Places, everybody, it's time for the Tony Awards.
The show will go on for the 2023 Tony Awards (after a brief period of uncertainty due to the ongoing writers' strike), and after a fabulous season on Broadway, we think it's time to raise a glass to the talented performers and artisans that made it all possible.
While the nominees gather in front of the footlights at the 76th Annual Tony Awards live from the United Palace in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood on Sunday, you can watch the proceedings from the comfort of your couch — and imbibe a little.
Marc J. Franklin; Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman (2) Adrianna Hicks, Josh Groban, and Alex Newell
I'll Drink to That! Broadway Legendary Stars, Classic Shows, and the Cocktails They Inspired by Laurence Maslon is bursting with recipes celebrating the Great White Way and some of the stage's greatest performers and shows. Maslon has taken four recipes from the book from EW and transformed them to pair with some of the 2023 nominees.
So, read below to mix yourself up a themed drink, and then watch the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 11, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+. Ahead of the event, CBS and Pluto TV will present The Tony Awards: Act One, a live pre-show that begins at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Weldon Owen I'll Drink to That!: Broadway's Legendary Stars, Classic Shows, and the Cocktails They Inspired
The Glimpse of Stocking
"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," writes Maslon. "Cole Porter's immortal Anything Goes was written in the early '30s but still has a real Roaring Twenties vibe to it. The Glimpse of Stocking, inspired by Porter's title number, can also refer to the two nominated cross-dressing leads in Some Like It Hot."
Courtesy of Weldon Owen The Glimpse of Stocking
(Inspired by Anything Goes, 1934)
Cole Porter always knew how to live the high life; in fact, he set the bar—especially when it came to bars. Porter also knew that when it came to the blues, there was "no cure like travel," as the opening number of Anything Goes puts it. The songwriter was always inspired by a sojourn on an ocean liner — where other collaborators might bang out their latest musical in a stuffy office in the West Forties, Porter took Moss Hart, his book writer for the 1935 musical Jubilee, on a five-month worldwide cruise on the S.S. Franconia instead.
Anything Goes hints at the top shelf nature of Porter's tastes when it comes to alcohol. In "You're the Top," the leading characters compare each other to Napoleon brandy and a Ritz (as in the hotel) hot toddy. And the same characters get such a kick out of each other that, by comparison, Champagne and "mere alcohol" doesn't thrill them at all.
This particular cocktail might not be looked on as something shocking, exactly, but it's based on a gin-based drink called the Tuxedo, which dates back before the nineteenth century. Of course, Porter always looked exquisite in a tuxedo, and — knowing the dress codes of a luxury liner as well as he did — he surely would have sported one while dining at the captain's table. The look of this drink is supposed to conjure up the sun setting on the blue horizon, glimpsed over the quarterdeck railing. It's Pepsodent!
MARTINI + COCKTAIL SHAKER
1 or 2 spritzes absinthe
2 ounces clear gin, preferably Plymouth Gin (as in Plymouth Rock)
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 ounce maraschino liqueur, such as Luxardo
1 dash blue curacao syrup
1 circular lemon wheel, to garnish
Chill a martini glass by putting it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. When chilled, spray two spritzes of absinthe in the glass. In a shaker, add ice and pour the remaining ingredients, except the lemon, over the ice. Shake and strain the contents into the martini glass. Slice the lemon halfway through the diameter and set it on the glass's rim so that it looks like a setting sun in the turquoise light of a summer night in Spain.
The Lucky Lady (and the Bellringer)
"Best Musical nominee New York, New York is so obsessed with the metropolis that they named it twice, so what better way to celebrate its nine nominations than with a cocktail inspired by a Manhattan?" Maslon writes. "In this case, it's the Lucky Lady (and its partner, the Bellringer), derived from perhaps the ultimate New York musical Guys and Dolls; that 1950 'musical fable of Broadway' is referenced in nominated designer Beowulf Borritt's neon vision for Times Square."
Courtesy of Weldon Owen The Lucky Lady (and the Bellringer)
(Inspired by Guys and Dolls, 1950)
Guess what's in the Daily News? Not one, but two cocktails from the world of this classic musical: one for a guy and one for a doll.
What other drink could you come up with to honor this show than a Manhattan? In this case, the Lucky Lady has a bit of a, um, twist: it uses a particular brand of amaro from South Carolina called Southern Amaro Liqueur, manufactured by High Wire Distillery, instead of sweet vermouth. I picked Southern Amaro because I not only appreciate its subtle clove-infused taste, but I also really love its label, which depicts a doll and a riverboat gambler.
As noted earlier, the Dulce de Leche isn't really a drink, so the Bellringer is based on a variation of its theme: Bacardi, of course, some milk products, and plenty of coconut. After a couple of these, you'll go ding-dong-ding-dong-ding!
THE LUCKY LADY
MARTINI + COCKTAIL SHAKER
2 ounces rye
1 ounce High Wire Southern Amaro
Dash orange bitters
Lemon peel, to garnish
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the rye and amaro over the ice. Shake vigorously, then drain into a martini glass. Twist the lemon peel to release its oil and toss — gently! — into your drink.
COPPER MUG (OR MARTINI) + COCKTAIL SHAKER
2 ounces white Bacardi rum
1 ounce Clément coconut liqueur
1⁄2 ounce evaporated milk
1⁄2 ounce cream of coconut (Coco Loco is best)
1⁄2 ounce condensed milk
1 cinnamon stick, to garnish
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Pour all the liquid ingredients over the ice. Shake vigorously and for a good while (until the condensed milk has broken down). Pour the mixture into a mug or martini glass (unless you have a hollowed-out coconut handy). Garnish with a cinnamon stick, which you can use, demurely, as a straw.
The Bloody Sweeney
"For a slice of Victorian England, you can concoct the Bloody Sweeney to cheer on the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," Maslon writes. "This one seems best served, like revenge, cold—but also in a tankard."
Courtesy of Weldon Owen The Bloody Sweeney
(Inspired by Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 1978)
Among the freely flowing liquids of Sweeney Todd, gin comes in a close second.
The devious Mrs. Lovett uses a "tot of gin" to lull the young Toby into a state of contented compliance, while Sweeney dispatches with Toby's employer in his upstairs barber shop. And gin becomes a reliable complementary beverage to the unreliable meat pies eventually served by Mrs. Lovett.
But, clearly, gin can't really compete in Sweeney Todd, so you have to go to a bloody good cocktail — inevitably, the Bloody Mary. This is a derivation of a derivation known as a Red Snapper, and it uses gin, as any good cocktail based on a musical set in Victorian England must. Now, I'd suggest using an old-fashioned British gin such as Gordon's or Plymouth (both of which were around in Sweeney's time) and, for the seasoning, a generous pinch of Old Bay seasoning. Why? You may remember that Sweeney returns to London at the top of the musical after having been transported to Botany Bay on a trumped-up charge; so that'll do. Now, if you're a proper artist with a knife, you might amuse your guests by trimming and shaping a robust celery stalk into the shape of a razor and adding it to the garnish.
Readers, it's really too good at least.
HIGHBALL OR TALL GLASS
3 1⁄2 ounces tomato juice (Sacramento willdo nicely)
1 1⁄2 ounces gin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 generous pinch Old Bay seasoning
1⁄2 teaspoon horseradish (optional)
Stalk of celery (or a firm slice of cucumber), to garnish
Pour all the ingredients (minus garnish) into a mixing glass and add several cubes of ice. Stir gently with a mixing spoon. Transfer to a tall glass, add ice, and garnish appropriately (or even inappropriately). When you move on to your second one, you might want to serve it in a pewter tankard and bang the table while yelling, "More hot pies!"
A Corny Shot... & more
"If Shucked is your kind of show, a couple of shots of bourbon (by definition, distilled from at least 51% corn) should put a little ethanol in your evening," Maslon concludes. "Kimberly Akimbo involved far too many underage characters for a cocktail to be appropriate (a Shirley Temple Akimbo, perhaps?) and as for & Juliet — well, you remember what a potent draught or two did to the original Romeo and Juliet. Best to fall back on that grand theatrical tradition of Champagne."
Text © 2023 Laurence Maslon, Photography © 2023 Joan Marcus