3 cocktails to match Utah Opera's 'Madame Butterfly'

'Libretti and Libations' • Sample the drinks, vote for your favorite and you might win tickets.

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published October 13th 2014 12:08 pm



Three Salt Lake City restaurants are offering cocktails inspired by Utah Opera's current production of "Madame Butterfly."

Called Libretti & Libations, the drinks are offered at Finca, Pallet Bistro and Rye Dinner and Drinks as a way of creating an intersection between food and drink, said Utah Symphony | Utah Opera public-relations director Renee Huang. "We wanted people to have another creative way of connecting with an art form as diverse and all-encompassing as opera," said Huang, who added that the company plans to continue the cocktail program through the season. So watch for drinks tied to "The Pearl Fishers," "Cos? fan tutte" and "The Rake's Progress."

"Libretto" refers to the words of the opera, and as patrons enjoy their libations, they can read an excerpt from the "Madame Butterfly" libretto.

Fans also can win a pair of tickets by sharing a photo of their libation on Twitter or Instagram and tagging #UtahOperaSips. The winner will attend the Friday evening performance of Puccini's "Madame Butterfly" at thr Capitol Theatre.

Here are the three cocktails and where to try them:

Pinkerton Interpretation B • Available at Finca, 1291 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City; 801-487-0699. "The combination of a truly American spirit, bourbon, and the common Japanese flavors of ginger and plum created, to me, a cocktail that is easy to drink with great depth but it still packs a punch," said mixologist Davy Barlett. "I felt that this reflected a common interpretation of Lt. Pinkerton's character. He can be seen as a reckless and irresponsible yet well-meaning man who doesn't realize the depth of Butterfly's devotion until it's too late."

Un Bel Di • Available at Pallet Bistro, 237 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City; 801-935-4431. Mixologist Bijan Ghiai used "Un Bel Di," or "One Beautiful Day," the famous aria from Puccini's Italian opera, as her inspiration. She created a cocktail with Yamazaki single malt whiskey, Campari, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, rose water and an absinthe rinse. The drink is garnished with a white rose petal.

Mate (Wait) • Available at Rye Diner & Drinks, 239 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City; 801-364-4655. The drink, made with Utah-produced Jackrabbit gin, Amaretto green tea, honey and almond milk, symbolizes Butterfly's yearning for comfort while she waits for Pinkerton's return, said creator Ryan Manning. "Cio-Cio San [Butterfly's Japanese name] spent three years waiting in solitude," he said. "I imagine her longing on a grassy Nagasaki hillside and seeking solace over countless cups of tea."

Kathy Stephenson

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Three Salt Lake City restaurants are offering cocktails inspired by Utah Opera's current production of "Madame Butterfly."

Called Libretti & Libations, the drinks are offered at Finca, Pallet Bistro and Rye Dinner and Drinks as a way of creating an intersection between food and drink, said Utah Symphony | Utah Opera public-relations director Renee Huang. "We wanted people to have another creative way of connecting with an art form as diverse and all-encompassing as opera," said Huang, who added that the company plans to continue the cocktail program through the season. So watch for drinks tied to "The Pearl Fishers," "Cos? fan tutte" and "The Rake's Progress."

"Libretto" refers to the words of the opera, and as patrons enjoy their libations, they can read an excerpt from the "Madame Butterfly" libretto.

Fans also can win a pair of tickets by sharing a photo of their libation on Twitter or Instagram and tagging #UtahOperaSips. The winner will attend the Friday evening performance of Puccini's "Madame Butterfly" at thr Capitol Theatre.

Here are the three cocktails and where to try them:

Pinkerton Interpretation B • Available at Finca, 1291 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City; 801-487-0699. "The combination of a truly American spirit, bourbon, and the common Japanese flavors of ginger and plum created, to me, a cocktail that is easy to drink with great depth but it still packs a punch," said mixologist Davy Barlett. "I felt that this reflected a common interpretation of Lt. Pinkerton's character. He can be seen as a reckless and irresponsible yet well-meaning man who doesn't realize the depth of Butterfly's devotion until it's too late."

Un Bel Di • Available at Pallet Bistro, 237 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City; 801-935-4431. Mixologist Bijan Ghiai used "Un Bel Di," or "One Beautiful Day," the famous aria from Puccini's Italian opera, as her inspiration. She created a cocktail with Yamazaki single malt whiskey, Campari, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, rose water and an absinthe rinse. The drink is garnished with a white rose petal.

Mate (Wait) • Available at Rye Diner & Drinks, 239 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City; 801-364-4655. The drink, made with Utah-produced Jackrabbit gin, Amaretto green tea, honey and almond milk, symbolizes Butterfly's yearning for comfort while she waits for Pinkerton's return, said creator Ryan Manning. "Cio-Cio San [Butterfly's Japanese name] spent three years waiting in solitude," he said. "I imagine her longing on a grassy Nagasaki hillside and seeking solace over countless cups of tea."

Kathy Stephenson

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