To celebrate the opening of Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme, Opera Idaho is hosting a evening of arias and anything-but-antique takes on the classic martini.
Whether it's the invention of a no-name bartender in Martinez, Calif., or from the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, the martini is a staple of American drinking culture. The drink is attributed to Jerry Thomas, the man who first published the recipe for what was then a vermouth-heavy concoction with Boker's bitters.
The drink has undergone several changes over the years and a modern resurgence has born exotic options running the gamut from espresso to "dirty" in variety.
For Opera Idaho's Puccini Martini event, bartender Pat Carden from Chandler's Steakhouse will combine Courvoisier Rose with lillet blanc to complement the vaulting arias of the Opera Idaho singers. The four-act opera, which will run Friday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Egyptian Theatre, blends its female characters into one indiscernible tres belle femme. Carden has dubbed his similarly blended mixture "Mimi's Embrace," named for the female half of the ill-fated romance between Parisian bohemians on whom Puccini's libretto centers.
Past Opera-tini events, like The British are Coming, paid tribute to the Pirates of Penzance, complemented by the Man Overboard martini from Mark Allen at Red Feather Lounge. The Puccini event includes Bardenay appetizers in the price of admission. However the special martinis are sold separately.