In Nebraska, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is convinced he's won a million dollars when he receives a magazine publisher's sweepstakes notice. Although his son David (Will Forte) recognizes the notice as a scam, David nonetheless agrees to drive his father from their home in Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska so he can claim his "prize." The quirky comedy-drama is nominated for six Academy Awards including Picture, Actor (Dern), Supporting Actress (June Squibb), Director (Alexander Payne) and Cinematography, for its beautiful black and white photography by Phedon Papamichael.
Woody is a beer lover, so I knew the Nebraska had to be a beer cocktail. I wanted something hoppy and refreshing, so I muddled mint with lemon juice (Woody's "winning ticket" is, after all, a lemon) and used Dale's pale ale as the cocktail's main ingredient. For the drink's spirit, I choose moonshine (a legal version), since corn is Nebraska's top crop. Honey nods to Nebraska's state insect: the European honey bee. And elderflower liqueur gives the drink an extra floral edge while nodding to its star Woody and his wife Kate (Squibb).
Oscar Cocktails: Nebraska
4-5 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
1 oz. fresh lemon juice (juice from 1/2 lemon)
1 oz. moonshine
1/2 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 tsp. honey
6 oz. American pale ale
Add mint leaves and lemon juice to a shaker and muddle. Add ice, moonshine, St. Germain and honey and shake well until cold and mixed. Strain into a highball glass with ice. Add beer and stir to combine. Garnish with mint sprig.
See all of this year's Oscar Cocktails.