The first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. We imagine the affair was a bit muted, given that it was the height of Prohibition and the Great Depression would officially start in just a few months.
Fast-forward 84 years, and the Oscars are now one of the biggest celebrations of the season. This Sunday, we’ll not only be toasting the newest winners but also the original winners, including Emil Jannings, Janet Gaynor and Ben Hecht, since they were denied that honor by the temperance movement.
To correct this wrong, we asked talented Los Angeles bartender Chris Hewes, who runs the Roosevelt’s Library Bar, for two red-carpet-worthy drink recipes.
His Picture Perfect is what he’ll serve a patron who shows up with an Academy Award statuette in hand. It’s a refreshing and herbaceous mix of gin, bitter Italian Aperol, the French aperitif Byrrh, lemon juice and, of course, Champagne.
And for a nominee who doesn’t bring home the gold, he’ll fix the aptly named Tough to Hear. It’s a shot that combines absinthe, chile-infused St-Germain and a splash of lime juice. Hewes will pair his concoction with a glass of Champagne.