How to throw an all-star Oscar party

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Lo McShay

Credit: Studio Vitri

If you’re hosting pals over this Sunday night for the Academy Awards, roll out the red carpet for them: “Anything to indulge your guests a little bit and make them feel like a celebrity for the evening I think is a nice touch,” says Boston-based event planner Lolo McShay. We got her tips on just how to do that.

Food

The backyard wedding of Erin and Alex in Walpole, MA.

Butternut squash soup shooters

Credit: Kelly Benvenuto
You could tie your foods to this year’s favorite films (Life of Apple Pi, anyone?), or, McShay says, you can model your meal after the very dinner the Oscar attendees will be having at Wolfgang Puck’s Governor’s Ball on Oscar night.
“I took my inspiration for the foods that I’m going to be serving at my girls’ get-together based off of his menu, which is all around comfort food this year,” she says. She and Puck will be serving red snapper, chicken pot pie, soup shooters and a grilled peach-and-tomato salad (skewer yours for easy clean-up). You can find her recipes for these dishes at www.loloevents.net.
For an extra touch, “make a little sign for the buffet that hints to your guests that these are directly off the menu that Wolfgang Puck is going to be serving at the Governor’s Ball. Even make a printed menu for your guests that says ‘Governor’s Ball 2013’ on it.” The goal is to “give your guests an experience of being there at the Oscars.”

Drinks
For such a celebratory occasion, McShay says you can’t go wrong with a little bubbly. At her Oscars party, she’s serving up “probably the most iconic champagne cocktail, the New York Metropolitan Hotel’s Champagne Cocktail.” It’s easy to make it yourself: Soak a sugar cube in bitters, toss it in the bottom of a champagne flute, top it with champagne, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, add a bit of cognac at the top.

Décor
For her shindig, McShay is modeling her living room after the “Architectural Digest”-designed green room where presenters and nominees will mingle during the show. “‘Architectural Digest” has said that their inspiration for this year’s green room is a place where contemporary celebrities would run into famous celebrities of bygone eras, so [I’m incorporating] that mix of current, modern interior design with vintage touches.” How to bring a bit of old-Hollywood into your pad this weekend? Serve your cocktails on a bar cart, if you have one, and pick up a luxurious-looking crushed velvet throw pillow or blanket “just add a little something texture-wise to give that sense of a bygone era,” she says. Color-wise, gold is a good hue to play around.

More drinks

The Nominees are…

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2 part) Pinnacle® Blackberry Vodka
4 parts Ginger Ale
Splash Lime Juice
Mix in a glass with ice and garnish with an orange slice.

Zero Dark Thirsty

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1.5 parts SVEDKA Cherry
Top with fresh apple juice
Build in rocks glass. Garnish with an apple slice.

Pour L’Amour

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1 oz Pisa Liqueur
1/3 oz Absolut® vodka
1 oz cream
Fill a shaker with ice and add all ingredients. Strain over ice in a rock glass.

“Unchained Western” -Inspired by “Django Unchained”

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2-3 chunks of frozen pineapple
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 tsp. maraschino syrup
2 oz. rye whiskey
Polar Lemon Seltzer
Lemon twist, to garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the pineapple, syrup, lemon juice and whiskey. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a coupe, top with seltzer. Garnish with lemon twist.

You’ll need an award-winning wine for such a winning night: The Darkhorse 2010 Chardonnay won a gold medal at the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and pairs well with fresh fruit and mild cheeses. $8, Trader Joe’s

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