Bubbly. Earthy. Chocolatey.
Add a little mineral for flavor.
Are you planning to watch the Oscars this Sunday? Maybe hosting a party?
There are plenty of drink options to satisfy your libational needs as you watch away.
Whether you’re hosting a five-star party or just watching with a group of friends, check out the recommendations from these Maryland drink experts on what to drink during the ceremony.
Liz Murphy, founder of the craft beer website Naptown Pint, said she has a pathological need to host parties and events with themes - from guest activities down to the food and drinks I serve.
"It's to the point where I question whether or not I need the help of a professional. But this Sunday, I don't care. It's the Oscars, and I'm a total movie nerd. So I'm going to indulge myself (and my addiction) for at least one more night," she said.
This year Murphy decided to celebrate the event with beer recommendations based on various movie genres.
Smart comedies: Optimal Wit by Port City Brewing Company, Belgian Wit Bier-style (5 percent ABV)
"I really love to laugh. Which is a shame for anyone around me, because I'm also really loud. But this unfiltered ale hailing from Alexandria, Va., is always a crowd-pleaser. In fact, this award winner scored the Gold Medal for its style at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival. It's no surprise, though. Optimal Wit is bright and refreshing with notes of wheat, orange, grains of paradise and coriander," she said.
Good vs. Evil: HopDevil by Victory Brewing Company, American IPA (6.7 percent ABV)
"I'm a big fan of movies depicting some epic -- and usually hokey -- struggle between the forces of good and evil. So it only seems appropriate to throw a spotlight on the beer that brought me over at long last to the dark side of IPAs. Victory's HopDevil perfectly balances the bursts of citrus and pine notes from the hops with a strong malt backbone, which finally silenced me after years of whining over "hoppy" beers -- sarcastic air quotes and all," she said.
Mob dramas: The Dogfather by Laughing Dog Brewing Company, American Imperial Stout (11 percent ABV)
"I'm more Scottish than I am Italian, but I'm Italian enough to work 'Go to the mattresses!' into more conversations than I probably should. So it only seemed appropriate to include the beer I showcased during my one-day Godfather Trilogy marathon: The Dogfather. This Imperial Stout is not for the faint of heart. It's big. It's bold. It's chewy. It has notes of coffee and bourbon that are strong, but not overwhelming. No horse heads, though," she said.
Action movies: La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue, Tripel (9 percent ABV)
"Bruce Willis wants to drill through an asteroid? OK. Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith hold Earth's fate in their hands? I'm there. A beer whose name means "End of the World" in French? Oui oui. This sweet, yeasty tripel has a kick of spice with a champagne sparkle and finish, which I first ordered when I was trying to impress an older guy I was dating with my French skills. Ten years later, he's not in the picture, but this beer remains a favorite. It's the killer, 100-foot tidal wave that my New York City. (Save my Jake Gyllenhaal!)," she said.
Zombie flicks: Resurrection by The Brewer's Art, Dubbel (7 percent ABV)
"Zombies are hilarious, as is watching people trying to run away from them while Zombies shout the one word they were given on a flashcard as a zombaby: "BRAAAAAINS." But since the Oscars are not about people creating elaborate forts in a shopping mall to evade being eaten, you can drink Resurrection instead. This Dubbel-style hails from the one and only Charm City and is filled to the brim with notes of spice, fruit and malt without being too cloying. It warms the black hole in your heart where your humanity should be," she said.
As owner of BartendHER, an all-female bartending service company, Holly Shiver provides original drinks for any occasion. As a Baltimore resident, Shiver and her colleagues have catered parties all over the region, including events for the Washington Redskins football team.
Shiver said that any Oscar party should include a mix of glamor and champagne. “You want it to be classy,” she said.
Here are list of bubbly drinks she recommends for your personal party.
- 2 1/4 ounce dry sparkling wine or Champagne
- 1/4 ounce Crème de Cassis
Pour the crème de cassis into a champagne flute, add the wine and serve.
- 1 1/2 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
Top with sparkling wine. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the cognac, simple syrup and lemon juice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass, top with sparkling wine and serve.
- 1 sugar cube
- Angostura bitters
- Sparkling wine
- Lemon twist for garnish
Put sugar cube in a Champagne glass. Lightly sprinkle the sugar cube with Angostura bitters (about 2-3 dashes) and pour in enough sparkling wine to fill the glass. Garnish with a lemon twist before serving.
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pint raspberries
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed
- 1 bottle of gin
- 1 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cup simple syrup
- 1/2 cup orgeat syrup
- 1 cup chambord liqueur
- 1 bottle of prosecco, chilled
- Several large ice cubes
In a large punch bowl, combine the fruit, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, orgeat syrup and framboise liqueur. Refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours. Just before serving, stir in the chilled Prosecco and add a supersize ice block, or several large ice cubes made from a mold.
For Lee Grandes, manager of Wells Liquors in Baltimore, a variety of wines can help make an Oscar party come together.
“It’s an occasion that calls for variety, whether its bubbly, red or white,” he said.
His choices include:
Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne
“If someone wants to celebrate a winning movie, having some bubble is always a good choice,” he said. The Pierre Paillard is 100 percent estate grown champagne. It has a light and fruity taste with a flavorful finish.
2010 Salvestrin St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon
This heavy red is good if you’re hosting a big hearty meal. With a taste of ripe juicy blackberries and plum, Grandes recommends buying one for Sunday’s show as well as next year’s show. “This is one wine that gets better with age,” he said.
Tangent 2012 Albarino Paragon Vineyard Edna Valley
Albarino is a green-skinned grape variety native to Galicia on the north Atlantic coast of Spain. This wine originates in Califorina and has hints of citrus, melon and guava. It’s nicely balanced with a mild acidity, Grandes said.
2012 Domaine Bellevue Sauvignon Touraine
This is a golden colored wine with hints of citrus fruits and pineapple. It’s crisp wine for any wine drinker who also enjoys a hint of floral.
D’angelo Aglianico Del Culture 2012
For Grandes, this wine is great for a simple pizza get together. With hints of cherry and fig, this red wine is dry and concentrated with lots of tannin.
Best Nominee Original Drinks:
Ginny Lawhorn, bartender at Landmark Theatre Harbor East looks forward to creating custom drinks for Oscar nominated movies. To make her cocktails unique and tasteful, she looks for themes within each picture. “It’s definitely a process,” she said. “You want the drink to connect with the movie—that’s the best part.”
Her creations include:
"Her" drink is Samantha's Sangria Pitcher
- 8 oz. VeeV Acai Berry liqueur
- 3 oz. St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
- 8 oz. of your favorite sparking white wine
- white cranberry juice
- sparkling water
- a half cup of fresh Strawberry and Navel orange compote
In a large pitcher half filled with ice,combine spirits and wine. Fill pitcher with half sparking water and half white cranberry juice. Top with fresh fruit compote and stir gently.
"American Hustle" drink is The Dangerous Blonde
- .5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse liqueur
- 1.5 oz. Dorothy Parker gin
- Fever Tree tonic
- White grapefruit juice
In a Collins glass filled with ice, combine spirits with Fever Tree tonic. Top with 2 oz. of white grapefruit juice and garnish with a lemon twist.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is the Adrenaline Junkie
- 2 oz. Pig’s Nose blended scotch whisky
- Ginger ale
- Cold brew iced coffee
In a Collins glass half filled with ice, combine Pig’s Nose blended Scotch whisky with 8 oz. of ginger ale. Top with 2 oz. cold brew iced coffee and garnish with a large orange slice.
"Gravity" drink is The Astronaut
- 1.5 oz. Casamigos Blanco tequila
- .5oz Cointreau liqueur
- Fresh squeezed lime juice
- Organic pineapple juice
Freeze dried pineapple In a rocks glass filled with ice combine spirits with the juice from one whole lime and 3 oz organic pineapple juice. Stir gently for 10 seconds. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and slice of freeze dried pineapple.
About the drink specialists