What is your signature cocktail? “I’ve just mastered the Moscow Mule. It’s my favorite summer cocktail at the moment. The key is squeezing your own lime juice, fresh mint, and grating actual ginger. I use Tito’s Vodka and Belvoir Ginger Beer, which is organic and sweetened with fruit juice. And I add nothing else. I’m not a fan of simple syrup in cocktails.”
Is there a spirit or cocktail that you won’t touch? “Peppermint schnapps. I know… who would drink it in the first place? Rookie teenage mistake. Never again.”
Care to share your hangover cure? “I rarely drink without eating. I’m Italian. So that always helps with not getting a hangover. I am a big believer in drinking a glass of water for every alcoholic drink, though. And warm water with lemon in the morning. It helps flush the liver.”
Do you believe in the old adage of beer before liquor? “Other than the occasional Shiner Bock in Austin, Texas, I’m not a beer person. So I don’t have to worry about that one.”
Does the crew of Roadies ever have a drink to cap off a long day of filming? “We had a great Mexican restaurant near where we filmed. Margaritas were definitely had.”
Since the show is all about musicians, what is the perfect music to listen to while enjoying a drink? “That depends on the vibe of the moment. Sometimes you want Billie Holiday, sometimes you want Prince.”
Do you have a favorite film or TV bartender? “Lloyd in The Shining.”
What is in your liquor cabinet at home? “I don’t have an official liquor cabinet, but I usually have a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Rosé Champagne—my favorite—in the fridge. You never know when you may have something to celebrate! Also, a bottle of Tito’s or Chopin Vodka. Tequila Casa Dragones. In the summer, a grüner veltliner. In the winter, a nice malbec.
Do you have a liquor cabinet on set? “I don’t have the constitution to drink while I work! So, nope.”
What is your favorite bar? “In New York, the view from the wee bar at the top of the Jane Hotel always makes me happy. In L.A., I love eating at the bar at Lucques and having a Cucumber Martini. They muddle fresh cucumber. Delicious and clean. In Nashville, Patterson House. [I’ll order] the El Diablo.”
Are shots ever appropriate? “Rarely for me. Once in a blue moon on a late night out. Then it’s a high-quality tequila. But I gotta have the lime.”
Carla Gugino stars in the Showtime series Roadies. The show, created by Cameron Crowe and co-produced by J.J. Abrams, just wrapped up its first season.
Interview has been condensed and edited.