Five Classic Hollywood Cocktails For Oscars Night
It’s Oscars night! Anyone planning to stay in (and in non-US time zones stay up) to watch the 88th Academy Awards ceremony live is going to need some appropriately glamorous drinks to toast the stars of Hollywood as they wait to find out who’s won the coveted golden statuettes.
Hosted by Chris Rock, Oscars night promises glitz, glamour and awkwardly long acceptance speeches. To get you in the mood and see you through to the wee hours of the morning (it could be worth preparing a sick note), here are five cocktails from some of the greatest movies of all time from our book Cocktails of the Movies:
Despite winning a Golden Globe for her role in Some Like It Hot in 1959, Marilyn never won an Oscar. In fact her only appearance in the nominee lists was in 2011 when Michelle Williams was nominated for her portrayal of the star in My Week with Marilyn. This may be because of her controversial personal life or her move to New York in 1955 but either way, her performance in Some Like It Hot remains a Hollywood classic.
- 2 oz / 50 ml bourbon or rye whiskey
- 1 oz / 25 ml sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir the ingredients in a stirring or mixing glass with ice for about 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry with a stalk (or skewer it).
Receiving several nominations in 1934 The Thin Man, based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel, became a lucrative franchise of movies revolving around detective couple Nick (William Powell) and Nora (Myrna Loy), with Powell’s hard-drinking character famous for his love of cocktails, including the classic Bronx.
- 1 1⁄2 oz / 45 ml gin
- 3⁄4 oz / 22.5 ml sweet vermouth
- 3⁄4 oz / 22.5 ml dry vermouth
- 1⁄4 of an orange
Pour the first three ingredients into your shaker. Squeeze the orange in, discarding the fruit once squeezed. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
Stoli Martini with a Twist
Cate Blanchett won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine in 2013. This year could see her win it once again for her leading role in Carol, the story of an illicit lesbian love affair in 1950s New York.
This drink from Blue Jasmine is straight to the point. Consisting of potent vodka with little more than a little vermouth and lemon twist, it will get your Oscar night off to a strong start whatever happens.
- 2 oz / 50 ml vodka
- 1⁄2 oz / 12.5 ml dry vermouth
- 1 strip lemon zest
Stir the ingredients in a stirring or mixing glass with ice for about 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled Martini glass. Peel a strip of zest from a lemon, fold it lengthways over the drink to express the oils, wipe it around the rim of the glass, twist it and drop it into the drink.
Scooping awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 16th Academy Awards in 1943, Casablanca was a resounding success. Released during, and set in, World War II it centres around Rick’s Café Américain in Morocco where Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick serves French 75s. Alleged to be named after a French M1897 75mm artillery gun, this drink certainly packs a punch.
- 1⁄2 oz / 37.5 ml gin
- 1⁄2 oz / 12.5 ml lemon juice
- 1⁄4oz / 6ml sugar syrup
Shake the first three ingredients with ice. Pour into a champagne saucer and top up slowly with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Comedies have never traditionally done well at industry awards and despite having become a cult classic, The Big Lebowski is no exception. Despite receiving no major awards nominations, the Coen brothers’ 1998 movie has nevertheless developed a sub-culture all of its own spawning an annual global festival for ‘achievers’ (fans of the film), a religion – ‘Dudeism’ – and even two species of spider named in the film’s honour.
So as the wee hours drag on, drink like Jeff Bridges’s The Dude and enjoy a creamy White Russian.
- 2 oz / 50 ml vodka
- 1 oz / 25 ml coffee liqueur
- 1 oz / 25 ml single (light) cream
Pour the first two ingredients into an ice-filled Old-Fashioned glass and stir.
Float the cream on top by pouring gently over the back of a bar spoon.
Where to watch the Oscars 2016
This year, the Oscars are live on ABC in the US. The show begins at 7pm ET / 4pm PT, and starts with the red carpet. The ceremony starts at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT. In the UK, The Academy Awards will be shown live on Sky Movies Oscars. If you’re watching on the web you can go to abc.com if you have a cable provider login, catch live official footage as it happens on The Academy’s Facebook page or there will of course be plenty of other, less official, channels just a Google search away.
Have fun, drink as responsibly as you can and here’s to the winners! These cocktails are taken from our book – Cocktails of the Movies – available in bookstores worldwide as well as on Amazon. The New York Times, Total Film, NPR, The Guardian and lots of other people gave it the thumbs up as a book you should own, or give as a great gift 🙂