Growing up, the Academy Awards were always a family affair in our house. In the nights leading up to the big show, we'd debate which film would be crowned champion, which actors were most likely to get snubbed (Leonardo DiCaprio, every year), and who would end up on the best- and worst-dressed lists (sorry, Björk). And even though our viewing party was just for my mom, dad, and me, we always made sure to have enough drinks and snacks (read: pizza and Twizzlers) to power us through the hours-long affair, from the red carpet to the exciting announcement of Best Picture.
Not much has changed since then, except that I've swapped the pizza delivery and candy from Blockbuster (RIP) for homemade concession-style bites and fun, bubbly cocktails that feel like they'd probably be poured at the Dolby Theatre. Because while the Oscar parties I throw today are still on the small side (to fit in my small New York City apartment), that's no excuse to skimp out on a fancy spread during Hollywood's most important evening. Plus, if I'm not getting the chance to squeeze into a couture gown, I might as well enjoy the food.
From homemade Almond Joys and spicy Korean-style meatballs to a handful of sparkling drinks, here are all of the award-worthy snacks and sips I'll be making this Sunday.
Have this no-bake, vegan (!) take on traditional Almond Joys on the table—and in your mouth—in just 30 minutes.
These pretzels might require a little bit of extra effort and preparation, but the soft, salty results are worth it every single time.
Add a dash of nostalgia to your viewing party with these three-ingredient raspberry fruit roll-ups (you can also mix up the flavors with peaches and blueberries). They're sure to be a hit with kids and adults.
Enjoy all of the spicy, velvety goodness of concession-stand nachos without any of the processed ingredients, thanks to this extra-easy cheese sauce served alongside quick-pickled jalapeños.
These delightfully flaky Parmesan and mustard pinwheels are ready in just 10 minutes, but are impressive enough to fool any guest into thinking they took you all day.
Tangy and occasionally spicy (some shishitos have kick, some don't), these blistered peppers are ultra-addictive—blink and the plate might already be empty.
These quick and easy-to-make (about 35 minutes from start to finish) meatballs get a smoky kick from gochujang, a Korean chili paste that's about to become your new favorite condiment.
These finger-friendly Devils on Hatchback pack in loads of flavor using very few ingredients, like roasted green chile peppers, smoky bacon, and a generous drizzle of honey.
10. Serrano Ham & Manchego Croquetas
For a bite-sized, crowd-pleasing snack that'll be gobbled up in minutes, prep these smoky ham and cheese croquetas the night before and fry them golden brown right before your guests arrive.
This non-alcoholic soda gets its tangy sweetness from a maraschino cherry and lime simple syrup, and refreshing effervescence from seltzer water.
These DIY champagne sugar cubes call on Angostura bitters for a touch of spice and bite, but can be riffed on to your heart's content, from honey or lavender to cinnamon or maple. Once the cubes are ready, all you need to do is add your favorite bottle of bubbly.
13. Pom Fizz
This homemade, one-ingredient pomegranate syrup is set to become your bar cart's best friend. Simply reduce pomegranate juice until it thickens, then mix with Prosecco or sparkling wine for an easy yet impressive cocktail.
If you love a Negroni, then you'll love this bubbled-up twist on the original, which swaps in Prosecco for gin.
15. Gin Spritz
Speaking of gin, if you're a fan, then try this spritz—a light and herbal mix of mint, lime juice, gin, and bubbles.