Opera Cocktail Drink

Opera Cocktail

You need The Opera Cocktail recipe in your life if you’re after a tasty, straightforward drink!

The Opera Cocktail Recipe

Try this easy Opera Cocktail recipe! With Gin, Dubonnet, Maraschino liqueur and orange bitters, it's the perfect cocktail for a cool fall night or for a post opera nightcap.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

163 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Gin
  • oz Dubonnet Rouge
  • oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange zest twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Mixing Glass
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer
  • Cocktail Strainer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your coupe glass with ice. Set it aside.
  • Add Bitters: Pour 2 dashes Orange Bitters into the mixing glass.
  • Add Maraschino: Measure and pour ⅓ oz Maraschino Liqueur into the mixing glass.
  • Add Dubonnet: Add ⅔ oz Dubonnet Rouge into the mixing glass.
  • Add Gin: Finally, add 1½ oz Gin to the mix.
  • Add Ice and Stir: Fill the mixing glass with ice. Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, stir well (for about 15-20 seconds). Give it a taste and stir a bit more if you feel like more dilution is necessary.
  • Strain: Take your coupe glass and discard the ice inside. Using the cocktail strainer, strain the mixture into the chilled glass.
  • Garnish: Garnish with an orange twist: to do so, express the orange zest on top of the drink and then place it on the rim of the glass or drop it directly inside.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: If you don't have Gin, vodka can be used as a substitute, although it will give a less botanical flavor. You can try using pisco for a different yet interesting twist.
  • Dubonnet Rouge: This is a sweet, aromatized wine-based aperitif. You can use sweet vermouth or Lillet Rouge if you can't find it.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: This is a cherry-flavored liqueur. If you don't have it on hand, you can substitute cherry syrup or cherry brandy, although the taste will be quite different as the maraschino has a very specific, signature taste. An older version of the drink, published by J. Straub in 1914, also mentions using mandarin liqueur (such as Mandarine Napoléon) to make this drink. That can also be a great alternative, either if you choose to completely replace the maraschino with mandarin liqueur or to make a blend of both.
  • Orange Bitters: If you don’t have orange bitters, you can use lemon bitters as a substitute or simply leave them out altogether.

Making a Pitcher of The Opera Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of Gin, 5 oz of Dubonnet Rouge, 2 ½ oz of Maraschino Liqueur and 16 dashes of orange bitters.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the orange bitters, Gin, Dubonnet Rouge, and Maraschino Liqueur. Add ice and stir well. Give it a taste and stir a bit more if you feel like more dilution is necessary and strain to remove the ice.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into individual chilled cocktail glasses (Martini or coupe style), garnish with an orange twist, and serve immediately. Be sure to put the pitcher back into the fridge or freezer between each serving in order for your drink to remain as cold as possible.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; these are available and reasonably mimic Gin's botanicals.
  • Dubonnet Rouge Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic red wine or red/sweet vermouth.
  • Maraschino Liqueur Substitute: Use a cherry-flavored syrup instead of the liqueur.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.
However, keep in mind that, as the Opera cocktail is solely made out of alcoholic ingredients, it may be hard to recreate its flavor using only non-alcoholic substitutes; the overall flavor and mouthfeel will probably change greatly from the original drink. In order to make the perfect mocktail version of this drink, you may have to revise the quantity of each ingredient depending on the specific substitute you decide to use.

Making it Vegan:

The Opera Cocktail is naturally vegan as it contains no animal products. However, always check your ingredients' labels to ensure they are vegan. Some brands may use animal products in their production process, especially when filtration and coloring are involved.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
163
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Potassium
 
18
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.04
g
0
%
Calcium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Opera Cocktail Drink

The Opera Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Try this easy Opera Cocktail recipe! With Gin, Dubonnet, Maraschino liqueur and orange bitters, it's the perfect cocktail for a cool fall night or for a post opera nightcap.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 163

Ingredients
 

  • oz Gin
  • oz Dubonnet Rouge
  • oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange zest twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Mixing Glass
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer
  • Cocktail Strainer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your coupe glass with ice. Set it aside.
  • Add Bitters: Pour 2 dashes Orange Bitters into the mixing glass.
  • Add Maraschino: Measure and pour ⅓ oz Maraschino Liqueur into the mixing glass.
  • Add Dubonnet: Add ⅔ oz Dubonnet Rouge into the mixing glass.
  • Add Gin: Finally, add 1½ oz Gin to the mix.
  • Add Ice and Stir: Fill the mixing glass with ice. Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, stir well (for about 15-20 seconds). Give it a taste and stir a bit more if you feel like more dilution is necessary.
  • Strain: Take your coupe glass and discard the ice inside. Using the cocktail strainer, strain the mixture into the chilled glass.
  • Garnish: Garnish with an orange twist: to do so, express the orange zest on top of the drink and then place it on the rim of the glass or drop it directly inside.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: If you don't have Gin, vodka can be used as a substitute, although it will give a less botanical flavor. You can try using pisco for a different yet interesting twist.
  • Dubonnet Rouge: This is a sweet, aromatized wine-based aperitif. You can use sweet vermouth or Lillet Rouge if you can't find it.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: This is a cherry-flavored liqueur. If you don't have it on hand, you can substitute cherry syrup or cherry brandy, although the taste will be quite different as the maraschino has a very specific, signature taste. An older version of the drink, published by J. Straub in 1914, also mentions using mandarin liqueur (such as Mandarine Napoléon) to make this drink. That can also be a great alternative, either if you choose to completely replace the maraschino with mandarin liqueur or to make a blend of both.
  • Orange Bitters: If you don’t have orange bitters, you can use lemon bitters as a substitute or simply leave them out altogether.

Making a Pitcher of The Opera Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of Gin, 5 oz of Dubonnet Rouge, 2 ½ oz of Maraschino Liqueur and 16 dashes of orange bitters.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the orange bitters, Gin, Dubonnet Rouge, and Maraschino Liqueur. Add ice and stir well. Give it a taste and stir a bit more if you feel like more dilution is necessary and strain to remove the ice.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into individual chilled cocktail glasses (Martini or coupe style), garnish with an orange twist, and serve immediately. Be sure to put the pitcher back into the fridge or freezer between each serving in order for your drink to remain as cold as possible.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; these are available and reasonably mimic Gin's botanicals.
  • Dubonnet Rouge Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic red wine or red/sweet vermouth.
  • Maraschino Liqueur Substitute: Use a cherry-flavored syrup instead of the liqueur.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.
However, keep in mind that, as the Opera cocktail is solely made out of alcoholic ingredients, it may be hard to recreate its flavor using only non-alcoholic substitutes; the overall flavor and mouthfeel will probably change greatly from the original drink. In order to make the perfect mocktail version of this drink, you may have to revise the quantity of each ingredient depending on the specific substitute you decide to use.

Making it Vegan:

The Opera Cocktail is naturally vegan as it contains no animal products. However, always check your ingredients' labels to ensure they are vegan. Some brands may use animal products in their production process, especially when filtration and coloring are involved.

What is a The Opera Cocktail?

An Opera Cocktail is a gin-based classic cocktail made of Gin, Dubonnet Rouge, Maraschino liqueur, and Orange Bitters. This drink is relatively easy to make as it only requires measuring ingredients accurately and mixing them effectively. The Opera Cocktail is considered a variant of the Martinez, with the addition of Dubonnet Rouge giving it a unique twist.

A side shot of a Opera cocktail in a coupe glass on a wooden coaster surrounded by a shaker, a bar spoon, a jigger and a green cloth

What is The Opera Cocktail made of – The ingredients

The Opera Cocktail is made with the following ingredients:

  • Gin: It forms the cocktail’s base, providing a strong, juniper-forward flavor.
  • Dubonnet Rouge: A sweet, aromatized wine that adds depth and complexity to the cocktail.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: This cherry-flavored liqueur imparts a subtle sweetness and fruitiness.
  • Orange Bitters: These add a citrusy note and balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  • Orange Twist: Used as a garnish to add a fresh citrus aroma and a visually appealing touch, enhancing both the flavor and presentation of the cocktail.

Gin, Dubonnet Rouge, Maraschino liqueur, and orange bitters laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a The Opera Cocktail?

Master the art of making The Opera Cocktail with our clear steps:

1
<p>Fill your coupe glass with ice and set it aside. This step ensures the glass is well-chilled, keeping your cocktail at the perfect temperature.</p>

Fill your coupe glass with ice and set it aside. This step ensures the glass is well-chilled, keeping your cocktail at the perfect temperature.

2
<p>Pour 2 dashes of orange bitters into the mixing glass. The orange bitters provide a subtle citrus aroma and a slight bitterness, enhancing the complexity of the cocktail.</p>

Pour 2 dashes of orange bitters into the mixing glass. The orange bitters provide a subtle citrus aroma and a slight bitterness, enhancing the complexity of the cocktail.

3
<p>Measure and pour ⅓ ounce of Maraschino liqueur into the mixing glass. The Maraschino liqueur adds a hint of cherry sweetness and a unique, floral flavor that compliments the other ingredients.</p>

Measure and pour ⅓ ounce of Maraschino liqueur into the mixing glass. The Maraschino liqueur adds a hint of cherry sweetness and a unique, floral flavor that compliments the other ingredients.

4
<p>Add ⅔ ounce of Dubonnet into the mixing glass. The Dubonnet contributes a rich, slightly sweet and herbaceous note, adding depth to the cocktail.</p>

Add ⅔ ounce of Dubonnet into the mixing glass. The Dubonnet contributes a rich, slightly sweet and herbaceous note, adding depth to the cocktail.

5
<p>Finally, add 1½ ounces of gin to the mix. The Gin serves as the base spirit for the Opera Cocktail, providing a strong, crisp foundation.</p>

Finally, add 1½ ounces of gin to the mix. The Gin serves as the base spirit for the Opera Cocktail, providing a strong, crisp foundation.

6
<p>Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes.

7
<p>Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, stir well for about 15-20 seconds. This chills the mixture and allows the flavors to meld together. Taste the cocktail and stir a bit more if you feel more dilution is necessary.</p>

Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, stir well for about 15-20 seconds. This chills the mixture and allows the flavors to meld together. Taste the cocktail and stir a bit more if you feel more dilution is necessary.

8
<p>Take your coupe glass and discard the ice inside. Using the cocktail strainer, strain the mixture into the now-chilled glass, ensuring a smooth and well-balanced pour.</p>

Take your coupe glass and discard the ice inside. Using the cocktail strainer, strain the mixture into the now-chilled glass, ensuring a smooth and well-balanced pour.

9
<p>Garnish with an orange twist. Express the orange zest on top of the drink to release its oils.</p>

Garnish with an orange twist. Express the orange zest on top of the drink to release its oils.

10
<p>Then place it on the rim of the glass or drop it directly inside. The oils from the peel add a final burst of citrus aroma, perfectly rounding off the Opera Cocktail.</p>

Then place it on the rim of the glass or drop it directly inside. The oils from the peel add a final burst of citrus aroma, perfectly rounding off the Opera Cocktail.

History and Origin of the Opera Cocktail

The first mention of the Opera Cocktail appears in Jacques Straub’s 1914 book Drinks, in which the recipe mentions using Mandarine Napoléon instead of maraschino liqueur. However, the most common version in bars today comes from a later recipe, featured in Harry Craddock’s 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book. This version, using maraschino liqueur, is the one we chose to present you with.

A Opera cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a beige surface surrounded by Gin, Dubonnet Rouge, Maraschino liqueur, and orange bitters

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FAQ

How many calories does the Opera Cocktail contain?
The Opera Cocktail typically contains around 150-200 calories. However, this can vary slightly depending on the specific brands of alcohol used.
How strong is the Opera Cocktail?
The strength of the Opera Cocktail can vary based on the ratio of ingredients, but it generally has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of about 27-30%. This translates to a proof range of 54-60, making it a strong cocktail.
What type of alcohol is used in the Opera Cocktail?
The Opera Cocktail primarily uses Gin as its base spirit. It also includes Dubonnet, a fortified wine, and Maraschino liqueur for added flavor and complexity.
In which glass is the Opera Cocktail served?
Traditionally, the Opera Cocktail is served in a chilled cocktail glass, coupe or martini style .
What does the Opera Cocktail taste like?
The Opera Cocktail offers a unique blend of flavors. The Gin provides a crisp, juniper-forward base, while the Dubonnet adds a touch of sweetness and depth. The Maraschino liqueur imparts a subtle cherry note that rounds out the drink, while the orange bitters add a layer of complexity and underlying citrus notes.
How is the Opera Cocktail served with ice?
The Opera Cocktail is usually stirred with ice to chill and dilute it slightly, then strained into a chilled cocktail glass. This method ensures that the drink remains cold but not watered down.
Who invented the Opera Cocktail?
The Opera Cocktail first appeared in print in Jacques Straub’s 1914 book Drinks. It later appeared again in Harry Craddock's "The Savoy Cocktail Book", published in 1930.

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