April 22, 2020

Lyric Libations: RING cycle

April 24, 2020

This special edition of Lyric Libations comes from Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra members Teresa Fream (violin) and Terri Van Valkinburgh (assistant principal viola) who—in addition to being gifted musicians—are talented mixologists! With 15 hours worth of music, you have plenty of time to perfect these recipes before sitting back to enjoy your favorite recording of Wagner's Ring cycle.

"They Might be Giants"

Das Rheingold

Hey, it's the watery opera so everything's blue! Edible gold flakes represent the Rhinemaidens' gold, as well as the golden apples grown by Freia, Goddess of Youth and Beauty. This drink may not increase your wealth, youth, or beauty, but it'll make you feel like it did!

  • 3 oz. Limeade
  • 1 oz. UV Blue Raspberry flavored vodka
  • 1 oz. Blue Curacao
  • Ginger Beer
  • Edible gold leaf flakes

Combine the Limeade, vodka, and Curacao in a short glass with ice. Add a splash of ginger beer to taste, and garnish with the gold leaf.

"Much Ado About Nothung"

Die Walküre

Since Wotan will soon be a grandad in this opera (don't ask why...the situation is kinda 'squishy'), we reached for the Old Grandad bourbon. His wife Fricka, the very definition of ‘long-suffering’, screamed bitters. Wotan’s adult twin children, and the reason things are ‘squishy’ (also the reason Fricka’s screaming), seemed best represented by two maraschino cherries, and the ash tree our short-lived hero retrieves his sword Nothung from sent us hunting for the rosemary. Since this opera ends with a demoted Valkyrie sleeping in a ring of fire, we couldn't help but add some Fireball. You may notice there’s a decent amount of whiskey in this one, but if you were cursed to sleep on a rock surrounded by flames, you'd want something to take the edge off too.

  • 3 parts Old Grandad Bourbon
  • 1 part Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
  • Dash of bitters
  • Two cherries
  • 1 sprig Rosemary

Combine the first three ingredients in a glass over ice and garnish with the rosemary and cherries.

"Das ist Kein Mann-Hattan"


This variation on the classic Manhattan is sure to take the knots out of your 'I-just-played-a-5-hour-opera' body. It also smooths over the awkwardness after you've just blurted out something stupid to your intended love-interest, Siegfried-style. Just sip and try not to talk about your family.

  • 3 parts Old Grand-Dad (Wotan)
  • 1 part sweet vermouth (dragon's blood)
  • A dash of bitters (pretty much everyone but Siegfried)
  • Two cherries (Siegfried and Brünnhilde)

Combine the first three ingredients in a glass with ice, and garnish with the cherries.

"Shoulda Put a Ring on It"


In this epic cocktail, orange juice stands in for the fiery end of Valhalla, black vodka denotes the twilight in Twilight of the Gods, and grenadine just looks really cool. Enjoy on the back deck of your own Valhalla but whatever you do, don't let your new boyfriend borrow your horse. Nothing good can come of that.

  • 3 oz (6 parts) Orange juice
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 parts) Blavod Black vodka
  • 1/2 oz (1 part) Grenadine syrup
  • Sanding sugar and gold cocktail glitter, mixed
  • ice spheres

Rim an old fashioned glass with the sugar/glitter mixture and place the ice sphere in the glass. Add orange juice, then carefully pour the Grenadine down the side so it settles on the bottom. Carefully float the Blavod vodka on the top, forming three distinct layers.

A toast to the end of the Gods and all of the bad (and wonderfully entertaining) decisions they made!
We're looking at you, Wotan.


Photo: Todd Rosenberg, Siegfried 2018