CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — And the Oscar for best drink goes to — drum roll — Julianne at DiMillo’s. Most creative cocktail? The Grand Budapest Hotel at Inn by the Sea. Sexiest? The leading actress at Sur Lie.
On Sunday, Feb. 22, the hottest actresses and actors will stride the red carpet for the start of the 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony. We are a long way from Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean we can’t toast the talent in style. Flip on ABC, slip into something diaphanous and throw an Oscar party.
We asked a shakerful of local mixologists for their liquid logic to create an award-winning cocktail party. This is your backstage pass to slip behind the bar and make it a night to remember. Here are the top five:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
What: 1 ounce Jack Daniels, 1 ounce Absolut Orient Apple, 2 ounces pomegranate juice topped with champagne and sliced apples to garnish. Serve in a martini glass.
Where: Fireplace Lounge at Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth
Credit: Bartender Justin Douglass
Inspiration: “The Boy with Apple” painting is a chief plot point in this quirky Wes Anderson comedy up for Best Picture.
How it tastes: Rich and warm with a crisp acidity. Doff your topcoat with the hatcheck girl and have another.
The Leading Actress: Aka, Getting Fancy on Free Street
What: 1½ ounce of Beefeater Gin, ¾ ounce of Solerno (blood orange liqueur), ¾ ounce of lime juice, top with sparkling wine. Garnish with an Angostura Bitters-soaked sugar cube. Serve in a flute.
Where: Sur Lie, Portland
Credit: Bar Manager Sam Babcock, adapted by Matt Sherwood
Inspiration: “A cross between a champagne cocktail and a French 75,” Sherwood said. “The celebratory feel of the champagne and effervescence of the lime juice is very refreshing.”
How it tastes: Pleasing aperitif, with bittersweet finish. Dances on the tongue. A dramatic beauty.
What: 1½ ounces Hendricks Gin, muddle one-quarter of a blood orange with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of simple syrup. Mix in shaker. Pour in a glass. Top with soda water and fill glass with ice. Squeeze one-quarter of a blood orange. Garnish with a blood orange slice.
Where: DiMillo’s on the Water, Old Port, Portland
Credit: Head bartender Lisa Baugher
Inspiration: “Julianne Moore’s up for best actress, so I picked up on her red hair and the red carpet,” Baugher said.
How it tastes: Spring awakening. The citrus pop revives you from the winter stupor. I’d call this a winner. Hand her the statuette, please.
To the Nines
What: 1½ ounces Bombay Gin, ½ ounce Domain de Canton, ½ ounce Galliano, ¾ ounce lemon juice, ½ ounce honey. Shake for 30 seconds. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
Where: Camden Harbour Inn
Credit: Mac McGaw mixologist at Natalie’s
Inspiration: Classic Hollywood movies. Glamorous and classy with a hint of technicolor.
How it tastes: The lemon and honey laced with gin imparts the golden flavors of old Hollywood with a continental flair.
Grand Budapest Cocktail
What: A different take on the best picture nominee: 1 ounce Tanqueray Malacca gin, or high-quality dry gin; 1 ounce chai tea brewed to double strength and cooled; ½ ounce Pimm’s liqueur; ½ ounce simple syrup; two dashes orange bitters; one orange peel. Stir ingredients with ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with large orange peel.
Where: 40 Paper, Camden
Credit: Wind Tracy
Inspiration: Flavors from around the world meet and mingle in the glass. Exotic chai tea, orange, gin and a splash of Pimm’s is your passport to the Orient Express.
How it tastes: Pip, pip hooray.