There's No People Like Show People: How to Host a Tony Awards Party Like a Pro with Broadway-Themed Drink Recipes

By Carey Purcell
May 26, 2013

Can't make it to Radio City this year for the Tony Awards? Never fear; you can still enjoy the glitz and glamour of Broadway's biggest night at home.



While we can't promise that Neil Patrick Harris will perform an opening number in your own living room (although you never know; the guy seems to be everywhere these days…), we put together a list of tips on how to host the most glamorous Tony Awards viewing party in the comfort of your living room. With these secrets to success, you can rest assured you'll be the hostess with the mostest, just like Sally Adams in Call Me Madam.

Start by sending out invitations — actual invitations, not Facebook invitations or Evites. A simple printed or even engraved — if you want to go full-on glamorous — invitation to a party makes it a classier event than another e-mail in your inbox.

Encourage cocktail wear, or if you really want to get into the spirit of things, ask your guests to arrive in costumes. Dressing up for the party makes it much more of an event, and this year's nominees offer no shortage of costume ideas. Do you really need an excuse to wear your own version of Cinderella's ballgown? If you want to go black tie and political, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his partner, Justin Mikita, have created a special-edition bow tie for the Tonys through their new "Tie the Knot" initiative in support of marriage equality. Or if you've got a pair of kinky boots stashed in your closet, it's time to strut your stuff!

When the guests arrive at your home, have a red carpet waiting for them. It can roll from the hallway into your apartment, or from the foyer into your living room. And what's a red carpet without a media wall? You can buy one from a party supply store or online. Have a table nearby with disposable cameras (or iPhone chargers) and statues of trophies so your guests can pose with their own trophies. Encourage as many glamour (or goofy) shots as possible, along with the classic “You like me. You really like me!” pose. For a final touch, Instagram the photos to give them a more glamorous look.

What fun is an awards show without casting your own ballots for who you think will win? Have your guests fill out a ballot before the ceremony begins with who they think will take the prize in each category — not who they want to win. If you have a $5 or $10 contribution to play, with winner take all, the stakes could get pretty high!

No good host or hostess lets his or her guests go hungry. Rather than simply ordering take out, make the food a part of the party! Decide on your menu by selecting themed food inspired by the nominees for Best Play and Best Musical. In honor of the Jewish family celebrating Christmas in The Assembled Parties, serve matzoh ball soup. Mike McAlary, the main character of Lucky Guy, was Irish, which calls for corned beef and potatoes in his honor. The Testament of Mary obviously requires some sacramental wine, and in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Sigourney Weaver's Masha asks the housekeeper Cassandra to prepare “a salad nicoise, an artichoke quiche.” She gets a tuna fish sandwich instead, so why not serve the salad and quiche now?

The characters in Kinky Boots are British, which certainly calls for a jolly good plate of fish and chips, and the cheerleaders in Bring It On need protein, so snack on a Luna bar. In A Christmas Story, the family enjoys a duck dinner at a Chinese restaurant, so why not serve duck in their honor? And in Matilda, Bruce Bogtrotter defies the Trunchbull by stealing a piece of her delicious chocolate cake, so that dessert is the obvious choice (even without the excuse of Matilda).

And what is a party without some specialty drinks? In honor of Broadway's biggest night, the bartenders at 54 Below created some festive cocktails inspired by the nominees.

Best Play
The Assembled Parties—Ruby Necklace
(good to be made by the pitcher)
• Combine in cocktail shaker filled with ice
• 3 oz Pearl Pomegranate Vodka
• 1/2 oz Triple Sec
• 1/2 oz Lime Juice
• 1 oz White Cranberry Juice
• Pour a small amount of Grenadine on a flat plate
• Pour a small amount of Sugar on a second flat plate
• Dip Martini glass, upside down, into Grenadine (coating the rim evenly) and then into the Sugar to rim the glass and create the "Ruby Necklace"
• Shake cocktail shaker and strain into sugar-rimmed martini glass

 

Lucky Guy—Mike McAlary
• Combine in cocktail shaker filled with ice
• 2 oz Bullet Bourbon
• 1 oz Brimstone Balcones Smoked Corn Whisky
• 3/4 oz Cinnamon Syrup*
• 3 dashes Orange Bitters
• Shake cocktail shaker and strain into rocks glass filled with ice
• Garnish with an Orange Twist

 

The Testament of Mary—The Testament of Bloody Mary
(makes one quart)
• Combine in a pitcher
• 1 quart tomato juice
• 1 oz Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 oz Lemon Juice
• 1 oz Olive Juice
• 1 tsp Black Pepper
• 1 oz Grated Horseradish
• 10 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
• Stir
• For each drink:
• Fill a Highball Glass with ice
• Add 2 oz of Vodka
• Fill with Bloody Mary Mix
• Garnish with a Pickled Carrot (in honor of those poor rabbits)

 

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike—The Cherry Orchard
• In a sturdy rocks glass/tumbler, muddle
• 3 Brandied Cherries
• 1 Orange Slice
• 1/2 oz Heering Cherry Liqueur
• 1/2 oz Amaretto Liqueur
• 2 dashes of Peychaud's Aromatic Cocktail Bitters
Then
• Add 2 oz Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
• Mix
• Add ice
• Splash Soda Water
• Garnish with Brandied Cherries

 

Billy Porter in Kinky Boots.
photo by Matthew Murphy
Best Musical
Bring It On: The Musical—It Ain't No Thang
(Good to be made by the pitcher)
• Combine in cocktail shaker filled with ice
• 3 oz Silver Tequila
• 1 1/2 oz Triple Sec
• 1 oz Orange Juice
• 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
• 1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup*
• Pour a small amount of Orange Juice on a flat plate
• Pour a small amount of a Sugar and Cinnamon mixture on a second flat plate
• Dip rocks glass, upside down, into Orange Juice (coating the rim evenly) and then into Sugar and Cinnamon to rim the glass
• Fill glass with ice
• Shake and strain into rimmed glass

 

A Christmas Story—You'll Shoot Your Eye Out
(makes 1)
• Combine in cocktail shaker filled with ice
• 1/2 oz Vanilla vodka
• 1/2 oz Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
• 1/2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
• Pour a small amount of juice on a flat plate
• Pour a small amount of Crushed Peppermint Candy on a second flat plate
• Dip shot glass, upside down, into juice (coating the rim evenly) and then into Crushed Candy to rim the glass.
• Shake and strain drink into shot glass

 

Kinky Boots—The Sex is in The Heel
• In a Champagne Flute
• Fill half way with Champagne or Sparkling Wine
• 1/2 oz of Cassis Liqueur
• 1/2 oz of Benedictine Liqueur
• Carefully add one sugar cube (it will fizz up so that is why you start with a half full glass)
• 2-3 dashes of Orange Bitters (this will bring down the foam)
• Fill the rest of the way with Champagne or Sparkling Wine
• Garnish with Orange Twist

 

Matilda: The Musical—When I Grow Up
(good to be made by the pitcher)
• Combine in glass filled with ice
• 2 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
• 1 oz Ginger Syrup**
• Top with Pineapple Juice
• Garnish with Pineapple Slice or piece of Candied Ginger
• (If not yet grown up, substitute Soda Water for Rum)

 

Anthony Crivello and Seth Numrich in Golden Boy.
Photo by Paul Kolnik
Play Revival Golden Boy—The Knockout
(recipe makes 2 drinks)
• In cocktail shaker, without ice, combine
• 4 oz Aperol
• 2 oz Lemon Juice
• 1 oz Simple Syrup***
• 1 egg white
• Shake for about 15 seconds to emulsify egg white
• Add ice and shake until very cold
• Strain into small glass and top with Soda Water
• Garnish with Grapefruit Twist

 

Orphans—Dirty Sexy Money
• In sturdy rocks glass/tumbler muddle
• 4-5 Basil Leaves
• 3 Slices of Cucumber
• 3 Lime Wedges
• 3 Sugar Cubes
• Fill glass with ice
• Add 1 1/2 oz of Gin
• Top with Soda Water
• Garnish with Cucumber Slice

 

The Trip to Bountiful—The Cicely Sweet Tea
(Good to be made by the pitcher)
• Combine in tall glass with ice
• 2oz. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka
• Fill with lemonade
• Garnish with Lemon Slice

 

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—I Can Dance Like the Wind
• Combine in cocktail shaker filled with ice
• 1 oz Brandy
• 1 oz Whiskey
• 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
• Shake cocktail shaker and strain into martini glass
• Garnish with Lemon Twist

 

Patina Miller and Matthew James Thomas in Pippin.
Photo by Joan Marcus
Musical Revival
The Mystery of Edwin Drood—The Other Side of the Coin
(Can also be strained into martini glass or champagne flute)
• In rocks glass filled with ice combine
• 1 1/2 oz Gin
• 1/5 oz Lemon Juice
• 1 oz St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur (more if you want it sweeter)
• Top with Champagne/Sparkling Wine
• Garnish with Lemon Twist

 

Annie—America's Favorite Little Redhead
• In tall glass with ice combine
• 2 oz Vodka
• Fill with Sprite or Soda Water
• Splash of Grenadine
• Garnish with Brandied Cherries

 

Cinderella—Stepsister's Lamint-Julep
• In sturdy rocks glass/tumbler, muddle
• Ice
• 5-6 sprigs of mint
• 3-5 Blackberries (strawberries or raspberries work too)
• 3-4 sugar cubes
• Crush until contents resembles a Slushie
• Add 1 1/2 to 2 oz of Bourbon
• Garnish with sprig of mint

 

Pippin—Magic To Do
• In Cocktail Shaker combine
• 2 oz Gin
• 1 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
• 4-5 leaves of fresh Mint
• Ice
• Shake and strain into rocks glass/tumbler with ice
• Top with Sparkling Wine
• Garnish with Sprig of Mint

 

*Cinnamon Syrup Recipe
Yield:
3 1/2 cups
Ingredients
• 2 cups water
• 4 cinnamon sticks
• 1 1/2 cups sugar

 

Directions
In a small sauce pot add water and cinnamon and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, and strain out cinnamon sticks. Bring water back to a boil, add sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, to let some water evaporate. Stir frequently. When liquid takes on syrup quality turn off heat and let cool.

 

**Ginger Syrup Recipe
Yield:
1 cup
Ingredients
• 1/4 pound ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup water

Directions
Bring ginger, sugar, and water to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then gently simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. When liquid takes on syrup quality turn off heat and let cool. Strain through a sieve then cool to room temperature.

 

***Simple Syrup Recipe
Ingredients:
• 2 parts sugar
• 1 part water

 

Directions
Bring the water to a boil. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. (Note: Do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick.) Allow to cool completely, then bottle.