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Lyric Libations: DON GIOVANNI

Lyric's new production of Don Giovanni is so passionate that you need a cocktail just to relax after the show. Channel your favorite character with these beverages inspired by Mozart's masterpiece.

Lyric's new production of Don Giovanni is so passionate that you need a cocktail just to relax after the show. Channel your favorite character with these beverages inspired by Mozart's masterpiece.

The Don Juan 

Don Giovanni's voracious appetites are his downfall, and this drink might get you in trouble too. Like the lothario weaving his web of seduction, this drink's dangerous combination of tequila and rum has a sweet start, but an end that is not for the faint-of-heart.

  • 1 part dark rum
  • 1 part tequila
  • 1 part pineapple juice
  • ½ part grapefruit juice
  • Orange twist to garnish

Put lots of ice and all ingredients into a shaker and mix well for about 20 seconds.  Strain the mix into a chilled glass and add a twist to garnish. (Recipe from Mixed Cocktails)

Zerlina's Flirtini 

So it's your wedding day, and the champagne is flowing. Sure your peasant fiancé is loving and stable, but you can't help but cast your eyes over to the rich bad boy who just walked into the room. Why shouldn't you have it all? Get your flirt on with this sparkling drink in your hand. 

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces champagne
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice

Combine vodka, champagne, and pineapple juice in a highball or collins glass filled with ice. Makes 1 cocktail. For a party multiply recipe and mix in a pitcher. (Recipe from PopSugar)

The Commendatore's Corpse Reviver 

Whether you're hanging out in a cemetery or preparing for a very special dinner party, this cocktail is the perfect refresher for the recently deceased. 

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce Lillet Blanc
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash absinthe
  • Orange peel for garnish

Shake all ingredients in a shaker, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish. (Recipe from Imbibe Magazine)

Seething Jealousy 

Sometimes the best way to deal with your raging jealousy is to drown it drown it in liquor. Maybe if Masetto would relax and have a few of these, he wouldn't find himself getting beat up and ridiculed at every turn.

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • ½  ounce Scotch
  • ½ ounce cherry brandy
  • ½ ounce fresh orange juice

Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Recipe from Chow.com)

Donna Anna's Vendetta 

This is the perfect way to seal a pact with your long-suffering fiancé to kill the man who murdered your father. The freshness of basil mixes with the richness of brandy to create an intoxicating brew. Possible side effects include the inability to get married for at least a year after drinking.

  • 1 ½ ounces vodka
  • 1 ½ ounces brandy
  • ¼ ounce Pernod
  • ¾ ounce bitters
  • 6 basil leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • Ice

Add the vodka, brandy, pernod, bitters, and basil leaves into a shaker loaded with ice. Shake until condensation forms around the shaker. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice and garnish with a basil sprig. (Recipe from The Daily Meal)

The Leporello 

Life is hard when your rich, entitled boss with a questionable moral compass is constantly looking to you to clean up his messes-that is when he's not trying to have you killed. When obsessive list making is not enough to calm your nerves, this very strong, very sweet, very complicated drink is another way to get away from it all.

  • ½ ounce white rum
  • 1 ½ ounces golden rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • ½ ounce 151-proof rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon papaya juice
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar

Stir together all these ingredients except the 151 and pour into a 14-ounce collins glass three-fourths full of cracked ice. Float the 151 as a lid (by pouring it into a spoon and gently dipping it under the surface of the drink). Then, if the spirit moves you, take a match to this mixture; it will burn. Garnish with mint (either straight or dipped in lime juice and then superfine sugar) and/or fruit. (Recipe from Esquire)

Photo credits:

  • Don Giovanni production photos credit Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago

 

A Few “Sound” Spirits

Raise a glass to the most beloved musical of all time! These recipes will help you channel your favorite characters from The Sound of Music—and there's even a kid-friendly mocktail so the whole family can get into the spirit.

Raise a glass to the most beloved musical of all time! These recipes will help you channel your favorite characters from The Sound of Music—and there's even a kid-friendly mocktail so the whole family can get into the spirit.

Holy Hot Toddy 

Drinking is probably frowned upon at the abbey, but you just know the Mother Abbess likes to spend the occasional evening sipping a nice hot toddy while singing "My Favorite Things."

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 ounce bourbon
  • 1/2 cup already-brewed chamomile tea
  • 1 slice Meyer lemon
  • dash lavender bitters

Add the honey and bourbon to a heat-proof snifter or mug. Top with the tea, squeeze the lemon, and drop it in. Add the lavender bitters and stir until the honey is melted. (Recipe courtesy TheKitchn.com)

Maria's Crisp Apple Strudel Martini 

Sometimes it's just too hard to whip up a batch of pastries after a long day of teaching children to sing. But no self-respecting governess is going to let that stop her from enjoying a crisp apple strudel.

  • 1 ounce apple schnapps
  • 1/2 ounce dark crème de cacao liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce white crème de cacao liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce cinnamon schnapps
  • 1ounce pressed apple juice
  • 3/4 ounce heavy cream

Shake the first five ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass. Carefully float the heavy cream by pouring over the back of a spoon. (Recipe courtesy DiffordsGuide.com)

The Captain's Austrian Delight 

The first rule of the von Trapp house is discipline…and the second rule is to celebrate Austria in as many ways as possible. Captain von Trapp likes to enjoy the classic Austrian beer Stiegl with some extra ingredients when he's entertaining.

  • 3/4 cup grapefruit juice
  • 2 tbsp vanilla liqueur
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chambord raspberry liqueur 
  • 3/4 cup Stiegl beer
  • raspberries

Pour grapefruit juice, vanilla liqueur, and Chambord into a beer flute. Top with beer. Float raspberries on top. (Recipe courtesy Chatelaine.com)

Liesl's First Champagne 

Even Captain von Trapp couldn't disapprove of this faux-champagne mocktail that's perfect for all of the von Trapp children.

  • 2 ounces ginger ale, chilled
  • 2 ounces white grape juice, chilled
  • 2 ounces pineapple or orange juice, chilled

Combine ginger ale and juices in a champagne glass. Garnish with frozen grapes and a curly straw. (Recipe courtesy Parenting.com)

"No Way to Stop It" Negroni 

Actor Edward Hibbert's favorite cocktail is the negroni. He plays impresario Max Detweiler to the hilt in Lyric's production of The Sound of Music, and this drink is a lot like Max. It's an acquired taste, but you can't hate it—it's much too lovable.

  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part sweet vermouth

    Stir with ice; rim a chilled rocks glass with orange, add ice, and pour the chilled mix. Flame the orange garnish and add to the glass. (Recipe courtesy ColdGlass.com)

    Elsa's Broken Heart 

    Sure, the Captain might have thrown her over for Maria (and because she was a little too willing to compromise her Austrian values). But at least Elsa can nurse her broken heart with this sweet and vibrant concoction.  

    • 1 ounce vodka
    • 1 ounce Chambord
    • 2 ounces fresh orange juice
    • 1 splash of grenadine
    • Fresh strawberry to garnish

    Place all of the ingredients, except for the strawberry, into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Vigorously shake the mixture for 35 seconds and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish the drink with strawberry and serve immediately. (Recipe courtesy SheKnows.com)

    Edelweiss 

    This cocktail will always be happy to meet you at the end of a day or even during a lazy Saturday afternoon. It's clean and bright, with notes of elderflower and citrus.

    • 1 ounce St. Germain
    • 1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc 
    • 1/2 ounce gin

    Pour all ingredients over ice in a cocktail glass. Squeeze in two lemon wedges. Fill with soda water, garnish with lemon wedge or peel. (Recipe courtesy Janelle Mead from Pitch.com)

    Photo credit:

    • Scenes from Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of The Sound of Music (credit Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago)

     

    Cocktails and “Clemenza”

    The passion, drama, and intrigue of ancient Rome awaits in Lyric's new-to-Chicago production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito  (on stage now through March 23). Get into the spirit with these beverages inspired by this magnificent opera.

    Clemenza_Cocktails

    The passion, drama, and intrigue of ancient Rome awaits in Lyric's new-to-Chicago production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito (on stage now through March 23). Get into the spirit with these beverages inspired by this magnificent opera.

    A Dash of Betrayal

    Betrayal

    Vitellia and Sesto should have toasted their plan to assassinate the emperor with this blood-red delight. A sweet and spicy concoction, it perfectly captures their all-consuming passion and its tragic consequences.

    • 1 1/2 ounces jalapeño-infused tequila
    • 1/2 ounce blood orange liqueur
    • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 3/4 ounce honey
    • 1/2 ounce Monin blood orange syrup

    Combine ingredients in a shaker over ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a lemon twist. (Recipe from Drew Levinson, Wirtz Beverage Nevada)

    Bloody Tito 

    Bloody_Tito

    Vitellia and Sesto were unsuccessful in their attempt to murder the emperor, but this take on the Bloody Mary reminds us of what might have been.

    • 2 ounces vodka
    • 3 ounces Clamato juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon horseradish
    • 3 to 5 dashes hot sauce
    • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
    • Ice
    • Pickled green beans, for garnish (optional)
    • Lemon wedge, for garnish (optional)

    Combine all ingredients except ice and garnishes in a shaker, fill with ice, shake vigorously, and pour into an 8-ounce glass. If desired, garnish with pickled green beans and a lemon wedge. (Recipe from Chow.com)

    Diva/Divo 

    Diva_Divo

    In honor of the two trouser roles in La Clemenza di Tito, excellently portrayed by Joyce DiDonato and Cecelia Hall, here's a cocktail that indulges the masculine and feminine sides of the taste spectrum with a good-quality whiskey and a slightly sweet homemade sour mix and maraschino cherries.

    • 3/4 cup whiskey
    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
    • 2/3 cup sugar syrup (see note)
    • Ice cubes
    • Maraschino cherries

    Combine the whiskey, lemon juice, lime juice, and syrup. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and pour in the drink mix 2/3 full. Shake for 15 seconds and pour into four glasses. Add a maraschino cherry and serve ice cold. Note: To make the sugar syrup, bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil, and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Chill before using. (Recipe from Ina Garten at Food Network)

    Negroni 

    Clemenza_Chorus

    All Romans love the distinctive taste of Campari, so you can channel some of the Italian spirit (and toast Emperor Titus's health) with this classic cocktail.

    • 1 ounce Campari
    • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
    • 1 ounce gin
    • Orange peel for garnish

    Combine all of the ingredients in a short glass filled with ice and stir. Run the orange peel around the edge of the glass, lightly squeezing to express the oils. Drop the peel into the glass and enjoy. (Recipe from The Kitchn)

    Photo credits:

    • Amanda Majeski and Joyce DiDonato in La Clemenza di Tito (photo by Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago)
    • Matthew Polenzani in La Clemenza di Tito; Chorus and sets from Clemenza (photo by Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago)
    • Joyce DiDonato...and Joyce DiDonato (photo copyright Nick Heavican)
    • The Lyric Opera Chorus in La Clemenza di Tito (photo by Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago
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    Imbibe with THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

    Rossini's comedic classic The Barber of Seville is onstage now at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Channel the characters and composer (and chase away the winter blues!) with these delightful cocktail recipes, but don't count on Figaro to get you out of a jam if you overindulge!

     

    BarberCocktails

    Rossini's comedic classic The Barber of Seville  is onstage now at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Channel the characters and composer (and chase away the winter blues!) with these delightful cocktail recipes, but don't count on Figaro to get you out of a jam if you overindulge!

    Seville Cocktail

    Escape to sunny Seville with this cocktail, which made with sour Seville oranges (named for the Spanish city). Like Rosina, it's well-behaved with a bit of a kick!

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 ounces gin
    • 1/2 ounce sherry
    • 2 teaspoons sugar, to taste according to your oranges
    • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice (sour Sevilles if possible)

    Directions

    Shake all the ingredients vigorously with cracked ice. Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Serve. (Recipe from SippitySup.)

    Fig-aro, Fig-aro, Fig-aro

    The busiest man in Seville deserves a refreshing cocktail after a long day of solving everyone else's problems. This one fuses prosecco and tequila with - what else - figs!

    Ingredients

    • 1 teaspoon Italian fig preserves
    • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
    • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
    • 3 dashes bitters
    • 1 ounce reposado tequila
    • Prosecco

    Directions

    Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all ingredients except Prosecco. Shake for 10 seconds and strain into champagne flute. Top with Prosecco. (Recipe from La Cucina Italiana magazine.)

    The Tipsy Soldier

    As part of the plan to woo Rosina, Figaro convinces Almaviva to pose as a drunken soldier - this strong rum-based cocktail will give anyone the courage to approach their beloved.

    • 1 1/2 oz. gold rum
    • 1/4 oz. sloe gin
    • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
    • Ginger ale or ginger beer (the spicier, the better!)
    • Crushed ice
    • Garnish: skewered slice of orange, candied ginger, lime and cherry

    Directions

    Fill old-fashioned glass with crushed ice and then add rum, gin, and lime juice. Top with ginger ale and garnish. (Recipe adapted from Imbibe magazine).

    Dr. Bartolo's Dirty Martini

    Nothing assists scheming to marry your much-younger ward better than a classic dirty martini.

    Ingredients
    2 1/2 shots Gin
    1/2 shot of brine from cocktail olives
    1/8 shot extra-dry Vermouth

    Directions
    Shake ingredients with ice in cocktail shaker and strain. Serve chilled. (Recipe from Food Network's Michael Chiarello.)

    Anything for a Dime (aka the Don Basilio)

    The hypocritical Don Basilio is Rosina's music teacher-and he's willing to do just about anything if the price is right. Indulge your inner money maker with this appropriately green concoction.

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 ounce pear-flavored vodka
    • 1/2 ounce green melon liqueur (preferably Midori)
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • Lemon wedge & lime twist for garnish

    Directions
    Combine vodka, liqueur, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a chilled short glass. Garnish with a lime twist and a lemon wedge. (Recipe from Food Network).

    The Rossini

    Named after composer Giaochino Rossini (a noted foodie!), this cocktail is a take on the classic Bellini.

    Ingredients

    • 1 pint strawberries, hulled
    • 2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar syrup (boil 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water until dissolved completely, chill)
    • 1 tsp. Grand Marnier
    • 6 orange zest strips, for garnish
    • 1 (750 ml) bottle prosecco, chilled

    Directions

    Place strawberries in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and puree until smooth. Strain liquid through fine-mesh sieve to make a seedless puree. Add sugar syrup and Grand Marnier to puree, and refrigerate until very cold. Rub the rim of each glass with orange zest. Pour prosecco into champagne glasses until 3/4 full. Carefully stir 2 Tbsp. puree into each glass and serve very cold. (Recipe by Ina Garten from Oprah.com).

    Pictured above (l-r) Alek Shrader as Almaviva bribes Kyle Ketelsen as Don Basilio. Alek Shrader poses as the drunken soldier. Dr. Bartolo (Alessandro Corbelli) attempts to woo Rosina (Isabel Leonard). Photo credits: Dan Rest/Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

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