The lights, the glamour the red carpet (oh, and the movies)—they’re all part of the yearly parade that is Oscars night. But without the right cocktail at your Oscars soirée, you won’t be winning any awards. Serve up one of the following, though, and you might earn a standing ovation from your guests.
Add this classy number to your menu in honor of both Skyfall’s nomination for Best Cinematography and the many booming Bond films from the past. Just remember that the woman this was named after was a spy. Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker halfway with cracked ice. Add 2 ounces gin (I suggest a good English brand like Beefeater), 1 ounce vodka (Seattle Distilling Company’s Rocket vodka works well), and 1/2 ounce Lillet. Stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a wide lemon twist.
Serve this in honor of the alluring shimmer of the Oscar statuette, which some call the most famous trophy in the world. Fun fact: it is officially named the Academy Award of Merit. The recipe is from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add 1-1/2 ounces brandy, 1 ounce Grand Marnier, 1/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed orange juice. Shake well. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Named, I believe, after the past Oscar best picture winner that shares its name, be sure when serving this to say “All right, Popeye's here! Get your hands on your heads, get off the bar, and get on the wall!” The recipe’s also from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz: Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker halfway with cracked ice. Add 2 ounces amaretto (something nice and Italian like Luxardo) and 2 ounces brandy. Stir well. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes. Strain the mixture into the glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Make this high-flyer in honor of one of my favorite actors, Denzel Washington, who is up for best actor for his performance in the movie Flight. In its third trip to the podium, Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz has this recipe: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add 2 ounces gin (I think Sun Liquor’s Hedge Trimmer is great here), 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons maraschino liqueur, and 1 teaspoon crème de violette. Shake well. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.
Finally, a toast to all the Oscar hosts, who no doubt nervously pace behind the scenes before the big moment (or, in the case of this year, Oscar producers may be doing all the pacing, given their risky hire of Seth McFarlane for the job). This recipe’s from Dark Spirits: Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway with ice cubes. Add 1-1/2 ounces Cognac, 1 ounce dry vermouth (Dolin is a solid choice), and 1/2 ounce orange curacao (Pierre Ferrand is tops if you can find it). Stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass.