Saturday, March 11, 2023

Raise a Glass to Best Picture Inspired Glamorous Cocktail Recipes For a Glam Oscar Party


Whether you’re hosting an Oscar party for a crowd this year (yeah for co-mingling), or watching the small screen solo, here’s a few Oscar-worthy cocktails to sip while you indulge in this glamorous peek into a world of fantasy.

Why, even the red carpet is a nod to a worthy champagne toast. Stars will strut their style on a champagne carpet for the first time. 

Here's a sparkling menu of cocktail recipes inspired by the best picture nominees to make your awards show glamorous ~ and delicious ~ and fun.

Bill and I have seen all the nominated films for best picture ~ some at our home theater with its BIG screen, and some at the cinema with their 4-D and sound and huge screens.  

I am rooting for some favorites, I can’t lie.  

While I felt that Avatar, The Way of The Water wasn’t quite as good as the first Avatar - oh those trees and flowers zooming past our eyes in 3-D, I wanted more of the pretty, exotic sea creature flowers undulating across the screen ~ so close I could almost touch them in this year’s Avatar update movie.

I always liked Top Gun, in spite of Tom Cruise. Maybe it’s all that adrenalin and how they strike a nostalgic “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” that never fails to enthrall. Top Gun: Maverick is very cool and exciting. Best picture?  Not so much…

We adored Elvis in every way. And the Fabelman’s story is utterly delightful.  No one tells a story like Mr. Spielberg.

I cannot love Tár enough.  Cate Blanchett is my screen crush. 

I'm fickle. Don't hate me. I also love Michelle Yeoh sooo much. She's a treasure. 

And while we did enjoy Everything Everywhere All at Once, it’s so insanely funny, Bill and I couldn’t help but look at each other a few times, shrugging a “Can you believe this?” In the end, it was All. Just. Too. Much.  (For us…).

I feel the same for Babylon… But then there’s Brad Pitt, so there’s that. xox

Oscar Night 

Bill and I like to get the popcorn ready, some salty chips and the charred scallion dip with herbs and lemon to co-star with the champagne cocktails, in time and in tandem with the red carpet fashion show and interviews.  To me, this is the best part.  

BTW, the carpet is a champagne color this year. Red is out. 

Champagne Cocktail

Toast the over-the-top magic, the glitter and glamour of Hollywood. 

Citrus Champagne Celebration

Kick off the party with some champagne or sparkling wine cocktails as featured from my book, the Art of the Garnish:  Drinking champagne and sparkling wine from the world’s best vineyards is one of life’s more pleasurable experiences; luxury and jour pour straight from the bottle. Decadent bubbly also plays nice with a variety of fruit juices and spirits, such as peach juice ~ for a much-loved Bellini, orange juice for the favorite, Mimosa, raspberry liqueur, cognac, cherry brandy, and crème de cassis.  Here, I co-starred the sparkling wine with blood orange liqueur that just dazzles.


  • ¼ oz. Blood Orange liqueur or Grand Marnier

  • ¼ oz. Bacardi Rum, vodka or lemon vodka

  • 4 oz. champagne or sparkling wine


Place all the ingredients except for the sparkling wine in a cocktail shaker and shake gently.

Strain into a champagne flute.

Top with the sparkling wine.


Drape a spiral strip of lemon peel or blood orange onto the glass. Or a slice of blood orange perched on the glass rim will amplify the drink’s vibrant nature. 

I couldn’t help but note several of the films are set in mid-century America.  

So what better cocktail to co-star with those films than the classic martini. My Duchess Martini is perfect.



  • ¼ oz to 1 oz. chilled potato vodka or a botanical gin (I always kept the spirit in the freezer

  • 1 jigger ~ 1.5 oz. or more ~ of Dolin Blanc vermouth


Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Drop a long twist of lemon peel in the cocktail. Or olives. Or caperberries. Or edible blossoms ~ begonia, violet, bergamot. 

As a nod to Pandora’s giant reef barriers and the island life, in Avatar ~ The Way of the Water, I paired up the Art of the Garnish’s, Mayan Volcano Bowl drink.  

This large-format recipe serves two to four people and is best served in a volcano bowl that you’ll recognize from tiki cocktails. 

More fun to add straws for your cohort, along with little beach umbrella parasols.  You and your party can sip and swoon together!

The rich flavors of this drink were created and contributed to the book by New York City’s Marlo Gamora, a beloved bartender who’s worked at Dante, and Mother of Pearl. 

While admittedly, there is an abundance of ingredients, all things considered, this exotic, tiki cocktail is super easy to make.  


  • 3 oz. demerara rum

  • 2 oz. Jamaican rum

  • 1 oz. aged Trinidadian rum 

  • 1 oz. white grapefruit juice

  • 1 oz. vanilla syrup

  • ½ oz. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

  • 6 Dashes of Angostura bitters

  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice

  • 1 ½ oz. pineapple juice

  • ¼ oz. 151-proof demerara rum 


Place all of the other ingredients, except the 151-proof rum, into a blender and pulse to combine.

Pour the blended drink into the volcano bowl and top with the 151-proof rum.


Place pineapple chunks along the edge of the bowl and place pineapple leaves on either side of each chunk. 

Before serving, light the 151-proof rum on fire and sprinkle nutmeg on top of the flames. Wait until the fire has gone out before consuming.  (I hope that’s obvious!) 

This is a super dramatic drink fit for a starring Hollywood star.  


As the awards show is known to ahem, drag, a bit, you’ll need a drink or two to get you through the slog. Although we're hopeful the entertainment will dazzle this year... I mean, Rihanna, David Byrne!

To bring you over the finishing line, the Espresso Martini is for you.  It’s often told-tale about its origin is that a “high-maintenance” fashion model sayshayed into a London bar, settled onto a stool, and asked the bartender to make her something that would “Pick me and a f___ me up.”  From this dramatic conceit, we now have a truly delicious and memorable cocktail!

You can also shake up a chocolate martini. This is a great drink for an after-dinner treat. 

To any basic chocolate martini recipe you enjoy, I encourage you to use a true Mexican chocolate. After all, cacao was first harvested in Mexico. The Aztecs believed it was given to them by the gods.  We can all worship at this nectar of the gods! 

For an added kick, consider mixing in a spicy chocolate liquor.  And garnish with grated chocolate ~ and a bit of red pepper flakes or grated nutmeg.  It’s a kick. 

Looking for a bit more intrigue or diversity?  

Stir up this Nightcap from the Art of the Garnish book: the Kafi Träsch was a favorite of mine from my days at school in Switzerland. I especially  loved, loved, loved it while taking respites from skiing down those Swiss Alps. 

For the book’s recipe(s), I appreciated the input from one of my Swiss school classmate: the adorable Alison Cadey Krutulis for her delicious fondue recipe (that alas was ultimately edited from the book but that I will share if you want it), as well as the Swiss family of Maria, one of my favorite garden design clients. Her nephew, Joseph, and his family were most generous with the variations included in the book that highlight the different, regional diversity of this beloved drink.

Kafi Luz


  • ½ oz. hot water

  • ½ teaspoon instant coffee * there is a longer, kinda funny story about this. Ask me if you’re interested 🙂 You can also use brewed coffee.

  • 2 to 3 sugar cubes

  • ¼ oz. schnapps mix ~ you can use plum & pear, elderberry & mint, for example.


Add the ingredients to an Irish Coffee or water glass (as I featured in the book) in the order they are listed.

Stir until the mixture resembles a ight tea. If using regular coffee the coloration will be slightly darker. 


Add cream or whipped cream; top off with grated chocolate dust.

Variations: Kafi Pflümli: Follow the same instructions in the recipe but use just plum schnapps in place of the mixture. This is the most popular Swiss variation. 

Or use kirsch ~ cherry schnapps in place of the mixture.  

Or you can really use any schnapps or liqueur, including chocolate or coffee or tequila.  Your choice.  

You can also make this cold. Just shake the ingredients and top off with the cream.

Do you cast your votes for your choice of Oscar winners? 

Let’s meet up on the other side and compare notes, OK?

The envelope please…  

Glamour reigns.  And we acknowledge the arts of cinema, fashion and the art of the garnish. Cheers.

Love-ly "Rooting for Love" Recipe from Art of the Garnish complements tasty cocktails.


  1. When reading, I wish I were a lot younger to enjoy some of the mixes. All sound great.

    1. Thank you very much. Without appearing impertinent, one is never too old to enjoy some sparkly, glamorous cocktails. Easy~sneazy to shake up or mix.

  2. Thanks! Great new drink ideas and loved how you shared your thoughts on the movies! Esp on ones not seen yet!

    1. Thank you so much for your exuberant feedback ~ and thoughtful reply 🥂✨🙏 I adore movies & am thrilled that Bill & I got to see all the Oscar nominated movies ~ and that I could share my “artful” take on the nominated films. Wow. I hope you enjoy my Glamorous Cocktails. Cheers!