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Six cocktails to try with an Opera House night in

Recipes for the thinkers, the theatrical, and the purists

Sarah Bassam, Kaila Keen

We asked our partners at Pernod Ricard to share six cocktails to inspire the at-home bartender and the at-home audience member.

Full of spirit, refreshing flavours, and anything but old fashioned. Pair them with big ideas, a night in with your tap shoes or an evening of fine orchestral music – From Our House to Yours. There's a cocktail for every genre.

Martell Blue Swift ‘Anything but Old Fashioned’

Like the unexpected and surprising world of cabaret and circus frivolity, throw away your inhibitions to enjoy a night of audacity and the wildly exotic with this playful take on the classic Old Fashioned.

It’s familiar like an old leather chair in front of a fireplace yet modern with a twist and a chorus line kick. Swap rye for Martell’s Blue Swift to experience the unbridled spirit of a ringmaster and power of the leading lady.

With a generous nose of caramelized fruit, coconut and ginger, followed by characteristic notes of vanilla and spices from the Kentucky bourbon casks, she hits all the high notes.

Pair it with a show:

Dust off your dancing shoes for a night in with The Tap Pack.


50mL Martell Blue Swift
10mL Sugar syrup
A dash of bitters
Orange peel (to garnish)


  1. Stir over ice until well-chilled in a large pitcher to share, or in a rocks glass to enjoy for one.
  2. Garnish with an orange peel.

Martell Cordon Bleu ‘Thinker on the Rocks’

For some performances the smoke haze is in the form of questions, the end of an act one cliffhanger is a point of view you hadn’t considered earlier and the crescendo is a lightbulb moment that echoes across the audience.

Big ideas and engaging talks can be just as exhilarating as a rock concert, or an edge-of-your-seat trapeze act.

The same exuberance can be drawn from this ‘Thinker on the Rocks’. This rich and complex speaker is intellectual and challenging while remaining approachable like an old friend.

With incredibly rich aromas – candied fruits, smooth spices, toasted almonds, mocha – this Extra Old Cognac invites you to open your mind and senses to the expansive flavours of an elegant cognac.

Pair it with a show:

The drink goes well alongside a no-holds-barred conversation with the king of cauliflower Yotam Ottolenghi, or as you explore what it actually means to live happily ever after with this talk by Alain De Botton.


  1. Enjoy it with a nice cube of ice in a rocks glass, or simply pour Martell Cordon Bleu neat in a tulip glass.

The Glenlivet Founder’s ‘Reserve & Tea’

Theatre is constantly pushing the boundaries of experience; it’s powerful, it can make you laugh riotously one moment and have tears that feel as deep as an ancient past the next.

The rulebook is regularly rewritten to reinvent the stage and how it can be played. Well, throw out the rule book. Scotch need not be enjoyed neat. And right now, we are really loving it with iced tea.

Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve is fruity – think citrus fruits, toffee apples, and sweet pears. It’s unexpected, yes. But so is theatre. Most importantly, it’s delicious.

Pair it with a show:

Mix a ‘Reserve & Tea’ and watch 50 short monologues by some of Australia's best playwrights and actors, each written as if sending a postcard to a nation in Dear Australia.


50ml The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
100ml Cold-brewed tea
15ml Lemon juice
10ml Sugar syrup
Fresh lemon/peach (to garnish)


  1. In a tall glass with ice, add your Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, lemon juice, and sugar syrup to taste.
  2. Stir for a few seconds and top with cold tea.
  3. Garnish with fresh lemon or peach.

The Glenlivet ‘Harmonic Quartet’

Classical music holds the key to an orchestra’s worth of melodies; a Concert Hall stage of symphonies, a spotlight on a piano cadenza that captivates the audience entirely.

The single malt holds the same complexity, and is as soothing as a piece of music. Think pineapple violins, heather clarinets, a vanilla piano, and brass apples. It embodies the true spirit of Speyside and a full composition of refreshment – that is, perhaps, why it’s so iconic.

Pair it with a show:

The ‘Harmonic Quartet’ is the perfect sip alongside an evening of classical music with Sydney Symphony Orchestra: Andreas Brantelid performs Elgar’s Cello Concerto, or new repertoire by local musicians in this New Australian Classical performance.

50ml The Glenlivet 12 Year Old single malt scotch whisky
25ml Chamomile syrup*
10ml Lemon juice
100ml Soda water
*For Chamomile syrup - Brew 300ml of Chamomile tea for five minutes. Strain, and add 300ml sugar, stirring until dissolved


  1. Shake The Glenlivet 12YO, chamomile syrup, and lemon juice with ice until your shaker is frosted on the outside.
  2. Strain into a glass with ice and top with soda.
  3. Brew 300ml of Chamomile tea for five minutes.
  4. Strain, and add 300ml sugar, stirring until dissolved.

Chivas Rye & Dry Highball

There’s nothing more perfect than accompanying a blended scotch whisky with a mix of music. Let this refresh and rock all your senses. With key notes of sweet tangerine, honey and ginger, this highball brings to life Chivas Extra 13 Year Old’s multifaceted character.

Pair it with a show:

With every sip get lost in the music as the flavours of Chivas Extra 13 Year Old  dance on your tastebuds as you watch French electronica duo AIR in a special performance from Vivid LIVE in 2017.


50ml Chivas Extra 13YO American Rye Finish
150ml Ginger Kombucha
Citrus wedge to garnish


  1. Add whisky into a highball glass.
  2. Pour in 75ml Ginger Kombucha and fill with ice.
  3. Add the remaining Ginger Kombucha and stir.
  4. Citrus wedge to garnish.

Chivas XV Sour

The opera is the kind of performance that plays on your heartstrings. Its costumes and beauty in the range of voices bring to life the stories pained in devastation and sometimes happiness.

Only this art form can be accompanied by Chivas XV Sour. Indulge in the complexity as you listen to the dramatic sounds of the orchestra and the crescendo that follows, to the pivotal moment of sweet and creamy notes that erupt from the whisky.

As we sense the decrescendo, the fresh orchard fruits, rich butterscotch and subtle cinnamon spice begin to show. Aged for 15 years and selectively finished in Cognac casks this golden whisky is luxuriously velvety.

Pair it with a show:

Be won over by the charms of the sour as you go behind the scenes of Staging an Opera with Opera Australia.


40ml Chivas XV whisky
20ml Lemon juice
20ml Sugar syrup
15ml Egg white (about half of one egg)
2 Dashes of bitters Gold dust or lemon wedge (to garnish)


  1. Add the Chivas, lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white and bitters to a shaker and dry shake.
  2. Add ice and shake again.
  3. Strain into a coupe (or rocks glass with ice).
  4. Garnish with lemon or edible gold dust.

Whatever your flavour genre may be, shake, stir and strain your way to a memorable night in. All of the above Pernod Ricard spirits are available from your local liquor store ready to enjoy.

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