The Oscars is an opportunity to take in the glitz and glamor that is Hollywood at its finest as well as recognize the amazing films to hit movie screens in the past year. And sure, it's all too easy to get caught up in who wore what dress or which actor and actress got snubbed again, but in the end the movies are what matters. And what better way to toast our favorites than with a drink?
We could, of course, take the easy way out and pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly to celebrate our favorites, but each movie up for awards this year is such a rich tapestry of nuance and complex emotion that champagne pales in comparison. No-to do this year's crop of winners justice we need to break out the hard stuff and get creative. So we paired each Best Picture nominee with an appropriate, and tasty, mixed drink to serve up in solidarity. After all, from "The Artist" to "The Help," each of these fine examples of modern cinema offers up wildly unique qualities that require a different style of liquid refreshment.
Sure, it'd be a fair amount of work to serve them all up at an Oscar party, but giving your guests the tools they need to root for their favorites and drown their sorrows is the least a host worth their salt can do. Plus, any good Hollywood entertainer knows plying guests with liquor is a time-honored movie trope leading to all sorts of wacky hijinks and situations. And what Oscar party is complete without hijinks?
The Artist: Click here for the recipe
This tribute cocktail is sweet, with rich warmth and complexity thanks to the base of Cognac and fresh lemon and orange liqueur bringing in just enough tartness to evoke a more innocent time before actors could speak and let us know what's really going through their heads.
The Descendents: Click here for the recipe
To this movie, we raise The Suburban, a curious mix of rye, rum, port and bitters that marries sweet to spicy and savory in a mix as complex as George Clooney himself.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: Click here for the recipe
To toast to Tom Hanks in his fatherly role, we drink the Euphoria, a bracingly herbal combination of elderflower liqueur and gin that levels just enough sweetness and citrus to cut the edge and make the mix work nigh-perfectly, though it's tough to say exactly why.
The Help: Click here for the recipe
Set as it is in the deep south, only one drink could fit the bill for "The Help." The Mint Julep is as southern as it gets, the bourbon's rich oaky sweetness mingling with the added kick of the mint and sugar and taking one back to lazy days on the porch, even though you generally do your own housework.
For this movie, we mix the floral tang of the gin with the bitter herbs of the Benedictine and balance it all nicely with the dry vermouth. It's not sweet, but the mechanics of it are nearly as impressive as the steampunk aesthetic Scorsese managed to achieve in the film.
Midnight in Paris: Click here for the recipe
This artistic piece deserves a drink straight from classical Paris. The Champagne Cocktail is simple and elegant, combining dry champagne with bitters and sugar to create an effervescent cocktail that's far more than the sum of its parts.
Moneyball: Click here for the recipe
As any sports fan knows, baseball calls for beer. The Shandy is a summer beer cocktail mixing beer, usually a pale ale, with an equal amount of ginger ale, ginger beer, or lemonade. It's a tasty concoction mixing tart and sweet with savory hops and malt – perfect for a ball game. Or at least a movie about them.
The Tree of Life: Click here for the recipe
A simple drink hearkening back to more innocent times is the perfect tribute cocktail for "The Tree of Life." The Gin Rickey evokes lazy days on the beach and the summer sun, getting us all far away from the disapproving stares of stern father figures with a sweetly herbal mix of gin, lime juice, simple syrup and soda.
War Horse: Click here for the recipe
For "War Horse" we toast to a horse of a different color with the Moscow Mule – a classic mix of lime, ginger and vodka.