Monday, February 2, 2015
Oscar Cocktails 2015
In 20 days, one of the films pictured above will take home the film industry's highest honor: the golden statue standing atop a film reel that is the Academy Award for Best Picture. This year's slate tells the stories of a soldier, actor, boy/man, hotel clerk, mathematician, activist minister, scientist and music student. It's a slate that's half stories about real people, half stories set in the past, and half stories that take place wholly (or mostly) outside the United States. And all of them are great films (although not perfect).
As I've done the last two years, I'm celebrating the slate of Oscar Best Picture nominees with original cocktails inspired by the films. Each drink is based somehow on the movie: its themes, characters and/or settings. The drinks follow in the vein of cocktails I've been most interested in lately: old-school style drinks made with quality ingredients. Some of the drinks are also quite potent. Perfect for an Oscar party!
This year, I'm unveiling all of my recipes at once today. In the following weeks, I'll post individual pieces with the story behind each drink, adding links to the recipes below as the stories are posted (starting with The Theory of Everything and The Grand Budapest Hotel, which are up today). Keep your eyes peeled for a bonus cocktail too--one for a film that is nominated but not for Best Picture.
A whiskey cocktail the soldier and his wife could have enjoyed in the bar the night they met.
1 oz. rye whiskey (Bulleit)
1/2 oz. Jägermeister
1/4 oz. orange liqueur (Combier)
1/4 oz. Islay single malt Scotch (Laphroaig Quarter Cask)
Shot: Combine whiskey, Jägermeister, orange liqueur and Scotch in a tall shot glass (add the Scotch last). Chill, if desired.
Up: Combine whiskey, Jägermeister, orange liqueur in a cocktail mixing glass with ice. Stir until very cold. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Float the Scotch on top. No garnish.
Douglas fir trees, elderflowers, honey--things a bird, or rather a Birdman, might encounter.
1 1/2 oz. American dry gin (Aviation)
3/4 oz. Clear Creek Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir
1/4 oz. elderflower liqueur (St. Germain)
1/2 oz. honey syrup (see note)
2 dashes grapefruit bitters (Scrappy's)
Rosemary sprig garnish
Combine gin, Eau de Vie, elderflower liqueur, honey syrup and grapefruit bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with rosemary sprig.
Note: To make honey syrup, stir together equal parts of honey and warm water until combined.
Inspired by the movie's gimmick of being filmed in segments over 12 years, this recipe spells out the film's name.
Bacardi Light Rum, 1 1/2 oz.
Orange curaçao, dry (Pierre Ferrand), 1/2 oz.
Yellow Chartreuse, 1/2 oz.
Honey syrup 1/2 oz. (see Birdman note above)
Orange bitters, 2 dashes
Orange peel, garnish
Drizzle of fresh lime juice (1 oz., about 1/2 a lime)
Combine rum, orange curaçao, Chartreuse, honey syrup, orange bitters and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until very cold. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with orange peel.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
An old-school cocktail like the hotel could have served, complete with Hungarian liqueur.
1 1/2 oz. Plymouth gin
3/4 oz. Zwack Unicum liqueur
1/2 oz. orange liqueur (Combier)
2 dashes lime bitters (Scrappy's)
Maraschino cherry garnish
Combine gin, liqueurs and lime bitters in a cocktail mixing glass with ice. Stir until very cold. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with cherry.
The Imitation Game
Ingredients from Britain, Germany and France nod to the film's World War II setting.
1 oz. London Dry gin (Beefeater)
1/2 oz. Jägermeister
1/2 oz. Benedictine liqueur
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Combine gin, Jägermeister, Benedictine, simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with lemon twist.
A drink made of ingredients in equal measure inspired by the film's depiction of the Civil Rights Movement's struggle for equality.
3/4 oz. dark rum (Mount Gay Extra Old)
3/4 oz. Campari
3/4 oz. orange cognac liqueur (Grand Marnier)
3/4 oz. lime juice
Combine rum, Campari, liqueur and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. No garnish.
The Theory of Everything
A rum swizzle inspired by Dr. Hawking's study of black holes.
1 oz. black rum (Gosling's Black Seal)
1/2 oz. coffee liqueur (Kahlúa)
1/2 oz. vanilla syrup (see note)
1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange slice garnish
Combine rum, coffee liqueur, vanilla syrup, orange juice and bitters in a highball glass. Fill with crushed ice and top with club soda. Using a swizzle stick, swizzle the ingredients to combine. Garnish with orange slice and serve with a straw.
Note: to make vanilla syrup, bring 1 cup of water, 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 vanilla bean split down the middle (with seeds scraped into the pan) to boil in a medium saucepan. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
A strong and spicy drink that tries to knock you off your game, garnished with two "drumsticks."
1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey (Bulleit)
1 oz. mezcal (Del Maguey)
1/2 oz. orange liqueur (Cointreau)
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth (Dolin)
2 dashes Fee Brothers whiskey barrel-aged bitters
2 dashes Bittermens Hellfire habanero shrub
Stemmed cherry and two toothpicks, garnish
Combine whiskey, mezcal, orange liqueur, vermouth and bitters in a cocktail mixing glass. Add ice and stir until very cold and diluted. Strain into a chilled coupe. Pierce the cherry with the two toothpicks at an acute angle and stick in the glass.
Bonus Cocktail: Gone Girl
The refreshing and sweet look of this drink masks its fiery true self.
1 1/2 oz. American dry gin (Greenhook Ginsmiths)
3/4 oz. Campari
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. hot honey syrup (see note)
2 dashes cardamom bitters (Scrappy's)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Blood orange or lemon wheel garnish
Combine gin, Campari, lemon juice, hot honey syrup and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until very cold. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with citrus wheel.
Note: For hot honey syrup, combine 1 part Mike's Hot Honey, 1 part honey and 1 part hot water and stir to combine.
2014 Oscar Cocktails
2013 Oscar Cocktails