Award-Worthy Oscar Treats: Spicy Popcorn and French 75 Cocktail

An Oscar’s party doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple with these two easy-to-make recipes.

French 75 Cocktail  


This easy-to-make (and easy-to-drink) classic cocktail evokes the glamour of old Hollywood. It’s perfect for a party with friends or a pre-dinner aperitif on date night.

French 75

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Ingredients for 1 cocktail:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2-3 ounce champagne, to taste
  • 1 cup ice


1. Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup (see recipe below) in a cocktail shaker with 1 cup ice.

2. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds (or combine in a tall pint glass with ice and stir until chilled).


3. Pour in a well-chilled champagne or coupe glass. Top with champagne and add a lemon twist.


Additional ideas:


-For a party, you can premix the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup and have it in the fridge ready to go; just measure out 2 oz of the mix for each cocktail and shake with ice when you are ready to serve them.


-Do not use lemon juice from a bottle. It will not produce a good cocktail.


-Not a fan of gin? Make a French 76 by replacing the gin with vodka.


-Make your own simple syrup by adding equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Set over med-low heat. Dissolve sugar and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Allow to cool before using.
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks


Spicy Popcorn


Here’s an alternative to standard movie theater popcorn. It has a bit of a kick that will complement the citrus in the French 75 cocktail.



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Ingredients for 1-2 servings of popcorn:


  • 1+ ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime salt*, or ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 4 quarts of popped popcorn (this is about ½ cup un-popped corn)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Mix first six ingredients (chili powder, salt, sugar, paprika, onion and cayenne powders) into a small bowl.


2. Melt butter over low heat. In a large bowl, toss the butter and popcorn together to evenly distribute the butter.


3. Sprinkle half the spice mixture over popcorn and mix well before adding the remaining half to cover any additional kernels.

*Lime salt can be found at gourmet or bar supply stores but kosher salt will be tasty as well!



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