Twin Peaks was the ultimate “water cooler TV show” of the ’90s — that is, a program that became a hit because fans would talk about it at work the next day, thus generating more and more buzz. And once the ball got rolling, it was also common for fans of this eerie soap opera to host viewing parties so that they could discuss all the major reveals and inspired weirdness with their friends in real time. The nation-wide communal viewing and next-day recapping helped Twin Peaks develop its tremendous cult following.
The new season of Twin Peaks is making its debut in a very different era, when you can watch pretty much any show any time, anywhere. But if you want to enter full-throwback mode, the best way to watch Twin Peaks is with a good, old-fashioned TV party on the night of the premiere. And if you really want to do it right, you can’t just serve any old snacks or drinks — they should have some thematic connection to the show.
With that in mind, here’s a guide to foods and beverages that you should serve if you’re planning a Twin Peaks party for the premiere of Season 3 on Showtime this Sunday, May 21.
Twin Peaks Party Essentials
Coffee: Can’t have a Twin Peaks party without some type of coffee. Special Agent Dale Cooper’s love of coffee is one of his most revealing character traits — it shows that he’s living in the moment, and that he appreciates simple things for exactly what they are. Cooper’s unclouded perspective is arguably his greatest asset as a G-Man.
For your party, consider making some reliably decent drip coffee — Cafe Bustelo or Cafe Du Monde would work just fine — with a bottle of whiskey on the side for anyone who wants to hang loose. David Lynch’s Signature Cup Organic Coffee is also acceptable, and if you want to play a prank on your guests, throw a fish in the percolator.
Cherry pie: Yeah, you gotta have this too. It’s arguably the most famous thing about Twin Peaks besides the guy who talks backwards and the fact that nobody knows who killed Laura Palmer until midway through Season 2. The pie at the Double R Diner is very good, but like the coffee, it’s unfussy — one of life’s simple pleasures, if your mind is open to receive it. You could make a pie (the Times has a recipe suggestion), but maybe see if you can order one from your local greasy spoon or old-timey bakery.
Griddle cakes with ham: Every die-hard Twin Peaks fan knows that Cooper also loves this winning combination, especially when maple syrup is involved. As the FBI agent says in Season 1, Episode 4: “Nothing beats the taste sensation when maple syrup collides with ham.” Consider frying up some pancakes and topping them with prosciutto and some of the good maple syrup. Note: Serving pigs in a blanket with a maple dipping sauce, though not authentic, is still permissible.
Rob Roy or a Manhattan on the rocks (or a Shirley Temple for the teetotalers): The madame of Twin Peaks’ secret brothel, One Eyed Jack’s, does not reveal her drink of choice. But when she’s interviewing town heartbreaker Aubrey Horne, Blackie O'Reilly sips a brown liquid on the rocks, served in a highball glass with a cherry, which her prospective employee later twists into a knot with her tongue. She could have been drinking a Rob Roy, which is a fine cocktail to serve at any party.
If you really want to get weird about it, put your drink station in the bedroom — then you can call this drink a “Bob hiding behind the bed,” as a reference to the most chilling moment of the pilot episode.
Baguette with Brie and butter: The best damn thing that Aubrey’s uncle, Jerry, ever ate while he was in Paris. His brother, Benjamin Horne, is a fan too.
Not Required, But Still Relevant...
Huckleberry pie: Although not as popular as the cherry pie, Cooper is also a fan of this local specialty. After taking one bite, he remarks, “This must be where pies go when they die.”
A Buche de Noel: As a tribute to the Log Lady, who, tragically, will not be returning for Season 3.
Momos and blood sausage: So your guests will think about Tibet.
Snack mix and a tropical drink served in a coconut: As an homage to Twin Peaks’ Hawaiian shirt-wearing mega-weirdo, Doctor Jacoby.
Creamed corn: A food that resembles garmonbozia, aka the source of pain and sorrow in the dream world of Twin Peaks.
That gum you like: It’s coming back in style. So make sure to hand this to your guests as they leave.