Oscars 2019: A Sensible Drinking Game

A golden glass of champagne in a garden full of effervescent bubbles.

It’s time for the 2019 Oscar Academy Awards. They don’t serve alcohol at the Oscars like they do at the Golden Globes (boo.) but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge at home. This year, Jaclyn Koss (Symposiia East) and I are going to watch the Oscars together over videochat from opposite ends of the country. We’re teaming up to find a reason to not give up on the Oscars after the mess they’ve made of it this year: head over to JaclynKoss.com to see our ballot picks and our feelings.I’ve whipped up a nice ballot––download below and join us in the fun.

Most Oscars-drinking games are intended to make fun of the Academy Awards while getting you sloshed. We took a more moderate approach and designed a sensible drinking game that gives you cues to take dainty sips and drink water. Don’t worry, there are also reasons to down your drink. Read beyond the Rules for the most compatible drink recommendations for our Sensible Drinking Game: we will be going for drinks that have long lifespans (at least 5 oz servings of wine, or cocktails that are mostly a low calorie mixer and have a fresh, light-to-medium mouthfeel).

The Rules of the Game

Take a Dainty Sip:

  • When a presenter wears glasses to read the teleprompter
  • When the orchestra starts playing if someone’s taking too long
  • If you see the following: Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Gosling, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton
  • If a presenter messes up the pronunciation of someone’s name
  • If a winner mentions Trump or anything White House related (not necessarily all politics because otherwise we will be so drunk so fast)
  • If your Rank #1 wins (all subsequent times after the first time)
  • If your Rank #5 wins (all subsequent times after the first time)
  • When someone is shown crying on screen (either winner or audience)
  • If someone makes a reference to Kevin Hart or Bryan Singer
  • If someone says ‘I didn’t expect to win’ or ‘I’m not prepared’ or ‘Too many people to thank’
  • If someone mentions or thanks Netflix
  • If someone mentions or thanks God.

Cheers and Drink Half Your Drink:

  • If your Rank #1 wins (first time)
  • When someone curses/bleeps
  • If you ranked the winner the same number as someone else
  • If you reach 50 points
  • “Wakanda Forever!”
  • If the winner tells the orchestra to shut up and let them talk  

Finish Your Drink. You don’t have to chug, but you do have to finish it before the next category. 

  • If Black Panther or Roma wins Best Picture
  • If Yalitza Aparicio wins for Best Actress
  • If Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse wins for Best Animated Feature (edit: this was added after the fact because we are shams who didn’t remember to include it, thanks Symposiia East for reminding me!!)
  • If your Rank #5 wins (first time)

Drink Water and Up Your Wellness

  • If a person of color or something that features people of color wins a category
  • If Alfonso Cuarón wins anything (including Best Picture)
  • During In Memoriam. Try not to cry.
  • When someone reads their acceptance speech from a paper
  • Crowd audibly boos or reacts with awkward silence at something
  • If you see the following: Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Cate Blanchett, Lin Manuel Miranda, Guillermo del Toro, Rami Malek

Refill Your Drink

  • If The Favourite wins anything
  • If someone says something in a language other than English
  • When you hit points # that ends in zero (ex: 10, 20, 30, etc)
  • If you get two or more #5’s in a row
  • If you get two or more #1’s in a row
  • If you see someone and you’re not sure why they’re at the Oscars (like Cardi B or something)
  • Whenever your glass is empty and you need more to continue playing

Drink Recommendations

A mimosa in front of a succulent wall

Wine (3.0 – 5.0 oz servings)

Sparkling wine or champagne

Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or Bordeaux (any style that’s not too heavy)

Chilled Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio


Champagne Cocktail: sugar cube soaked with 2-3 dashes of bitters, topped with chilled champagne (or sparkling wine, we won’t tell on you)

French 75: 2.0 oz London dry gin, lemon juice, optional sweetener shaken over ice, strained into a champagne flute and topped with champagne/sparkling wine. Garnish: lemon twist

Vodka or Tequila Soda with Lime: 1.5-2.0 oz vodka or tequila blanco, or añejo or reposado for a slight golden tint, fresh squeezed lime, club soda, over ice. Garnish: lime wheel, lime twist

Mojito: 1.5-2.0 oz rum (or I like to use gin here), lime juice, muddled mint leaves, optional sweetener, mixed with ice, topped with club soda. Garnish: mint leaves, lime wheel, lime twist

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