This Batch Cocktail Will Win “Best Pitcher” at Any Oscar Viewing Party

updated Feb 7, 2020
watch week
Blood Orange French 75

This twist on the classic French 75 is refreshing and lighly fizzy with a hist of sweetness.

Servesabout 10

Prep5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Whether you’re rooting for The Irishman or Little Women, you’ve placed your bets on Parasite or are holding out hope for Jojo Rabbit, there’s no question that the best way to watch the 92nd Academy Awards is with a festive cocktail in hand. In honor of this year’s best picture nominees, I’ve come up with The Best Pitcher, a party-worthy pitcher cocktail whose blushing hue and effervescence evoke red carpet glamour.

And the Award for “Best Pitcher” Goes to…

The Best Pitcher riffs on the French 75, a classic cocktail that combines Champagne, lemon juice, gin, and simple syrup, served in a flute with a lemon twist. Here, I’ve nixed the garnish for ease of serving and subbed blood orange juice for the lemon juice. Prime blood orange season (generally December to March) conveniently coincides with Oscars season, which means that now more than ever, you’re likely to find bottles of fresh blood orange juice at your local grocery store. (You can also squeeze your own, but make sure to scrub your hands well to avoid looking like an extra from The Joker). 

The resulting cocktail is refreshing and lightly fizzy with a hint of sweetness. You’ll get about 8 to 10 drinks in this pitcher, so depending on how many people you’ve got coming over, you can easily double or triple the recipe to serve a bigger crowd. 

Using ice in champagne-based drinks is generally a no-no, but since this is a pitcher drink that’ll likely be sitting out as you cheer on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, most of the ice will melt by the time you pour it. And if you get a stray cube in your flute, consider it an homage to Titanic; with a record 11 Oscars to its name (tied with Ben-Hur), it’s arguably the best Best Picture.  

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Blood Orange French 75

This twist on the classic French 75 is refreshing and lighly fizzy with a hist of sweetness.

Prep time 5 minutes

Serves about 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups

    gin

  • 3/4 cup

    blood orange juice

  • 1/4 cup

    simple syrup

  • 2 cups

    ice

  • 1 (750-ml) bottle

    dry sparkling wine (such as Champagne, Prosecco or cava)

Instructions

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups gin, 3/4 cup blood orange juice and 1/4 cup simple syrup in a large pitcher. Add 2 cups ice, and stir well to combine so that the mixture is cold and some of the ice has melted. Add 1 bottle dry sparkling wine and stir gently to combine. Serve in champagne flutes.

Recipe Notes

Simple syrup: You can either buy a premade bottle of simple syrup or you can easily make your own. Simply combine 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.

Make ahead: The gin, blood orange juice and simple syrup can be combined in the pitcher and stored in the refrigerator the morning of the party. Add the ice and sparkling wine just prior to serving.

Storage: As the sparkling wine will become flat over time, this cocktail does not keep well after storing. So drink up and enjoy the Oscars!

Ingredient/Equipment Variation: If you can’t find blood orange juice, substitute with tangerine juice or fresh orange juice.