With the Oscars just hours away, it’s time to get serious — serious about planning a little soiree with your movie-loving friends who also love to get dressed to the nines.
The Oscars are a fun event in my house. We’re big movie people, so I’m always excited to see who takes home the gold. I like to invite over a handful of friends for an Oscars viewing party, mix up a few fun cocktails that are classy, swanky and delicious, and add a few little nibbles too. I mean, let’s be honest here — it’s really all about the cocktails in this case. No one actually eats at those awards shows; it’s more about the drinks, socializing and looking fabulous.
So in honor of that, here’s my Oscar party cocktail menu that you can whip up in no time:
Bobby has a great recipe for a Kir Royale. This drink only has a few ingredients, but they’re fun and decadent, so when you mix them all together you’ve got a gorgeous bubbly concoction that’s going to be a crowd-pleaser! Bonus: you can ask your friends coming over to pick up a bottle of bubbly or two to use for these drinks.
Get the recipe: Kir Royale
Get more recipes
As a very proud Englishman, I know that it is tea rather than blood that flows through my veins and that it’s a very rare day indeed when I don’t pop the kettle on the stove for a nice strong “cuppa” to fortify me through a long day of work.
Although I was disappointed not to be asked to judge this particular battle in Kitchen Stadium, I was just as keen as everyone else to see what magic Iron Chef Forgione and his challenger, Chef Kittichai could come up with to give inspiration on new ways to use one of my own kitchen essentials.
Here are 10 interesting facts that you might not know about tea:
1. The word tea comes from the Chinese T’e, which was the word in the Amoy dialect for the plant from which tea leaves came. In Mandarin, the word was ch’a, which is where the words char and chai are derived from.
Last night’s Iron Chef America battle between Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Chiarello brought one of my favorite tipples to the forefront: Scotch whisky. Instead of breaking down the ingredient like I usually do, here are 10 interesting facts that you may not know about this Secret Ingredient:
1. The term “whisky” is actually derived from the Gaelic words uisage beatha, which in turn came from the Latin Acqua Vitae or “water of life.” It’s thought that the name refers to the fact that these spirits were first used by monks for medicinal purposes.
2. The oldest reference to the production of whisky is not in fact in Scotland, but in Ireland, where it is believed that monks began distilling spirits as far back as the fifth century. The first reference from Scotland is found in the Exchequer rolls, the accounting records for the royal finances in 1494, where an allowance was made for “eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae.”
Keep reading for more facts
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them in three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
There’s nothing like ringing in the New Year with a little bubbly. We mixed some of our favorite flavors with champagne to create the perfect libations for any party, New Year’s Eve and beyond.
First, start with your favorite champagne
The holidays offer a great opportunity for gathering family and friends, to remember old times and make new memories. And since it’s a celebratory time, it’s inevitable that there will be some drinking going on — a toast with Champagne, wine with dinner, etc. Wine is also a popular host/hostess gift. But after you’ve received the umpteenth bottle of Merlot, what do you do with all the wine? FN Dish has the perfect solution for you.
How about mulled wine? Just think about it. Unless you have a wine cellar to store the bottles, you probably won’t have the space to keep them. And how many times have you put a bottle of wine in your pantry only to discover next Christmas it’s still there? So instead of letting those bottles gather dust, make mulled wine. It’s the perfect way to extend your holiday entertaining into the New Year. Plus it’s a great solution for using up cheap wine (i.e., inexpensive wine — you wouldn’t want to use a $50 bottle for mulled wine).
Get the mulled wine recipes
Happy (almost) New Year! We’ve made it through the holiday rush and now it’s time to talk about ringing in 2013 in style. Since champagne is of utmost importance at any New Year’s Eve bash, we’ve rounded up a few very festive coasters (like the ones pictured from Lucky Bee Press) so you can set that drink down while you watch the ball drop. Who knew coasters could be letterpress-printed, spotted with gold and even humorous? Pick up a set of any of these to have your guests talking about what’s under their drink this year or give them as fun favors at your big celebration.
Click here for our festive coaster picks
With the holidays officially in full swing and the end of the year just one month away, you’ll likely be planning at least one or two seasonal get-togethers in the next few weeks. Instead of stocking your bar with everyday bottles of wine, this year toast to good friends and good cheer with easy, crowd-pleasing holiday cocktails. We’ve rounded up some of Food Network’s favorite adult-only drinks like eggnog and mulled wine and more family-friendly options like hot chocolate to help you shake up your holiday cocktail parties with ease. Check out our top picks below, then tell us in the comments: what’s your favorite holiday drink?
One of the most beloved seasonal cocktails, eggnog is a party-ready sipper that’s deliciously rich and just sweet enough. If you’re craving a classic preparation of this no-fail favorite, look to Alton’s five-star Good Eats Eggnog. For a new twist on traditional eggnog, however, prepare a batch of Sandra Lee’s Irish Eggnog from Food Network Magazine made with Irish cream liqueur and Irish whiskey, or her Santa’s Sleigh Cocktail (pictured above), which dresses up store-bought eggnog with amaretto liqueur, brandy and fragrant cinnamon sticks.
Get more holiday drink recipes
For Halloween I often advise people to find one of the many wines available with scary names, such as Sin Zin, Dead Arm or Devil’s Lair. Given the festive nature of fright night, however, it can also be rewarding to whip up a big-batch wine that is sure to give your guests the creeps — in a good way.
Red Punch: The color of villainy, of course, is blood red, so the easiest way to add fright to your night is to mix up a simple Red Wine Punch from Food Network Magazine.
Sangria: With a little more work, you can make a traditional red sangria, whose name appropriately derives from sangre or blood in Spanish. I show you how in this video.
Go Green: Equally impressive would be to surprise your guests with a concoction the color of ghastly green. Obtain some green food coloring and add it to Paula Deen’s Mimosa Punch or Giada’s Apple and Mint Punch.
Accessorize with Sandra’s Shrunken Head Straws
With Labor Day just around the corner, it’s evident that we need to talk about cocktails. This is summer’s last hurrah! It’s your last three-day weekend for a while, so enjoy every last sip of it.
Try my take on Marcella’s Rosemary-Infused Lemonade to get the party started. This cocktail would make the perfect addition to your party, whether it’s a huge pool party with all of your friends or a casual late-afternoon barbecue on the back patio. Either way, this lemonade makes perfect sense.
So go ahead — whip up a batch or two and have a ball with your closest local pals before school goes back into full gear and fall sets in.
Get my recipe for Spiked Gin Lemonade
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
With Labor Day weekend upon us, it’s time to get our barbecue menus ready for family and friends (check out Food Network’s 5 Best Labor Day recipes). But don’t forget about brunch, too. Start off with a classic: the Bloody Mary. We love cocktails but hate hangovers. Here are five of our favorite “hair of the dog” Bloody Mary hangover cures.
First, start with the classic version