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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

April 10, 2023 | 3 min read

In Aviation American Gin’s latest spot, Maxwell Caulfield brings back the lovable 80s heartthrob Rex Manning to make a ‘Cult Classic Cocktail.’

Over the weekend, people around the globe celebrated Ramadan, Passover and Easter. Meanwhile, pop culture (and meme) fans celebrated Rex Manning Day on April 8.

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The day commemorates a moment in the 1995 coming-of-age movie, Empire Records, during which Rex Manning, a fictional, pompous, fading 80s pop star played by Maxwell Caulfield, walks into a record store. In the decades following the movie’s release, Rex Manning Day has become an internet sensation, with people sharing Rex Manning’s delightfully dated song, Say No More Mon Amour.

On Saturday, Aviation American Gin released an ad for Rex Manning Day. In the spot, Caulfield – donning his costume from Empire Records – shows fans how to craft the “Cult Classic Cocktail” with the help of two identically dressed “friends.”

As we learn in the ad, the Cult Classic Cocktail entails 1.25 oz of Aviation Gin, .5 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice, five dashes of Angostura bitters, ice and an orange slice garnish.

As the ad goes on, Caulfield tries to reassure audiences that while the fanbase of Empire Records is passionate, it is not a cult. However, the mannerisms of the two people next to him say otherwise - one of them tests the cocktail before Caulfield drinks it.

In 2020, actor and entrepreneur Ryan Reynolds sold Aviation American Gin to alcoholic beverage giant Diageo for $610 mn.

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Agency: Maximum Effort

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