Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Lyric Libations: IL TROVATORE

Nothing says fall like Verdi's epic drama Il Trovatore (on stage until November 29). This opera truly has everything you could possibly ask for: a larger-than-life plot and blockbuster music to match. Get into the spirit with one of these delightful concoctions. You'll be singing along to The Anvil Chorus while tipsy in no time.

Nothing says fall like Verdi's epic drama Il Trovatore (on stage until November 29). This opera truly has everything you could possibly ask for: a larger-than-life plot and blockbuster music to match. Get into the spirit with one of these delightful concoctions. You'll be singing along to The Anvil Chorus while tipsy in no time. 

The Troubadour 

Channel your inner Manrico with this blackberry and white rum concoction. Warning: This drink may cause civil strife and mistaken identities. It will not cause witches to be burned at the stake or babies switched at birth.

  • 6 fresh blackberries
  • fresh mint leaves
  • 1.5  ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice

In a cup or shaker, mash 3 blackberries (just enough to get the juice) and mix with mint leaves. Add shot of rum and ice, then shake. Pour into wine goblet. Add cranberry juice and sugar (to taste). Put 3 blackberries on a bamboo pick, and lay bamboo pick across the top of the goblet. Garnish with mint sprigs. (Recipe from Smarty Had a Party)

The Gypsy's Curse 

This tangy, spicy drink has nothing on Azucena's life-long bitterness. It's the perfect way to quench your thirst for revenge without plotting to have your arch-nemesis kill his long-lost brother.

  • 1 orange wedge
  • 13 cranberries
  • Three 1-inch pieces crystallized ginger- 2 minced and 1 whole for garnish
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 1 ounce Lillet Blanc
  • Ice
  • 4 ounces hard cider
  • 4 dashes Cranberry-Anise Bitters or Peychaud's bitters

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the orange wedge with 10 of the cranberries and the minced ginger. Add the Aperol, Lillet Blanc, bitters and ice. Shake well. Double-strain the drink into an ice-filled Collins glass and top off with the hard cider. Garnish with the 3 remaining cranberries and the slice of ginger skewered on a toothpick. (Recipe from Food & Wine)

Count di Luna's Cider Punch 

This recipe can feed an entire army of soldiers while they are waiting for you to kidnap your beloved from a convent. The combination of hard cider, whiskey, and ginger beer will keep even the sleepiest minion awake on a dark, dark night.

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1 750 ml. bottle of dry hard cider
  • 3 12-ounce bottles of ginger beer 
  • 1 1/2 cups whiskey
  • Juice of one lemon 
  • Several dashes orange bitters
  • 1 orange sliced into rounds, for garnish
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Combine the ciders, ginger beer, whiskey, lemon juice, and bitters in a large punch bowl or pitcher. Stir to combine. Top with orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Ladle into ice-filled punch glasses. (Recipe from Saveur)

Leonora's Amberjack

In honor of Il Trovatore star Amber Wagner, the perfect drink for the lovelorn is this cocktail that mixes two fall flavors: apple and maple syrup. It's not quite as extreme as Leonora's method for getting out of a sticky situation, but drinking a few of these will quickly wash away all of your troubles. 

  • Ice
  • 1 ounce apple vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Macallan Amber (Scotch-based maple-flavored liqueur)
  • 1/2 ounce Calvados (apple brandy)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces chilled apple lambic
  • 1 thin green apple slice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, Macallan Amber, Calvados and lime juice; shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass, stir in the lambic and garnish with the apple slice. (Recipe from Food & Wine)

Photo credits:

  • Lyric's 2014-15 season production of Il Trovatore (credit Michael Brosilow)

 

 

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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