The 90th Academy Awards are right around the corner on March 4, which means it’s just about high time to plan your Oscar-watching party. And when it comes to what you should be drinking on Oscar night, Matt Landes knows better than anyone. He is the founder and CEO of Cocktail Academy, a drinks consulting and catering company that runs the bar at glitzy official Oscar parties while Wolfgang Puck mans the kitchen.
Given his proximity all things Hollywood, we asked Landes to create a collection of custom cocktails inspired by some of his favorite films nominated for Best Picture this year: Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird, Get Out, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. He shares what each drink draws from the movies, along with recipes so you can whip them up at home.
“For this drink we wanted to play on opposites. The film is a dichotomy of idyllic suburban life juxtaposed with the dark world that lurks beneath. Despite being a densely colored drink, the flavor and texture is frothy and creamy.”
2 oz Martell Blue Swift Cognac
3/4 oz Lemon juice
3/4 oz Molasses
1 Egg white
1 tsp of Activated charcoal
Combine all the ingredients except the coffee grinds in a shaker. Dry shake them without ice for 15 to 20 seconds, until frothy and emulsified. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a cocktail glass and sprinkle coffee grinds on top.
“The drink is direct and strong, just like the billboards that Mildred puts up throughout town. We wanted to showcase a fresh corn syrup to pay homage to Missouri and build from that, resulting in a drink that is an Americana-themed cocktail that is slightly modern, slightly Western, and full of punch.”
1 oz Rye
1 oz Applejack
1/2 oz Fresh corn syrup
2 Dashes orange bitters
Cinnamon stick for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 15 seconds. Strain over ice into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
“A young, vibrant teenager with a protective mother is the premise of the film, but underneath there is a complex relationship fraught with love and adoration. The drink builds on that. The cactus fruit represents Lady Bird’s passion and outspokenness, while the gin and peppermint oil complement the stringent sharpness of her Catholic schooling, and strained mother-daughter relationship.”
1 oz Gin
1/2 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Cactus fruit syrup
Cactus for garnish
Combine all ingredients except cactus piece in shaker. Shake and strain over ice in a wine glass. Garnish with cactus piece.
“Any color inspiration from a Guillermo Del Toro film is usually a vibrant blue (and occasionally red). We wanted to instill the look of a murky ocean with dynamic flavor profiles underneath the surface. The green chartreuse is vegetal and sweet while the violette is floral and rich. The result is a cocktail that is complex and unique, appropriate for the film’s whimsical plot.”
2 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Simple syrup
3/4 oz Creme de Violette
Seaweed crisp for garnish
Combine all ingredients except seaweed crisp in a shaker. Dry shake without ice until frothy. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a snifter or cocktail glass. Garnish with a seaweed crisp.
“The cinematography of the film plays up a pastel-inflected palette and we wanted to create a cocktail that was reminiscent of those Italian sun-drenched colors. To give the drink a younger, fresh outlook on an Italian classic, we also used a California-made amaro that is bright and nuanced.”
2 oz Amaro Angeleno
1 oz Blood orange juice
Rosemary and sage leaves for garnish
Pour amaro and blood orange over ice in a glass. Top with soda. Garnish with fresh rosemary and sage.
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