From Jane Alonso. Her passion for food and spirits leads her on frequent excursions into Borderstan’s land of bars and restaurants. Email her at jane[AT]borderstan.com.
Sunday is Oscars night, and if you are hosting a red carpet watching party, you may wonder what type of original cocktails you can serve to set your event apart from the rest. Here are five cocktails inspired by the top film nominees of 2013.
Happy drinking (and dress critiquing)!
We all breathed a collective sigh of relief for our American comrades upon hearing he words, “We have cleared Iranian airspace and alcohol can now be served” onboard the Swiss Air flight that evades the capture of the Ayatollahs at the end of the movie, Argo.
What better way to celebrate this victory than to serve a Persian Rose made with Canadian whiskey to honor Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor, who risked his life to hide the Americans for 79 days in his residence in Tehran?
The Argo Persian Rose
- 2 oz Canadian Club Whiskey
- ½ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz cherry-flavored liqueur
- ¼ oz rosewater
- ¼ oz simple syrup
- 1/8 oz of Pistachio liqueur (such as Dumonte Verdenoce)
Quentin Tarrantino’s portrait of the brutality of slavery certainly erases any chivalrous fantasies of life on a Southern plantation. Part of the brilliance of the movie is how Tarrantino makes us realize that our preconceived notions of the period — fed to us by generations of films like Gone with the Wind — are not in keeping with the inhumanity of slavery.
For example, take the scene where Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) sips a mint julep in debonair fashion (oh, how southern!) but moments later, watches with amusement as two slaves tear each other to pieces in the middle of his elegant living room.
As we root for the revenge that Django extracts from these despicable characters, consider sipping this mint julep with a fiery shot of habanero bitters that perfectly embodies the comeuppance doled out by this spaghetti western.
The Django Unchained Mint Julep
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 2 tsps of sugar
- 8 mint leaves
- 2-3 droplets of Bittermans Hellfire Habanerno Shrub
- Crushed ice
Who didn’t cry at the end of this tear jerker? Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen because I saw the play a gazilion times in the 90’s (and listened to the music for hours on end in high school), I still bawled my eyes out as Jean Valjean says his final words in this beautifully adapted film.
Such is the power of French-inspired melodrama to touch our emotions — and what better way to commemorate this beloved musical than with a French-inspired cocktail featuring champagne, cognac, and Grand Mariner?
The irony, of course, is that the impoverished inhabitants of Paris — the “Miserables” of the novel/film’s namesake — would not have a chance of ever sipping these luxurious ingredients.
The Not-So-Miserables Champagne Cocktail
- 3 oz Champagne
- 1/3 oz cognac
- 1 tsp Grand Marnier orange liqueur
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters