10 Ballet and Beverage Pairings!

Some say that the perfect beverage pairing can elevate a meal to a whole new level. What if the same was true of ballets? Today on the PNB Blog, we’ve paired ten ballets with various beverages, including custom cocktails and non-alcoholic options!

Cabernet Sauvignon – Bacchus

Matthew Neenan’s lively Bacchus, titled after the Roman god of wine, perfectly pairs with a full-bodied cab. Cabernet Sauvignon’s rich but blendable flavor compliments the style of this nimble, exuberant ballet! The deep purple costumes with trellis-like elements and flowing fabrics only further emphasize why this ballet should be enjoyed with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Puck’s Potion” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Meet your ballet buddies at the barre with this specialty cocktail themed after Puck. This bright, fizzy drink is a refreshing treat for any midsummer night – or, any night you’re enjoying George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  

Puck’s Potion Recipe

1.5 oz Vodka
1 oz Raspberry Puree
2 oz Lemonade (or 1oz lemon juice, 1 oz simple syrup)
Top with soda

Beer – Carmina Burana

Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana focuses on medieval German commoners, clerics, and aristocracy. Moments of revelry and pleasure are highlighted in the work. All of these elements – monks, Germany, and revelry – make beer the perfect beverage for Carmina Burana!

“Light as a Feather” – Swan Lake 

This fresh, invigorating cocktail combines two powerful liquors: vodka and brandy. Each is iconic on their own, but when brought together, they create something even greater. The same could be said of the ballet classic Swan Lake, which features one dancer playing the role of two iconic characters: Odette and Odile. 

Light as a Feather Recipe:

1 oz Pear Vodka
1 oz Brandy
.5oz Spiced Apple Liqueur
3oz Ginger Beer
Lemon, garnish

Mead – Emergence

Crystal Pite’s Emergence is inspired in part by bees. Mead, created by fermenting honey, is the ideal fit for this intellectual, intense ballet.   

“A Willi’s Whisper” – Giselle

One highlight of this delicate cocktail is whispers of rosemary throughout. The earthy flavor of rosemary makes this cocktail the ideal paring for Giselle! In the ballet, Myrta, the queen of the Willis, carries a wand of rosemary, which symbolizes remembrance and fidelity.   

A Willi’s Whisper Recipe:

1.5 oz Vodka
2 oz Blood Orange Juice
1 oz Rosemary Simple Syrup*
1 oz Lime Juice
Top with Soda
Candied Blook Orange, garnish
*combine equal parts sugar and water in small pot with a spring of rosemary. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat, let sit with rosemary for 15 min-1 hour. Remove rosemary, enjoy!

“Fall For Me” – Roméo et Juliette

This fall-themed cocktail is sweet but finishes with a tangy flavor. This makes it a great combo for Roméo et Juliette, which explores young love and tragedy.  

Fall for Me Recipe:

2.5 oz Spiced Apple Cider
2 oz Rye Whiskey
.5 oz Lemon Juice
.75 oz Honey Simple Syrup *
Apple Slice, garnish
Sugar Rim : mix 1 Tbsp sugar with .5 tsp cinnamon. Coat glass rim with lemon wedge, dip in sugar mixture
*combine 1 part honey with 1 part water in small pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring until honey is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Let cool – make cocktails!

Non-alcoholic Options:

Sparkling Water – Stravinsky Violin Concerto

If any drink could be described as Neoclassical, sparkling water would be. Like a neoclassical ballet, sparkling water is minimalistic, and it’s an evolution of tradition (in the case of the drink, water; in the case of ballet, classical technique). With its flexed feet, swinging hips, and practice leotards, Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto is a prime example of neoclassical ballet from the master of the style himself, George Balanchine. 

Iced Tea – Waiting at the Station

Twyla Tharp’s Waiting at the Station is a festive ballet set in 1940s New Orleans. When iced tea first became popular, it was quite common to sell the drink at the railroad station, and what could be better in the New Orleans humidity than that refreshing drink? Immerse yourself in Waiting at the Station by sipping on a sweet tea!

Peppermint Mocha – George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®

Combine candy canes, coffee, and chocolate, and what do you have? The Nutcracker! Oh, and a peppermint mocha. Nothing could be more cozy and festive than sipping this warm drink and watching the magic of The Nutcracker.

Did we miss any ballet and beverage pairings? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credits: Featured photo – Cocktails at PNB’s Spring Spark event, photo © Into Dust Photography. Reveal photos: Margaret Mullin and Elizabeth Murphy in Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus, photo © Angela Sterling. “Puck’s Potion” photo – Christian Poppe in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, photo © Angela Sterling. PNB Company dancers in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, photo © Angela Sterling. PNB Company dancers in Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, photo © Angela Sterling. “Light as a Feather” photo – PNB Company dancers in Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake, photo © Lindsay Thomas. Angelica Generosa in Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake, photo © Angela Sterling. PNB Company dancer in Crystal Pite’s Emergence, photo © Angela Sterling. Elle Macy in Giselle, photo © Angela Sterling. Elizabeth Murphy and Lucien Postlewaite in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, photo © Angela Sterling. Lesley Rausch and Seth Orza in George Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto, photo © Angela Sterling. PNB Company dancers in Twyla Tharp’s Waiting at the Station, photo © Angela Sterling. Jonathan Batista in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, photo © Angela Sterling.