Hollywood is about to celebrate their favorite night of the year. Whether you are holding your own red carpet bash or are having a quiet night so as not to miss a victor’s speech, you will need a cocktail to toast the year’s best. Consider one of these film-inspired libations to put you in the mood. (A few spirit selections were sent for editorial consideration.)
Champagne is always in order to raise a toast with and this year Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut was selected as the exclusive Champagne of the Oscars. A non-vintage sparkler that is very dry, but also nicely fruity create balance and freshness in the wine. Filled with golden apple and pear, fresh citrus and a touch of cream, the bubbly is perfect to welcome guests, pair with light hors d’oeuvre and sip well into the night. $45, widely available.
Around my house the best movie of the year winner is a toss up between “Birdman” and “Boyhood,” both incredible examples of film making with stellar performances. If you are in the “Birdman” camp try a classic New York inspired Manhattan from Hudson Whiskey.
The Manhattan – inspired by the film, “Birdman”
2 oz. Hudson Whiskey ~ Manhattan Rye
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 to 2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 Luxardo gourmet cherries
Preparation: Combine all of the ingredients except cherries to a rocks glass and add ice. Gently stir. Garnish with cherries.
Bradley Cooper gave an incredible performance portraying American hero, Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.” Though he may not win, you can certainly celebrate him, and bourbon loving Chris Kyle, with an all American cocktail using bourbon made right here in the Lone Star State.
Sniper B & B – inspired by the film, “American Sniper”
1 part Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey
1 part Bénédictine
Ice (preferably 1 large ice cube block)
Preparation: Add together in a rocks glass, stir, garnish, sip, enjoy.
One of my favorites for the year was “The Imitation Game,” so in honor of the British hero who can be credited for helping end WWII, a London Dry Gin based favorite from Bombay Sapphire.
The Christopher – inspired by the film, “The Imitation Game”
1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
1.5 oz. Martini Dry Vermouth
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Preparation: Stir ingredients well over ice in a mixing tin and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist
Julianne Moore seems to be the shoe-in for her performance in “Still Alice.” In honor of the ginger-haired darling, a Ginger Fizz.
Ginger Fizz- inspired by the film, “Still Alice”
1 part Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
3 parts ginger ale
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add whiskey. Top with ginger and garnish with a slice of orange wedge.
The “Theory of Everything” honored brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, so make this “thyme”less cocktail in honor of it, him and his inspirational book.
A Brief History of Thyme- inspired by the film, Theory of Everything
1 1/2 oz Caliche Rum
1/2 oz Lemon juice
3/4 oz Pomegranate juice
3 Sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
1 dash of agave nectar (optional)
Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously until well chilled, serve in a chilled cocktail coupe, garnish with a thyme sprig.
Reese Witherspoon went on her own heroic journey in “Wild,” based on the memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed, hiking the Trail from Arizona to Washington State to figure out who she was, something that I am sure we all like the luxury of doing. But it wasn’t pretty, or easy, as true with many difficult things, but the rewards are life changing. A Wild tequila cocktail in honor of her and National Margarita Day, which also happens to be Sunday.
Wild Blackberry Margarita – inspired by the film, “Wild”
2 ounces Milagro Silver Tequila
1/2 ounce Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur
1 ounce fresh orange juice
Squeeze of ½ fresh lime
4 fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish
Turbinado sugar, optional
Preparation: Rim glass with sugar by wetting rim and dipping in a small plate of sugar. Add ice. In a shaker add blueberries and muddle until the fruit is broken down and very juicy. Fill the shaker with ice, add next 4 ingredients. Shake and strain into prepared glass. Garnish with blackberries.
If all you care about is the fashion of the night, diving into an afternoon of red carpet coverage on “E News” early in the day, sip a fashionable vodka from one Italy’s finest designers. Roberto Cavalli inspired by his eternal muse, the sexy female. Produced in Italy the ultra-premium vodka, with a stylish, sleek bottle presentation and a smooth, refined spirit inside that captures the “ joie de vivre” that has characterized Cavalli his entire career. Soft enough to be sipped over ice, but perfect as the base of clean cocktails like a refreshing vodka soda with a lemon twist. If you care to be more creative, the red carpet cocktail below will please any Oscar guest.
Red Carpet Cavalli
2 ounces Roberto Cavalli Vodka
1 ounce Chambord
3 fresh raspberries
5 fresh basil leaves
Fresh Pineapple Juice 30 ml
Fresh Lime Juice 15 ml
Splash with club soda
Preparation: Muddle basil leaves and raspberries in a shaker. Add pineapple, lime, vodka and chambord with ice. Shake until cold. Strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of soda water.