Throwing an Oscars party this weekend? Popcorn and party favors are nice, but if you want to be an award-worthy host, you’ll need something a little bit, um, stronger.
Portland, Ore., bartender Brandon Lockman is stirring up drinks inspired by this year’s best picture nominees at Hotel Monaco’s Red Star Tavern. “Finding inspiration for a new cocktail can sometimes be the hardest part. Translating movies into cocktails is a fun way to switch it up,” he tells PEOPLE of his cinematic muses. “There are different aspects of each movie to draw from.”
Lockman adds: “Plus, the research part is really fun.”
Time to roll out your own red carpet – and whip up these beverages inspired by Django Unchained and Life of Pi.
Inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s epic western about a German bounty hunter and a freed slave, Lockman created “a southern classic with a little German twist.”
• 2 oz. rye whiskey
• ½ oz. amaro liqueur
• ¼ oz. kirschwasser
• ¼ oz. Royal Combier
• 2 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
• 2 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir all ingredients, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an expressed orange peel.
Life of Pi
This drink is “bright and exotic, like [director] Ang Lee’s vision,” says Lockman.
• 1 oz. gin (recipe recommends Tanqueray Rangpur)
• 1 oz. Aperol
• 1 oz. Lillet Blanc
Combine ingredients with ice and stir. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an expressed orange peel.
The 85th annual Academy Awards will air live on ABC starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Sunday, Feb. 24, from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.