cocktailsLike the rest of us, caterer to the stars, Mary Giuliani, had to make some amends to the typically over-the-top Oscars party she plans each year. So in the name of scaling back, Mary has created a fun and easy, not to mention affordable, Oscars night at home for – get this – under $100!

This year Mary is rooting for Slumdog Millionaire so she's created a menu, signature cocktail and décor that reflects the theme complete with glimmering gold drinks and a popcorn bar. Make your guests feel like Hollywood royalty for the night by following Mary's fantastic tips for an Oscar party not soon to be forgotten.


"Create a fun popcorn bar. Have gold foil bags lined up with everyone's name on them when they arrive. Pop a big bowl of microwave popcorn and have little glass bowls alongside filled with iconic candy favorites (M & M's, Milk Duds, Snow Caps) which can be used as toppings for your popcorn or can be eaten alone. Nothing beats a sweet and salty combination to kick off the night."


"Make a statement with gold and accent it with bright jeweled tones to give your party a festive Indian vibe. Also, if you want your guests to feel like they are in a Oscar VIP lounge, serve champagne or prosecco (cheaper option) in silver ice tubs with glasses on the coffee table in front of you, creating your own table service. This is a great way for guests to replenish their bubbly quickly while watching the show! "

Cocktail Hour

"Cocktails are a must. Keep it simple so that you're not running around playing bartender all night. Create a signature red cocktail that can be embellished with gold flakes and served easily from a pitcher. Try Stirrings Cosmopolitan mixers and keep two shakers out on the bar so guests can shake their own cocktail. Line up several martinis ahead of time instead of pouring on request; this will create a colorful looking bar. For those that opt for a beer, fill a big bin with ice and load it up with some great organic beers."

You can also recreate Mary's famous signature black licorice martini dusted with gold that she makes each year for the Vanity Fair party.

Gold Dusted Black Licorice Martini

2 parts Vanilla Vodka
1 part Black Sambuca
Shake with lots of ice and Serve
Garnish with Black Licorice and Gold Dust
(Gold Dust can be found at any craft store in the baking section)

Main Menu

"Since everyone's eyes will be glued to the tube, create a meal that can be eaten comfortably while sitting down in front of the TV. Bowls are best for eating on the fly. Try sticking with the "bar" theme and indulge guests with a classic favorite. A Curry Bar is a great way to go. Place the curry rice in the center and in smaller bowls and have your guests customize their own curry to be as spicy or mild as they would like."


"As guests leave, have little boxes lined up with a midnight munchie. Espresso brownies will give your guests a jolt to make it home."