Movie magic will be the toast of Tinseltown on Oscar night, and what better way to bring the festivities into your living room than with a cocktail inspired by this year's nominees. ? We asked mixologists from around the country to come up with award-worthy recipes. The results ranged from a classic cocktail that dates to the early days of flight to a bubbly concoction from the ice cream parlor featured in the family-friendly Up. ? But first, a few directives on the recipes: Some recipes call for exotic ingredients; where possible, we've suggested alternatives. But if you're feeling adventurous, cocktail ingredients such as Parfait Amour, a purple-tinged liqueur, are available online and at some liquor stores. ? A number of the drinks call for simple syrup, a common cocktail ingredient that is made of sugar and water. To make, heat 1 cup of water to near boiling. Add 2 cups of sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool before using. Refrigerate in an airtight container. ? So, dim the lights, set out the snacks and raise your glasses up, up in the air. Hooray for Hollywood. Michelle Locke, Associated Press
This cocktail uses Parfait Amour (or blue curacao) to create a drink with a hue similar to the blue skin of the Na'Vi in Avatar. Imagine enjoying it under the Tree of Life.
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 teaspoon dry vermouth
1 teaspoon Parfait Amour or blue curacao
1 teaspoon orange juice (no pulp)
Orange peel, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Shake, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with strip of orange peel.
Source: Rafael Jimenez Rivera, bartender at the Lobby Bar of the St. Regis in San Francisco
FOR 'CRAZY HEART'
Mixologist Tara Shadzi used bourbon in tribute to Jeff Bridges' washed-up country-western singer character in Crazy Heart, and added roses for love.
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1 1/2 ounces elderflower liquor
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
Rose petals (optional)
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the rose petals. Shake, then strain into a cocktail glass. Float fresh rose petals on top.
Source: Tara Shadzi at Skybar at Mondrian in Los Angeles
Up, a movie about an old man and his young neighbor who fly in a balloon-powered house to South America, includes some San Francisco Bay area landmarks, including the popular ice cream parlor, Fenton's Creamery, in Oakland. Fenton's master blender, Scott Whidden, came up with this recipe.
Celebration Ice Cream Float
Italian sparkling water
1/4 ounce orange syrup (such as Torani)
Premium vanilla ice cream
Fill a tall glass with sparkling water and the orange syrup. Mix, then stir 1 teaspoon of the ice cream into the soda until frothy. Gently top the soda with a scoop of ice cream.
Source: Scott Whidden of Fenton's Creamery in Oakland, Calif.
FOR 'DISTRICT 9'
The movie about displaced aliens inspires a drink with a green theme. Slivers of cucumber add a tentacle effect.
1 1/2 ounces julienned cucumber
1 1/4 ounces premium vodka
3/4 ounce Veev ( or other acai berry liqueur)
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Cucumber slice, to garnish
Place the julienned cucumber in a 10-ounce tall, narrow tumbler. Add ice, vodka, Veev, lime juice and simple syrup. Fill the glass with club soda. Stir to mix, then garnish with a cucumber slice on edge of glass.
Source: Jon Ojinaga at the Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel, San Francisco
FOR 'UP IN THE AIR'
The skies inspire a cocktail for Up in the Air, a movie about a corporate downsizing expert with a passion for frequent flying. This is a classic cocktail that dates to 1916, when flying was a new-fangled adventure.
1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/3 ounce Creme de Violette (or blue curacao)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the lemon peel. Shake well, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Twist a lemon peel over the surface of the drink to add a few drops of lemon oil.
Source: Charles Joly of the Drawing Room in Chicago
FOR 'JULIE & JULIA'
This drink is named Vin Amer Fizz in tribute to Julia Child and her legacy of bringing classic French dishes to American households. Vin is French for wine; amer means bitter, and fizz stands for good times.
In true artisan fashion, mixologist Jackson Cannon starts with house-made rose vermouth. But for us American servantless cooks, a store brand works just fine.
Vin Amer Fizz
2 ounces rose vermouth
1 ounce apricot brandy
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 egg white (or an equivalent amount of pasteurized egg white product, depending on preference)
In a cocktail shaker, combine the vermouth, apricot brandy, lemon juice and egg white. Shake well to emulsify. Add ice, then shake again to chill. Strain into a coupe or martini glass. Top with Champagne.
Source: Jackson Cannon of Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks in Boston
FOR 'AN EDUCATION'
A classic, sophisticated cocktail in tribute to An Education, a coming-of-age story set in 1960s England.
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
Splash of tawny port
Dash of juice from maraschino cherries
Mix and serve straight up (no ice) in a small tulip or snifter glass.
Source: Library Bar at the Warwick Melrose Hotel in Dallas
FOR 'INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS'
Inspired by Shosanna, the young woman who gets revenge on the Nazis in wartime Paris — while wearing a stunning red dress — mixologist Tony Roumph used French spirits and bright red pomegranate syrup for this drink.
Lady in Red
1/2 ounce pomegranate juice
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces Remy Martin VSOP
1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
Candied ginger and pomegranate seeds, to garnish
In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the pomegranate juice, lemon juice and simple syrup. Measure out 1 ounce of this mixture, then reserve the rest for another use.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the 1 ounce of pomegranate-lemon syrup, Remy Martin VSOP and the ginger liqueur. Shake, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of candied ginger and several pomegranate seeds.
Source: Tony Roumph at the Cityhouse Restaurant at the Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco)
FOR 'A SERIOUS MAN'
The approaching storm at the end of A Serious Man inspired this drink, a take on the dark 'n stormy.
A Serious Man
Juice of 1/2 lime
3 ounces ginger beer
2 1/2 ounces premium dark rum
Lime peel, to garnish
Pour the lime juice into a tall glass. Fill with ice. Add the ginger beer, then pour the rum gently on top so it "floats." Garnish with a strip of lime peel.
Source: Bryan Ranere of Foreign Cinema in San Francisco