You must be parched! It’s been unbearably long since my last Musical Mixology post, but the wait is over. To quench your thirst and celebrate the DVD release of "The Rite of Spring: A Musical Odyssey," I’ve finally crafted not one, but two “Rite of Spring” cocktails recipes. With our film production still fresh in mind, and May 29th being the 104-year anniversary of The Rite of Spring’s premiere, now seemed the perfect time to reflect on Stravinsky’s masterwork and allow its lessons of risk and sacrifice inspire equally daring mixology concoctions.
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring will push any listener’s body and spirit to the brink, and as a performer/film producer, the piece is a real kick in the ass. As such, I aimed to craft a cocktail that could embody the visceral, raw power of the music… a drink that could approximate the incendiary rush of creation. Behold:
THE RITE OF SPRING COCKTAIL 1
- LOTS of VODKA
- Pair with a performance of Stravinsky’ Rite of Spring.
- Take one shot before music commences.
- Down a second shot immediately before “The Sacrificial Dance.”
- Repeat as necessary.
For the more adventurous bartender, we have a more sophisticated, earthy brew inspired by the “Rite’s” climactic centerpiece, “The Dancing Out of the Earth.” The cocktail aspires to represent the explosion of springtime… a swirling dance of delirium, harmony, and ecstasy. Rye is the base, chosen for its dryness and hint of spice that pairs nicely with the woodiness of Birkir snaps, an Icelandic birch liqueur made by Foss Distillery. St-Germain adds spring florals and calls to mind the “Rite’s" Parisian premiere. Most significantly, the cocktail is rounded out with a charred tarragon leaf, imparting an herbal smokiness to the drink… and hinting at the flames to come.
THE RITE OF SPRING COCKTAIL 2
(based on a recipe by Matthew Itkin)
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1 ounce Birkir snaps
- 1/2 ounce St-Germain liqueur
- 1 dash orange bitters
- 1 tarragon leaf
Pour first four ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir. Strain into a coup glass. Using tongs, char a tarragon leaf over a flame and float over the cocktail as a fragrant garnish.
Watch our DVD "The Rite of Spring: A Musical Odyssey” with one of these cocktails in hand to quench your thirst and delight—or overwhelm!—your senses.