating creation of an origin that-- admit it-- most of us probably never gave much thought to. It's definitely tailored to fit into the show's world, but Hook's journey is a compelling one that allows the viewer to root for him... It also doesn't hurt that Peter Pan is a creepy little shithead, and that the crocodile is much more vicious than you could've imagined {spoilers abound, dudes}. But whatevs. Did I mention he's devilishly handsome?

Once Upon a Time Captain Hook

You. Are. Welcome.

It seems only appropriate, then, that my first Once Upon a Time cocktail be inspired by this pirate who looks like he's about to head to a Depeche Mode concert. This drink wants to prove itself to you. It's trying to win your affection. It'll probably get you drunk if you go too fast. It's a little sweet, a little bitter, and full of longing. There's also a hint of sea salt; just enough of the briny deep to make you feel all wistful and maudlin. Sigh.

Hook cocktail, inspired by Once Upon a Time
Hook cocktail, inspired by Once Upon a Time


A Sara Galactica cocktail original, inspired by Once Upon a Time.

Makes one tasty beverage.

Scroll for complete, printer-friendly recipe. 

You'll need:

  • Rum (I used The Kraken)
  • Grand Marnier
  • Amaretto (I used Disaronno)
  • Lemon or lime juice -- I tried both, and they were each delicious
  • Angostura bitters
  • Fleur de sel

Add rum, Grand Marnier, amaretto, lemon and Angostura to a shaker with ice. Cover and shake-ah shake-ah shake-uh until well chilled (about 15-20 seconds).

Strain into cocktail glass. I used a coupe glass here.

Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Admire. Sip. Enjoy.

Hook cocktail, inspired by Once Upon a Time: rum, Grand Marnier, amaretto, Angostura, lemon, sea salt
Hook cocktail, inspired by Once Upon a Time: rum, Grand Marnier, amaretto, Angostura, lemon, sea salt


  • Pro-tip: If you don't have a shot glass at home (or if you're wanting to get really precise with your measurements), just grab a tablespoon. 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce (or 1/2 shot), 2 tablespoons = 1 ounce (or 1 standard shot).
Hook cocktail, inspired by Once Upon a Time: Measuring alcohol with a tablespoon
Hook cocktail, inspired by Once Upon a Time: Measuring alcohol with a tablespoon

Until next time,

Actual out.