Updated: Oct 28
The Spooky Season is upon us, which means it’s time to indulge in some spooky cocktails!
In honor of our Opera Watch Party selection, we decided to put together a Salome inspired cocktail. Richard Strauss’s Salome premiered in 1905 to equal parts acclaim and shock. Strauss’s adaption of Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name, surprised the opera world with it’s juxtaposition of a Biblical story with vivid displays of sexuality and gore.
Despite being quite popular with opera audiences, Salome faced major problems from the very beginning. In the first production, the original Salome refused to perform the 'Dance of the Seven Veils' where Salome strips for her step-father King Herod. Instead they had a dancer perform in her place, which is a tradition that some productions of Salome still participate in.
The opera also faced major censorship outside of Germany with many countries refusing to premiere the opera until years later. In the United States, Metropolitan Opera patrons were so shocked by the 1907 premiere that the opera would not receive another performance until 1934. Despite the protests of some audiences, the opera was very popular, so much so that Strauss joked that the royalties from Salome alone paid for his lavish home in Bavaria.
No doubt, the final scene of Salome is the most iconic and the reason why the opera faced so much censorship. Salome caressing and kissing the bloody disembodied head of John the Baptist as the party guests look on in horror is as shocking as it is unforgettable, which is why we focused on that imagery in the creation of this cocktail.
The base for this cocktail is a drink called “The White Lady” made of gin, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. When the cocktail is shaken, the gin bruises which gives it a foggy white appearance, perfect for a spooky cocktail and a tip of the hat to Salome’s obsession with John the Baptist’s pale, white skin in the opera. To capture the gore of the final scene, we chose to decorate our glass with bloody drips made of pomegranate syrup and garnished with a dark morello cherry to represent John the Baptist’s head. The cocktail may look scary but don’t worry! The recipe is very simple.
2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Orange Liqueur (Triple sec or Cointreau)
.5 oz Lemon Juice
1 Morello Cherry
⅔ cup of Honey
⅓ cup of Pomegranate Juice
Add honey and pomegranate juice to a saucepan.
Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat until the syrup has thickened. You can check the consistency by taking a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and pulling across the bottom of the pan. If it leaves a line in the bottom of the pan before the syrup joins back together, it’s ready!
Let it cool for 5 minutes and then add to a plastic squeeze bottle and place it in the fridge to continue to chill. If you don’t have a squeeze bottle you can also use a ziploc bag with the corner cut off, but make sure you let the syrup chill completely before putting it in.
This syrup can also be made like simple syrup with equal parts granulated white sugar and pomegranate juice if you don’t have honey
Many liquor stores sell a premade syrup if you don’t want to make your own, just make sure it’s thick enough to stay on the side of the glass!
Take your syrup and drip down the sides of your glass and set your cherry in the bottom.
Fill a cocktail shaker half-way with ice.
Add gin, orange liqueur, lemon juice to the shaker. Close your container and shake 12-15 times
Strain your drink into your prepared glass and enjoy!
A martini glass is the perfect size for this cocktail but any 4-5 oz glass will work
If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, mason jars or protein shakers can be great substitutes, but any container that you can close and pour from will work!
Half a lemon squeezed is about .5 oz of juice
We hope you enjoy this spooky opera cocktail and make sure to tag us @OperaOffstage on Instagram and Facebook if you make it! To watch Jessie craft this cocktail, watch our tutorial on TikTok or Instagram!
Michelle + Jessie