Making the Oscars-exclusive “Golden Nights” Champagne Cocktail


Wolfgang Puck, who has been cooking for the renowned Governor’s Ball afterparty every year since 1995, will be busy preparing food for the legendary afterparty as everyone else waits to learn who celebrities will win at the Oscars this Sunday. But, this year Elliott Grover, the executive chef at Puck’s renowned steakhouse, CUT, in London, will also be present. Attendees at the Governor’s Ball will also be able to sip glasses of “Golden Nights,” the culinary team’s official Oscars drink, in addition to a menu of British-inspired dishes like fish and chips cones, black truffle chicken pot pie, and sherry trifle.

If you’ve ever wondered what to pair with black truffle chicken pot pie, it turns out that you should sip on a beverage ringed with 24-carat edible gold leaf. 

The Golden Nights cocktail may have a few ingredients you’re not familiar with, but in actuality, it’s close enough to an Old Cuban to be quite simple to make again. In contrast to an Old Cuban, which employs aged rum, the Golden Nights drink uses cachaça, a white rum alternative from Brazil. In addition, it substitutes oleo-saccharum for simple syrup, but both are syrupy and relatively easy to manufacture as oleo-saccharum is simply sugar and citrus oil. Both drinks include mint, lime juice, champagne, bitters, and sherry in addition to these slight variations including the addition of sherry and gold leaf.

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. 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.

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