5 must-try cocktails inspired by the Oscars


'Tis the season - red-carpet season - to hunker down on Sunday nights and watch some of our favourite awards shows, from the GRAMMYs to the Oscars on Feb. 22. And with the fashion and glamour of these celebrity extravaganzas, especially the Academy Awards, come viewing parties that are most fun celebrated with creative cocktails!

From The Evergreen, an Iceberg Vodka cocktail inspired by Oscar-nomineeFelicity Jones, to The Grand Design, a tippled ode to The Theory of Everything courtesy of Thompson Toronto head bartender Brad Gubbins, we've got five saucy selections to kick your Oscar party to the next level.

Check out the recipes below:

The Grand Design, inspired by The Theory of Everything:
By: Brad Gubbins, Thompson Toronto

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 oz. Beefeater 24 Gin
1/4 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
3/4 oz. spiced pear cider syrup
1/2 oz. lemon juice
top with sparkling winer (champagne, dry prosecco)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Add all ingredients, except sparkling wine, into an ice-filled mixing glass and shake. Double strain into a chilled flute. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a sprig of thyme.

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Badam da Naasha, inspired by the luxury of celebrity:
By: Vikram Vij

Photo: Amanda Bates

INGREDIENTS:

1 oz. Gillespies Craft Spirits Vodka
3 oz. almond milk
1/2 oz. saffron water
1/2 oz. simple saffron syrup
Small pinch cardamom powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

Shake and serve over ice, garnished with gold leaf and a pinch of pistachios.

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The Evergreen, inspired by Felicity Jones:

Felicity Photo: Getty

Fresh ingredients for a fresh face; Felicity’s look, intelligence and poise make her the ultimate inspiration for this refreshing cocktail!

Makes: four cocktails

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. Iceberg Vodka
1 English Cucumber
1/2 cup Fresh Mint (loosely packed)
2 tsps. Granulated Sugar
2 tbsps. Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz. Orange Liqueur
Soda Water

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut 4 thin spears of the cucumber for garnish. Peel the remainder and quarter lengthwise. Scrape out seeds with a spoon and discard. Coarsely chop cucumber, then puree in a food processor until smooth and strain. Muddle fresh mint for 10 seconds, then add sugar and lime juice to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well; add cucumber juice, Iceberg Vodka, and orange liqueur. Shake and strain into four glasses filled with ice, add soda water to fill glasses. Garnish with cucumber spears. Enjoy!

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Sazerac cocktail, inspired by the Oscars:
By Chef Michael Smith

The Oscars are all about the intersection of art and craft, and so is a classic Sazerac cocktail, the official cocktail of New Orleans. It’s as enjoyable to craft as it is to savour. Like so many award winning performances, it features great ingredients elevated with a careful step-by-step approach to building success!

INGREDIENTS:

1 sugar cube (or 1 teaspoon/ 5mL sugar)
3 deliberate dashes of Peychaud’s bitters for authenticity or your favourite bitters
2 ounces (60mL) of Alberta Premium, Jim Beam, or your favourite rye whiskey
1 teaspoon of absinthe, Pernod, pastis, ouzo, anisette, or sambuca
A long piece of lemon peel for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

Get two Old-Fashioned glasses, fill one with ice, and set it aside. Toss the sugar cube into the second glass and splash in the bitters. Muddle the ingredients together with the handle of a wooden spoon, mashing and bruising them a bit to release their flavour. Pour in the rye and stir gently to combine. Empty the ice from the first glass. Pour in the absinthe and swirl gently, evenly coating the entire inside surface of the glass. Pour off any extra. Pour the rye mixture into the fragrant glass. Twist and pinch the lemon peel over the cocktail, releasing its fragrant oils. Rub the rim of the glass all the way around with the peel, then toss it in the glass. Sip, savour, and share.

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L'Air de Panache, inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel:
By: Brad Gubbins, Thompson Toronto

INGREDIENTS:

1 oz. Zubrowka vodka
1 oz. Aperol
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. lemon juice
rinse of Talisker 10

INSTRUCTIONS:

Add all ingredients into an ice-filled mixing glass and shake. Double strain into a Talisker-rinsed coupe and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

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