In the 19th century, in Spain, a beautiful and rich lady, Adina, reads the book “Tristan and Isolde” to the people in her village. A young and poor villager, Nemorino, also listens to the story which she reads. In that story, Tristan takes the elixir of love, and Isolde falls passionately in love with him. So, Nemorino thinks, “I’d like to get the elixir of love. I wish it were true.” Because, he loves Adina.
Then, sergeant Belcore appears, and he attempts to seduce Adina who is the most beautiful lady in this village. Nemorino is frustrated by the appearance of a masculine rival.
A traveling purveyor of medicines, Dulcamara, arrives in the village. He advertises a potion capable of curing anything. Nemorino asks him if he has the elixir of love, which Tristan took. Actually, Dulcamara is an impostor. He sells Nemorino a bottle of cheap wine, and explains to him, “This elixir will have an effect on you, tomorrow.” Dulcamara intends to run away before this day is over.
Nemorino tells Adina that she will fall in love with him the next day. Adina gets angry. She declares she is going to marry the sergeant Belcore, this day. Nemorino begs her to wait till the next day. But Adina ignores him.
Nemorino attempts to buy one more bottle of elixir, but he doesn’t have enough money. So, he decides to sugn up for the army, in order to get the sign-op money they offer.
Adina is given an account of Nemorino’s plan from Dulcamara. Adina learning that Nemorino is willing to risk his life by entering the army is moved to tears by Nemorino’s affection for her. Nemorino also notices her tears, and understands their meaning.
Adina pays Nemorino’s sign-up money back, and marries him. After all, Dulcamara’s elixir has an effect. Dulcamara peacefully leaves the village.