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The Barbie Dream Martini at Canoe Place Inn. (Photo courtesy of Canoe Place Inn)

We don’t care who’s hosting. We kind of don’t even care what the movies actually are — we just love the Oscars.

The 96th Academy Awards will broadcast this Sunday night at 7 p.m. on the ABC network. It’s a take the good with the bad with the mediocre with the sublime kind of night. The outfits (the outfits!), the speeches (the speeches!), the montages, the musical performances, the jokes that land and the jokes that splat (good luck to you, Jimmy Kimmel!). The attempts at making a point, and the true wonder and humility and gratitude that some creative folks really sincerely seem to display at winning. The Academy Awards is a kind of theater unto itself.

We only know of two ways to enjoy it this year out east: At the super fun Oscar party at Canoe Place Inn, complete with prix-fixe dinner and movie-skewed cocktails, live-streamed in (where else?) the Grand Ballroom and hosted by PBS critics Bill McCuddy, Lisa Rosman and Neil Rosen, giving the blow-by-blow of the night’s screen-skewed surprises. The good folks at Canoe Place were kind enough to share one of their Oscar evening cocktails with us, the Barbie Dream Martini, a raspberry-tinged sour with a pretty pink hue, perfect for toasting to Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and their merry crew.

Barbie Dream Martini

Prep Time 15 minutes
Serves 1 cocktail


  • 4 fresh raspberries
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz triple sec
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup (1:1 water and white sugar, simmered)
  • 3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar


  • Muddle the raspberries in a cocktail shaker then add the rest of the liquid ingredients. Add ice and shake well.
  • Rub the squeezed out lime rind on the rim of a martini glass. Sprinkle the sugar on to a saucer and carefully dip the glass in it to coat the rim entirely.
  • Strain into a martini glass.  Add one final raspberry for garnish.

Or, you can do like we do and get comfortable at home and root for that wonderful icon of self-discovery, Bella Baxter (fabulously portrayed by Emma Stone) to win the night. We came up with the following to celebrate the genius of costume designer Holly Waddington, and all the shapes and colors she brought to Bella’s bright world.

The Baxter (Photo credit: Amy Zavatto)

Emma Stone did a pretty wonderful job of portraying a baby-brained adult learning, discovering and growing in a complicated world, so we felt like she needed a slightly contradictory drink of complicated flavors that, just like the oddball directions she takes to mental adulthood, just kind of seem to work.

We washed the inside of the glass with a mild, fresh organic absinthe from the California producer Absinthia (sure to change your mind about what absinthe can be), and then combined outstanding upstate New York producer Neversink Spirits‘ orchard-fresh, unaged apple brandy with créme de menthe and fresh lemon juice. It’s a drink that smells like spring and new beginnings; like possibility and renewal. And if that all sounds like far too much of a promise to deliver, well — then it’s just an herby, tasty cocktail that’s a riff on a sour and makes excellent use of both the flavor and color of the very underused liqueur, créme de menthe. We think Bella would dig it. We hope you do, too.

The Baxter

Prep Time 1 minute
Serves 1 cocktail


  • 1 barspoon Absinthia absinthe
  • 1 1/2 oz Neversink New York apple brandy
  • 3/4 oz créme de menthe
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice


  • Pour the barspoon of absinthe into a martini or coupe glass. Tilt and gently swirl, coating the insides of the glass. Dump out any excess.
  • In a shaker with ice, combine the brandy, créme de menthe and lemon juice. Shake until very cold, about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Strain into the martini glass. Seize life and enjoy!