Oscar night now looms over Hollywood like a gathering of clouds, some of which, for the winners at least, will be parted or silver-lined (if only there was a playbook for that!). Hollywood Boulevard is cordoned off, knots of tourists and lookyloos line the corners. Whether you attend, watch, or both, an extended viewing is nearly impossible to do without drinking.
Of course, on the West Coast the feed gets going while the sun is still up, and so Oscar drinking requires a certain amount of discipline and stamina. You want to go with a selection of drinks to nurse as the hours mount between Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture — drinks that are festive and light, mostly celebratory, not fatiguing. Here are my nominees for Best Drinks with which to fill the hours.
Not everyone will have something to celebrate on this day, but have bubbles around anyway. The stars, after all, are stepping out with their glittery dresses and smart suits, you might as well have a glass of something classy. Make it brut, make it dry and mouthwatering, like the wines of Bollinger, Billecart-Salmon, Dom Perignon, Ruinart.
3. The Moscow Mule:
A bracing blend of vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer, this was one of the featured drink of L.A.'s late and lamented Cock 'n' Bull restaurant, a haven for vodka denizens and perhaps the lightest drink they served there. It's brisk and punchy, and you'll down several before you know it.
2. The Dark 'n' Stormy:
The sort of cocktail to hoist in a salute to the losers, or favorites who've come up empty-handed. This trademarked cocktail marries Gosling's Black Seal Rum and Ginger Beer, a light, slightly spicy rum concoction that isn't nearly as ominous as the name implies.
1. Or You Can Always Muddle On Through:
Built for whimsy, cocktails of the muddled sort always seem to lead with fresh, usually savory ingredients, always with a light touch. Consider the Caiparinha, with cachaca, sugar, and muddled lime, which isn't far in intent from the Mojito, with rum, sugar, and mint; or you can go with a kind of Cucumber Collins, marrying Hendrick's gin (one of the more cucumber-y brands) with lemon juice, sugar, and the strained liquor of muddled cukes.
And in somewhat related news:
Patrick Comiskey, our drinks columnist, blogs at patrickcomiskey.com and tweets at @patcisco. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.