The Third Rail: Box Office Poison, or What you should be drinking for the Oscars


Awkward political rants. Overly touchy acquaintances. People shouting over the music. Terrible, terrible jokes. Yep, the Oscars are no different than your average night at a bar. And just because the show’s on a Sunday night doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it that way. How else are you going to get through all those awards for sound production and the like? Those early speeches are just the right time to slip off to the bar for another stiff one.

And so after the jump, a few *suggestions for those duller moments in the broadcast to keep you busy (unless you’re really rooting for Lavatory-Love Story). Unfortunately there’s no James Cameron epic to justify buying Gin & Titonic ice trays this year, but there are plenty of alternatives.

Slumdog Millionaire: While one enterprising restaurant in Manhattan is already offering a “Slumdog Millionaire Cocktail” made of tequila, lime juice, 7-Up and an Indian soft-drink made of cumin and mint, I think there’s a better option. There are millions (cough) of Millionaire Cocktail variations out there, but stick with a simple Gin and Tonic. It’s the official drink of British colonialism, so it’s just right to toast a film set in India made by an English director. (Use Bombay Sapphire if you like puns.)

Frost/Nixon: If it’s good enough for Nixon, it’s good enough for you, hippie. Try one of his Silver Bullets, a dry martini recipe that he supposedly learned from Churchill (at least according to this article): “Obtain a bottle of large-sized olives. Drain the juice. Fill the olive bottle with Vermouth. Refrigerate the bottle. Put three fingers of gin or vodka over ice in a silver martini shaker. Shake vigorously until shards of ice permeate the alcohol. Pour in a chilled Martini glass. Drop in one olive from the jar.” (Use a frosted glass if you like puns.)

Milk: There are plenty of milk-based recipes, but you’re never going to make it past Best Makeup if you drink too many of those. Thankfully the cocktail-friendly town of San Francisco has already gone ahead with an homage to its famous politician. Pace yourself and try the Harvey Milk Punch (Grand Marnier, milk, sugar, nutmeg). (OK, pretty much every drink here is a pun.)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Wait, so there are two movies that include illicit underage sex? Just have a Sazerac then, like in the movie, and leave me alone with my Gin and Tonic. Rule, Britannia!

* You may notice that there are no drinks dedicated to Kate Winslet or The Reader. Well, if you want cocktails that deal with illicit underage sex, then you’re going to have to ask someone else.