What's a Tony party without a celebratory cocktail? Or five? Playbill has partnered with Laurence Maslon, author of the new "cocktail table" book I'll Drink to That!, to create five custom cocktails inspired by this seasons Best Musical Tony nominees.
Whether you're hosting an intimate gathering of friends or a big bash of a watch party, make sure these drinks on your menu when you stream The 76th Annual Tony Awards Sunday, June 11. Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug!
Read on for Maslon's drink recipes and his inspirations behind creating each one.
The Eye of the Tiger
Inspired by & Juliet
In the original Romeo and Juliet, nothing good came out of swallowing a potent draught, but here you can celebrate the musical sequel with a preliminary Champagne cocktail; believe me, you want it that way. Champagne references the Paris setting of the show, while the Aperol represents its Italian origins. And since the course of true love never did run smooth (quoting Shakespeare now), you can top it off with Italy’s most bitter amaro, Fernet Branca, made in Milan, a stone’s throw from Verona. It’ll make you roar.
Champagne (doesn’t have to be expensive)
Chill a Champage flute for ten minutes in the freezer. Add ¾ ounce of Aperol, pour 2 ounces of Champagne in the flute (gently), then add a dash or three of Fernet Branca.
The Great Adventure
Inspired by Kimberly Akimbo
In honor of the irrepressible teenaged heroine of this musical, perhaps a 16-year-old Scotch could work, but given the adolescent characters in the show, that might be inappropriate. Better to celebrate with a mocktail. To celebrate Kimberly’s YOLO spirit, let’s change up a Shirley Temple with the most fun soda ever made, Jarritos Pineapple, and add a slice of orange as a beacon for Kimberly’s trip to Disney World (certain governors be darned).
Jarritos Pineapple (or Mango)
Fill a good-sized glass with ice; pour some grenadine syrup at the bottom, then add the soda. Don’t stir, because the look is so cool. Add an orange slice to look like a sunset.
The King of the Hill
Inspired by New York, New York
Well, what’s going to be a more apposite cocktail for this show than a Manhattan? But, taking a cue from the musical’s melting pot of characters, we’ll introduce rum from Cuba; substitute sweet vermouth with High Wire’s Southern Amaro (two main characters arrive in the Big Apple from the Deep South); and add a dash of orange bitters because Jimmy Doyle, the male lead, seems so, well, bitter. Like the show, it’s a new version of something familiar. Try making it at home, because if you can make it there—well, you know the rest.
Cuban rum (Bacardi)
High Wire Southern Amaro liqueur
Brandied cherry (not the radioactive red-colored ones)
Chill a martini glass. In a shaker, add ice, two parts rum, one part Southern Amaro. Add two dashes of orange bitters; shake and strain. Add a cherry.
The Sugar Kane
Inspired by Some Like It Hot
The most current musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot shifts the movie’s original timeframe (1929) to the last gasp of Prohibition in 1933; still, bathtub gin is a trademark of the Roaring Twenties. So, start with that (only with better gin), and add some crème de menthe to give it some spark. Bring in some Chocolate Mole bitters, to recognize the scenes set across the border in Mexico and stir it all up with a candy cane—because that’s a throw to the main character: Sugar Kane.
Crème de menthe (clear, please, not green)
Chocolate mole bitters
In a cocktail shaker, add 2 ounces of gin, one ounce of crème de menthe, and ice. Shake and strain; then a dash or two of chocolate bitters.
The Kernel of Truth
Inspired by Shucked
If there’s one show where you’d want to substitute alcohol for ethanol, it’s Shucked. Luckily, one of America’s great contributions to the world, along with the Broadway musical, is bourbon, which must by legal definition be distilled from at least 51 percent...wait for it...corn. Heaven Hill’s Elijah Craig provides a high percentage of corn (though not as high as Shucked). But how about adding a dash of Jack Daniel’s whisky (not enough corn to be a bourbon) to recognize the Nashville background of the score’s writers, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally?
Jack Daniel’s whisky
In a lowball glass, add some ice (preferably one very husky cube), then one ounce of Jack Daniel’s, then two ounces of bourbon; stir gently.
Maslon's new "cocktail table" book I'll Drink to That!, is available now from Weldon Owen, an imprint of Insight Editions. Maslon is by day, an arts professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and associate chair of the Graduate Acting Program, and by night, a creative mixologist and author. In his latest book, he blends clever cocktails with the theatre history that inspired them. Enjoy 30 unique drink recipes ranging from Mame’s Mint Julep to Beetlejuice’s the Dead Thing, illustrated with a wide range of rare drawings, posters, and advertisements, as well as original glamorous photographs by Joan Marcus. Click here to purchase.