Five Holiday Cocktails Based On Your Favorite Operas

The holidays are right around the corner and LA Opera wants to help you celebrate! In anticipation for the upcoming festivities, here is a list of five opera-themed cocktails to serve at your next holiday party!

LA Opera’s 2014 production of La Traviata (Photo: Craig T Mathew/LA Opera)

Hansel and Gretel – Gingerbread Martini

LA Opera’s 2006 production of “Hansel and Gretel.” (Photo: Robert Millard)

This sweet treat not only teases the opera’s popular gingerbread house, but this Gingerbread Martini will also have your guests singing for more!

Gingerbread Martini

  • 4 ounces Irish cream liqueur
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur
  • 2 ounces Gingerbread Syrup (recipe to follow)
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, softened
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Crushed gingersnap cookies, for topping

Combine the Irish cream liqueur, vodka, coffee liqueur and gingerbread syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour into a chilled martini glass. Top with whipped cream and a small handful of the crushed gingersnap cookies.

Gingerbread Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut in rounds

Add sugar, water, cloves, cinnamon and ginger to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature (about 20 minutes) before using.

(Recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood / Food Network)

Candide – Glitter Vodka Sour

A scene from Francesca Zambello’s 2015 production of “Candide” at the Glimmerglass Festival. (Photo: Karli Cadel)

In anticipation for our upcoming production of Bernstein’s Candide, this sweet cocktail is a treat for both the mouth and eyes. Inspired by the production’s showstopping aria “Glitter and be Gay,” our take on a Cherry Vodka Sour includes edible glitter to draw in your guests’ attention!

  • 1 part Sweet & Sour mix
  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 tbsp grenadine syrup
  • 1 tbsp edible glitter, gold, plus extra for garnish

Add Sweet & Sour mix, vodka grenadine and edible glitter in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake well and pour into a chilled glass. Top with more glitter.

La Traviata – Champagne Cocktail

LA Opera’s 2014 production of La Traviata (Photo: Craig T Mathew/LA Opera)

Toast your crowd with this champagne cocktail that nods its head to La Traviata’s famous brindisi (drinking song) in Act I, “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” (“Let’s drink from these joyous glasses”).

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes bitters
  • Champagne
  • Pinch of gold edible glitter, for garnish

Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a chilled champagne flute. Add 2-3 dashes of bitters and fill glass with favorite champagne. Garnish with the edible glitter.

Carmen – Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

LA Opera’s 2017 production of Bizet’s Carmen. (Photo: Ken Howard / LA Opera)

Inspired by the streets of Seville from our recent production of Bizet’s Carmen, this holiday twist on the classic Sangria is both cozy and refreshing.

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 bottle dry sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Add the apples to a large pitcher, reserving about 1/2 cup for garnishing. Add the cognac, apple cider, and chilled sparkling wine. Stir. Fill the pitcher with ice and pour the sangria into glasses filled with ice. Top with sliced apple and pomegranate seeds.

(Recipe courtesy of kitchn)

L’elisir D’amore – Mulled Wine

LA Opera’s 2009 production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (Photo: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

Dulcamara’s “elixir” from Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (L’elisir d’amore) may only be cheap Bordeaux, but this mulled wine has hints of sugar and spice to ignite a flame in anyone!

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10-12 minutes. Pour into mugs. Add an orange peel to each and serve.

(Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten / Food Network)

LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.