Oscars Cocktails: Drinking Best Picture Nominees

Special drinks inspired by the best movies of 2012, plus recipes to make your own

“Blue Velvet Suit” inspired by Django Unchained
Photograph courtesy Montage Beverly Hills

Raise your hand if you’re excited about the 85th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday! Of course you are, you’re an Angeleno. The city goes mad for the Oscars with L.A.’s hottest venues booked up for Academy parties, spas offering red carpet treatments and movie theaters screening marathons of Best Picture nominees. And now you can even imbibe your Oscars picks. “Zero Dark Thirsty,” anyone?

Hotel bars The Avalon’s Oliverio, The Montage’s Parq Bar, and Four Seasons’ Windows Lounge will be featuring cocktails inspired by Best Picture nominees. Windows included its recipes in case you’re hosting your own Oscars cocktail party.

I’m just wondering why no one has jumped on the whole James Bond 50th anniversary tribute that’s slated for the awards show, like doing up a drinks menu of favorite James Bond cocktails. Come on, that’s a gimme!

Zero Dark Thirty
Oliverio’s “Zero Dark Thirsty” ($12): Rum, fresh lime juice, ginger, ginger beer

Montage Parq Bar’s “Tradecraft” ($30): Guinness, Grahams 30-Year Port

Windows’ “Zero Dark Thirsty”

  • 1 oz strong chamomile tea
  • 1/4 oz vanilla extract
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz Limoncello
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz spiced rum
  • Orange peel

Combine all the liquids together in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

Silver Linings Playbook
Oliverio’s “Silver (Linings) Fizz” ($12): Gin, fresh lemon juice, egg white, soda

Montage Parq Bar’s “Dancing Tiffany Maxwell” ($16): raspberry liqueur, honey syrup, Montage Cuvée Champagne

Windows’ “Sparkling Playbook”

  • 3/4 oz pomegranate juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur, such as St. Germain
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • Prosecco (enough to fill to the top)
  • Thyme sprig

Combine all the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into Collins glass over ice. Topped with Prosecco and garnish with thyme sprig.

Django Unchained
Oliverio’s “Django’s Smash” ($12): Bourbon, fresh lemon, mint, sugar, bitters

Montage Parq Bar’s “Blue Velvet Suit” ($16): DeLeon Tequila, blue curaçao, lime, egg white foam, cayenne pepper

Montage Parq Bar’s “Canadian Caper” ($16): Crown Royal Whisky, Lazzaroni Amaretto
vanilla liqueur, Peychauds bitters

Windows’ “Argos My Oscar”

  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup infused with lemon zest  
  • 1/2 oz strawberry preserves
  • 1/2 oz white rum
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • Lemongrass-skewered strawberry

Combine all the liquids together in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with the lemongrass-skewered strawberry.

Life of Pi
Montage Parq Bar’s “227 Days Adrift” ($16): Green Chartreuse, Tanqueray Ten gin, maraschino liqueur, lime

Windows Lounge’s “Life of Papaya”

  • Orange bitters
  • Sugar
  • 1 oz papaya juice
  • 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz white rum
  • Orange half wheel

Lightly wet the rim of a rocks glass with orange bitters and dust it with sugar. Combine the juices, triple sec, and rum together in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a the rocks glass over ice. Garnish with orange half wheel.

Montage Parq Bar’s “Honest Abe” ($16): Single shot of West Virginia-produced Smooth Ambler “Old Scout” Bourbon

Windows’ “Honest Abe”

  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz apple juice
  • 1/2 oz ginger syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz Champagne
  • 3 raspberries

Combine the lemon juice, apple juice and ginger syrup together in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a champagne flute. Top with Champagne, and add raspberries.

Les Misérables
Montage Parq Bar’s “I Dreamed a Dream…” ($16): Hennessy Cognac, lemon juice, sugar cube, Champagne float

Windows’ “Le Mizz Fizz”

  • 1/2 oz hibiscus syrup
  • 1/2 oz pear nectar
  • 4 oz Champagne
  • 1 hibiscus flower

Combine the hibiscus syrup and pear nectar together in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a Champagne flute. Garnish with fresh hibiscus flower.

Other Oscars-inspired cocktails:
The Beverly Hills Hotel’s “The Envelope Please”: Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, peach-honey syrup, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and Moët Imperial Champagne

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air’s “The Red Carpet” with Ketel One Citroen, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup and raspberry puree; and “Best Dressed” with Skyy Citrus, Cointreau, lime juice, passion fruit puree, and cranberry juice

Oliverio, at The Avalon, 9400 W Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, ViceroyHotelGroup.com
Parq, at The Montage, 225 N Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, MontageBeverlyHills.com 
Windows Lounge, at The Four Seasons, 300 S Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, FourSeasons.com