Ah, Gemini. This is a sign that is near and dear to my heart, not because it’s mine, but because some of my very favorite people in the world are born under it, two of whom happen to be my sons. Gemini extends from May 20th through June 20th, and is symbolized by the mythological twins Castor and Pollux, members of the Argonauts who sailed with Jason to capture the Golden Fleece. When they died fighting at a young age, Zeus immortalized them by casting them up into the sky in the form of an astrological sign. Just one of the perks of having a dad who rules the universe. Gemini’s element is air, and its ruling planet is Mercury, which affects communication and movement (think travel) for the entire Zodiac. This ruling planet business is another reason why I happen to have an affinity for Geminis; Mercury also rules my very own sign of Virgo, and that has always brought about an instant feeling of connection with most Geminis I’ve known. In terms of communication, Geminis are eloquent and witty; they love to talk and have deep conversations about intellectual things. However, since Gemini is represented by the twins, it’s not surprising to learn that one of their major characteristics is that they have a a bit of a dual personality. (When talking about my kids I’ve often mentioned “my four sons,” even though I only have two.) For example, Geminis can be sociable and communicative, charming and fun, but then they can suddenly get all serious, tense, and elusive, often without much of an explanation. The world fascinates them and they are naturally curious and inquisitive about the way things work, but that can quickly turn into restlessness, nervousness, and a feeling that there’s just not enough time to see everything the world has to offer them. One of the most difficult things about Gemini’s dual nature is the position they take on issues: you may think you know exactly where they stand, only to find that they’ve become indecisive and contradictory. They like to see both sides of the situation, which is not a bad thing, but to some people it can appear as if they are being inconsistent and just a little bit flip-floppy. As difficult as it can sometimes be to deal with their dual personalities, there are some real advantages as well. Geminis are flexible and adaptable when it comes to change, allowing them to respond more quickly to developing situations than many other signs in the Zodiac. Geminis love their cell phones and all other communication devices, they have great clothes and are often very fashionable (eclipsed only by Virgo when it comes to that – sorry), they love great music, books, and meaningful conversation. They struggle with small-minded people, aren’t crazy about authority figures, despise being given the silent treatment, prefer not to be alone (most times), and they hate feeling confined in any way.
Gemini’s colors are orange, green, and yellow, but for today’s cocktail I chose to focus on the light and dark sides of their personalities by creating a riff on the White and Black Russians. Traditionally they are made with vodka, Kahlua, and cream (for the white only), are notoriously sweet, and often not regarded as “serious” cocktails. That’s not my position; it’s just a statement of fact. Instead of using Kahlua, I made two coffee syrups, one from espresso beans and the other from a medium roast. This allowed me to control the sweetness by cutting back on the amount of sugar I used. For the darker cocktail, I added Ancho Reyes chili liqueur and DRAM Apothecary Black bitters to give it an even deeper, spicier flavor. For the lighter one, I used Sukkah Hill Spirits Etrog liqueur and DRAM’s Citrus Medica bitters, so that I could bring in some citrus and floral notes. They are the alike, yet very different, in much the same way as twins can be. I garnished each of them with an element from the opposite drink: chili pepper flakes for the lighter twin, and lemon zest for the darker. Cheers, Gemini! You know I love you.
Double Trouble (White)
Place all the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice until very cold. Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with red chili flakes. Enjoy!
Double Trouble (Black)
Place all the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice until very cold. Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon zest. Enjoy!
*Boil ¾ cup of coffee with ¼ cup of sugar for about 12 minutes or until the mixture becomes syrupy. Feel free to adjust the sweetness. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for about 2 weeks or so.
These cocktails can also be served over ice in an old-fashioned glass if you prefer.
Image from www.crystallinks.com