How to Make the 2023 Oscars Cocktail: Golden Nights
How to Make the "Golden Nights" Champagne Cocktail Being Served at the Oscars
As everyone else waits to see which celebrities are getting awards at the Oscars this Sunday, Wolfgang Puck will be busy preparing food for the famous Governor's Ball afterparty, as he's done every year since 1995. This year, however, Puck will be also joined by Elliott Grover, the executive chef of the London location of Puck's iconic steakhouse, Cut. Alongside a British-inspired menu of fish-and-chips cones, black-truffle chicken pot pie, and sherry trifle, Governor's Ball attendees will also get to enjoy glasses of Golden Nights, this year's official Oscars cocktail created by the culinary duo.
If you've ever wondered what you're supposed to drink with black-truffle chicken pot pie, well, apparently it's a drink rimmed with 24-carat edible gold leaf. In addition to the fancy garnish, the Golden Nights cocktail is also made with organic Cachaça, lime juice, oleo-saccharum, Veuve Clicquot brut Champagne, Electric fino sherry, mint, and bitters. For a limited time, you can get a taste of the drink at Bar 45, the bar above Cut, but if you're not in London or just don't want to drop £22 for a drink, you can easily make a version for yourself at home.
There may be a handful of ingredients you don't recognize in the Golden Nights cocktail, but the truth is it's similar enough to an Old Cuban that you can re-create it pretty easily. Whereas an Old Cuban is made with aged rum, the Golden Nights cocktail uses Cachaça, a Brazilian liquor that you can substitute with white rum. It also uses something called oleo-saccharum instead of simple syrup, though both are equally syrupy and fairly simple to make, since oleo-saccharum is just citrus oil and sugar. Aside from these minor differences and the addition of sherry and gold leaf, both cocktails contain mint, lime juice, bitters, and champagne.
You might assume the Cachaça is the star of The Golden Nights cocktail, but you'll actually want to pay the most attention to the Champagne, says professional cocktail developer and mixology instructor Jessie-Sierra Ross, who runs Straight to the Hips, Baby. She recommends chilling your champagne overnight, adding it to the cocktail last then stirring it with a cocktail spoon. "Champagne is all about the bubbles! By gently mixing, we'll maintain the fizz," Ross explains to POPSUGAR. As for the gold leaf, feel free to exclude it if it's out of your price range. But if you still want your drink to feel extra fancy, Ross recommends garnishing with Hibiscus flowers, fresh mint leaves on a gold cocktail stick, or a rim of sparkling raw sugar.
To complete the experience, enjoy your Golden Nights cocktail like the stars do and pair it with fish and chips or chicken pot pie, or simply sip on it while you watch Oscars night unfold on your TV. Whether you decide to substitute organic Cachaça for white rum or go all out with the gold leaf and homemade oleo-saccharum, this cocktail is sure to taste Oscar-worthy. Check out all the steps below to learn how to make it for yourself.
Golden Nights Cocktail
Inspired by Wolfgang Puck & Elliott Grover's recipe
You can buy oleo-saccharum or make it from scratch by combining 1 cup of citrus peels with 3/4 cups of sugar and letting it sit overnight until the sugar is dissolved and a syrup forms.
- 6 whole mint leaves
1 ounce oleo-saccharum
3/4 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounces Cachaça or white rum
1/4 teaspoon bitters
1 ounce fino sherry
1 ounce brut Champagne
Gold leaf for garnishing
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves with the oleo-saccharum and lime juice.
- Add the Cachaça, bitters, sherry, and ice, and shake until well-chilled.
- Strain into a glass then top with Champagne.
- Garnish with gold leaf if you have it.
- Drinks, Cocktails
- 1 serving
- Total Time
- 4 minutes, 59 seconds