September 01, 2020

Lyric Libations: For the Love of Lyric

September 11, 2020

This September, Lyric is excited to present For the Love of Lyric, a free virtual concert starring world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming and special guests Heather Headley, Ailyn Pérez, Soloman Howard, J'Nai Bridges, Julia Bullock, the 2020/21 Ryan Opera Center Ensemble, and members of the Chicago Children's Choir all under the direction of music director Doug Peck.

Whether you're planning a Zoom happy hour with friends, or just looking for a tasty drink to accompany a night of beautiful music, here are some themed cocktails that are sure to have you feeling the Lyric love!


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The People’s Divatini

There’s no one like Renée Fleming, so a cocktail in her honor needs to be just as unique. Refreshing and fun, this cosmo-inspired martini is sure to hit all the right notes.


  • 2 ounces lemon vodka
  • 1⁄2 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce lemon juice
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the liquid ingredients and vigorously shake. Strain into martini glass and garnish with lemon twist (recipe inspired by

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The Lion Queen

From the Shadowland to Chicagoland, we can all feel the love tonight. Enjoy this complex cocktail inspired by Broadway’s original Nala, Heather Headley.


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce allspice dram
  • Garnish: orange peel

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Lightly express the oil from an orange peel over top (recipe from

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Estrellita Margarita

We’re bringing some of opera’s brightest stars from our stage to your living room in For the Love of Lyric. Shake up the evening with this midnight blue margarita and soon you’ll be feeling like a star too!


  • 1 1/2 oz tequila blanco
  • 1/2 oz blue curacao
  • 3/4 oz blueberry syrup*
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, then serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with blueberries speared on a cocktail toothpick.

*To make the blueberry syrup, bring equal parts water, sugar, and fresh or frozen blueberries to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool, then strain out blueberries (recipe from

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The Impossible Dram

Nothing could be more fitting for the charmingly old-fashioned Man of LaMancha than, well, an old fashioned! This honeyed take on the classic cocktail features Aberfeldy whisky—a spirit known as “The Golden Dram.” It’s so smooth you’ll find it nearly impossible to put down, just remember to keep an eye out for windmills.


  • 2 oz Aberfeldy 12 Year Old 
  • 1/4 oz honey syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Garnish: orange peel 

Combine the Aberfeldy 12 Year Old, honey syrup, orange and Angustura bitters in the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Add a block of ice. Stir around 15-20 times until perfectly diluted, chilled and mixed. Squeeze oils from the orange peel into the drink and around the glass, twist and use as a garnish on the top (recipe from

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The Last Rosé of Summer

Fall is just around the corner, but you can celebrate the final days of summer with this rosé-based cocktail that pairs perfectly with a night of beautiful music.


  • 1 1/2 ounces dry gin (or vodka)
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce honey
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 muddled strawberry
  • Sparkling rosé
  • Garnish: orange slice

Add the gin, Campari, honey, lemon juice, orange juice and strawberry to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a glass over fresh ice and top with sparkling rosé. Garnish with the orange slice and serve (recipe from

Go ahead and sit back, pour yourself a drink, and tune in to For the Love of Lyric on Facebook or YouTube beginning at 6pm CDT on Sunday, September 13.