Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Lyric Libations: CAROUSEL

Get into the Carousel spirit—pun intended!—with these delightful cocktails inspired by your favorite characters and songs. These are the perfect drinks to have when the children are asleep. And no matter what Dr. Seldon says, it probably would be best to walk alone (and not drive alone) after having a few of these.

Get into the Carousel spirit—pun intended!—with these delightful cocktails inspired by your favorite characters and songs. These are the perfect drinks to have when the children are asleep. And no matter what Dr. Seldon says, it probably would be best to walk alone (and not drive alone) after having a few of these. Don't know which one is best for you? Take our "Which Carousel song are you?" quiz  to find out! 

Gin Is Bustin' Out All Over 

This summery drink will have you singing along with Nettie in no time. Fresh and alive and gay and young, this drink ​is a love song, sweetly sung. Perfect for your next clambake!

  • 1.5 oz honey
  • 9 oz gin
  • 9 oz dry reisling
  • 4.5 oz pineapple juice
  • 6 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 oz soda water
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices
  • 20 mint leaves

In a bowl, mix honey with 1.5 oz water until fully incorporated to make honey syrup. In a pitcher stir honey syrup and remaining ingredients until combined. Serve over ice.  (Recipe courtesy Self.com)

Jigger's Ginger Beer Brew 

You can sail away on the high seas like Jigger Craigin and his whaling friends with this rum-based cocktail. The apple juice makes you think it's not that dangerous, but like Mrs. Mullin says, watch out for Mr. Craigin. All of his friends seem to end up in jail…or worse.

  • 1.5 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz ginger beer
  • 3/4 oz apple juice
  • Ice 

Fill a rocks glass with ice. In a shaker, add ice, Makers Mark, ginger beer and apple juice. Shake and strain into the glass. (Recipe courtesy sailingworld.com

The Billy Bigelow 

What does an out-of-work carousel barker drink after staying out all night with his no-good buddies? Another drink, of course! This beer-based cocktail wakes you up with lime and spice, with just enough of hair of the dog to cure any hangover.

  • 7oz beer 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 oz  Clamato juice
  • 2-3 key limes, juiced and wedges for garnish
  • 1-2 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 sliver of fresh jalapeno to float in the drink
  • Dash of Worchestershire
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • Phillips seafood seasoning to rim glass

Rim a tall drink glass with lime and seafood seasoning, fill with ice and slowly pour some beer (little or no foam), add some of the Clamato juice and other ingredients + an additional pinch of seafood seasoning. Stir and top off with more beer and juice. (Recipe courtesy Food52.com)

Geraniums in the Winder 

Enoch Snow and Carrie Pipperidge are an ideal couple with big dreams. You can just imagine them sipping on this fragrant floral cocktail as they relax on the porch, admiring their beautiful geraniums while the (many, many) children are asleep. 

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz rose geranium sugar syrup (recipe below directions) 
  • 5 large, freshly picked rose-scented geranium leaves 

Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker.  Add ice cubes, shake well, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a tiny rose geranium leaf. (Recipe courtesy Gardendesign.com)

Rose Geranium Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
 
In a small saucepan, bring the water and the sugar to a boil, constantly stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat; add 5 large, freshly picked rose geranium leaves, and stir until they wilt. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove the leaves. 

If I Loved You Lemonade 

This drink is sweet with a hint of tang, just like Julie and Billy's romance. Now that Carousel's star-crossed couple has a baby on the way, this "mocktail" is the perfect thing for the new Mrs. Bigelow. (It can also​ easily be made boozy by adding your desired amount of gin or vodka—you know Billy's going to add a shot or two!)

  • 1 can of pink lemonade
  • 1 lb of strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 small handful of basil
  • Ice as needed

Prepare lemonade according to instructions on the can. Blend strawberries in a blender or food processor. Finely chop basil and add it to the mix. Stir strawberry mixture and lemon slices into the lemonade. Add lots of ice and enjoy! (Recipe courtesy Natashaskitchen.com)

Carnival Blonde 

Mrs. Mullin runs a carousel all day and dances in dream ballets all night. Sometimes she just needs to relax. This drink is the perfect way to finish a long day. Just don't think about what dear, departed Mr. Mullin would say if he saw you drinking this! 

  • 2 oz rye
  • 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
  • 1/4 oz ginger liqueur
  • 2 orange slices, about 1/8″ thick each
  • 1 lemon slice, about 1/8″ thick
  • 2 dashes bitters

In a shaker glass muddle the orange and lemon slices.  Add 5-6 ice cubes and the remaining ingredients.  Stir thoroughly to chill and mix.  Strain into a large cocktail glass (I used my 6 oz glasses) and garnish with a flamed orange peel. (Recipe courtesy Twilightlounge.wordpress.com)

Photo credits:

  • Carousel at Lyric Opera of Chicago production photos credit Todd Rosenberg

 

 

Lyric Libations: TOSCA

Love. Jealousy. Revolution. Death. It all can be found in Puccini's Tosca (at Lyric January 24 through March 14). Three characters-the rebel, the diva, and the villain-are caught a game of cat-and-mouse with deadly consequences. Non-stop drama could require a cocktail (or three) to unwind. Pick your favorite!

Love. Jealousy. Revolution. Death. It all can be found in Puccini's Tosca (at Lyric January 24 through March 14). Three characters—the rebel, the diva, and the villain—are caught a game of cat-and-mouse with deadly consequences. Non-stop drama could require a cocktail (or three) to unwind. Pick your favorite!

Vissi d'arte 

Floria Tosca lives only for art and for love—her passionate nature leads her to make some impulsive, and ultimately deadly, decisions. This cocktail pays tribute to her over-the-top personality with sweet agave and spicy jalapeno; blood oranges give it an appropriately crimson color (no stabbing required!).  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 fl ounces) fresh squeezed blood orange juice
  • 2 tbs Agave
  • 4 fl ounces whiskey
  • 1 medium sized jalapeño, chopped, stem removed (about 2 tbs)

In a cocktail shaker, add the blood orange juice, agave and whiskey, stir until combined. Add the jalapenos, replace the shaker cap and shake three times, immediately pour through a strainer into two highball glasses filled with ice, straining out the jalapeños. Discard the jalapeño.  (Recipe from Honest Cooking)

The Rebel Artist 

Mario Cavaradossi is hot-blooded and brash; his love for Tosca is only equaled by his fervent political beliefs. Quench your thirst for justice with this fiery cocktail that combines sweet strawberries with spicy Sriracha.

Ingredients

  • Half of 1 ripe strawberry
  • 1 stalk cilantro, chopped in 3 pieces
  • 2 thin slices cucumber
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce agave nectar
  • 1/8 ounce amaro (I used Averna)
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 drops Sriracha, or more to taste
  • Ice
  • Garnish: 3 thin slices cucumber

Muddle strawberry, cilantro, and two cucumber slices. Add lime juice, agave nectar, amaro, tequila, and Sriracha. Fill shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and double-strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with remaining cucumber slices. (Recipe from Serious Eats)

Scarpia's Sazerac 

This classic cocktail is as bitter as Scarpia's soul. The strong poison seeps into your veins and can make you susceptible to all kinds of dark insinuations. Those who are easily swayed by their emotions have been warned!

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 1/2 ounces rye whisky
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • absinthe
  • lemon peel

In an Old-Fashioned glass (not a mixing glass; it's part of the ritual), muddle a sugar cube with a few drops of water. Add several small ice cubes and the rye whiskey, the Peychaud's bitters, and the Angostura bitters. Stir well and strain into a second, chilled, Old-Fashioned glass in which you have rolled around a few drops of absinthe until its inside is thoroughly coated, pouring off the excess. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.  (Recipe from Esquire)

Tosca's Kiss 

This drink is deceptively sweet and naive, but ultimately just as potent as the diva for which it is named. It's the perfect cocktail to sip if you want to forget all of your troubles. Or, for a more sinister use, it truly could be the kiss of death for the sadistic man who is plotting to kill your one true love and take his place in your heart…and your bed.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 oz Red Vodka
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau
  • 1 tbsp Apricot Brandy

Shake all ingredients well with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Recipe from Spiritdrinks.com)

Photo credits:

  • Tatiana Serjan, Brian Jagde, and Evgeny Nikitin in Puccini's Tosca at Lyric Opera of Chicago (credit Todd Rosenberg) 

 

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

 

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