by Nicole Crews
Me: “Mother, I bought a nice bottle of bubbly for the Oscars, would you like a glass?”
Mother: “Champagne’s for neophytes — all bubbles, no action. I’ll have a scotch.”
Saluting the Academy Awards is something I generally do alone, in a dark room, with a smartphone in one hand and a wine glass in the other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disinterestedly checking email, googling kittens or giving the bank account a glance while watching the show — nor am I really alone. I’m texting and tweeting and facebooking the night away with an ever-expanding group of fellow snarksters who make Joan Rivers sound like the Dalai Lama and rival Bukowski in their ability to hoist a few. The entire evening is really one big party of side-splitting laughter, drink spills, high fives — all without the hassle of having to squeeze into a cocktail dress.
With that in mind, I’m taking a note from world-class sommelier and award-winning director Jonathan Nossiter who, nearly 20 years ago, wrote a piece for the New Yorker pairing Hollywood stars with the perfect wines. Hilariously, Nossiter likened oakey blonde Sharon Stone to a bland chardonnay and stolid Sylvester Stallone to “over-buffed, squared off” cabernet sauvignon. So on this occasion of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, I’m going to take a shot at today’s stars and serve them up to you in style. On ice, shaken, straight up, with a twist or dirty — once you have a taste I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re all winners.
Jared Leto: Fuzzy Navel/Hairy Navel — Like his cocktail counterparts, this chameleon of the small and large screen (and rock stage) can go girly or manly depending what the script requires. Just add vodka and facial hair.
Jonah Hill: Jell-O Shot — Generally known for his post-pubescent performances of the stoner silver screen, Hill, much like the Jell-O Shot, is making more and more appearances at the grown-up table.
Bradley Cooper: Long Island Iced Tea — Stronger than he tastes at first sip, Cooper packs a wicked punch when it comes to his current career trajectory (even though it comes with a few Hangovers.)
Michael Fassbender: Orgasm — Filled with exotic ingredients, Fassbender delivers when it comes to sexy, testosterone-driven roles. He’s canned heat with a cherry on top.
Barkad Abdi: Rum Runner — Playing a pirate suits this Hollywood newcomer. Let’s hope he’s able to navigate the shifting tides of tinsel town without walking the plank.
Lupita Nyong’o: Planter’s Punch – Deep, dark rum serves as the base and bitters the ballast for this sweet concoction. Nyong’o’s debut performance in 12 Years a Slave balances the same range of emotion and character.
Sally Hawkins: Irish Car Bomb — A working-class beverage but smooth as the day is long, this stout, whiskey and Irish-cream elixir will light you up much like Hawkins does as the blue-collar counterpoint in Blue Jasmine.
Jennifer Lawrence: Sex on the Beach — Direct, erotic, yet still girly, this tippler will knock you off your feet (whether you are accepting an award or not.)
Julia Roberts: Daiquiri — Palatable to the masses, this once-exotic cocktail has been around for decades yet still manages to capture the attention of most menus.
June Squibb: Old Fashioned — This delicious toddy of yesteryear is rarely ordered today, but when it is it’s quite delicious.
Cate Blanchett: Cosmopolitan — Classic and chic and just a little bit pink, Blanchett goes down easy no matter the role.
Amy Adams: Apple Martini — Pert with a hint of greenness, Adams has proven herself a staple on moviedom’s menu.
Sandra Bullock: Mojito – Though way overserved in the ’90s, and with a tendency to stick in your teeth, the Mojito — and Bullock — aren’t going anywhere.
Judi Dench: Bloody Mary — Though Dame in title, Dench is a queen of the silver screen.
Meryl Streep: Classic Martini — Perennial favorite and proven classic, the Martini — and Streep — are a tad dry, powerful, yet served on a stem.
Matthew McConaughey: Rusty Nail — With honeyed, herbal overtones, Drambuie mixes with the hard, biting flavor of scotch to deliver an optimum performance.
Christian Bale: Manhattan — Urban to the core, this low-baller mixes rye with bitters and a dash of sweet vermouth for a cocktail of extremes.
Bruce Dern: Harvey Wallbanger — A Hollywood legend, this Galliano and vodka-based drink is a classic and like Dern, making a comeback.
Leonardo Di’Caprio: Kamikaze — This straight-up elixir packs a wallop and despite its innocuous appearance it zeroes in on the task at hand, garnering all of your attention.
Chiwetel Elijofor: Chocolate Martini — Dark and delicious in appearance, this long-stemmed drink will leave you wanting more.
As always, the cardinal rule of drinking applies: Be careful when mixing your liquors. You don’t want to see Julia Roberts make that kind of comeback.