Zodiac Cocktail #5: The Mane Event
Out of all of signs of the Zodiac, Leo is the one that most people think they have a pretty good handle on even if they’re not horoscope followers. After all, Leo is symbolized by a lion and it’s fairly easy to begin to figure out the traits that would be associated with the king of the jungle. Leo runs from July 23rd through August 22nd, and the lion in question was terrorizing the hills around Nemea in Greece before it was defeated by Hercules in the first of his 12 battles. It was then cast up into the sky where it could become a source of comfort rather than fear. Leo is ruled by the Sun and is a fire sign, not surprising since so many of its characteristics are bold and flashy. Those born under the sign of Leo have many, many virtues. They are warmhearted and generous, always willing to help, and faithful and loyal when it pertains to their friends and family. They often go overboard when it comes to lending a helping hand, or they are overly demonstrative in the affection they display towards those they love, leading many to suspect that its all for show. This is most definitely not the case. Leos are genuine and sincere, but they love being the center of the universe, just like their ruling planet. Even when they are helping someone else, it’s still all about them. Leos are also courageous, strong, and ambitious, making them natural born leaders to whom people are often magnetically drawn. They are positive, self-confident, and extremely creative, with a style of dress that’s edgy and fun. They have a quirky sense of humor, are genuinely funny, and their laugh is often irresistible. Despite this long list of virtues, Leos also have many flaws. They can become too self-centered and self-consumed, making them seem overbearing, arrogant, and boastful. They also have a tendency towards jealousy, and they are not above using devious methods to discredit their rivals. They can seem pompous, haughty, and intolerant of subordinates, with a temper that can be quick and spectacular. That foot-stomping, door-slamming firstborn child I talked about last Friday… yep, she’s a Leo. The fact that Leos are so focused on themselves, however, also makes them extremely self aware. This helps to keep many of their negative qualities in check, and so we often see only a glimpse of their darker sides. Leos love, above everything else, their beautiful hair, and will spend a considerable amount of time admiring it and encouraging you to do so too. They love the theater, travel and vacations, and having fun with their friends. They love clothes and accessories, and they leans toward things that are tasteful and expensive. They despise being ignored, they don’t like to take orders, and have no time for petty behavior. They value their independence, so they do not like having to rely on others, and they truly do not understand people who don’t see and appreciate them for the royalty they are.
For today’s cocktail, I went with a number of ingredients to symbolize Leo’s many characteristics. They also had to be somewhat bold and flashy, yet still tasteful, since Leos are so naturally elegant. I started with a base of Bleu Storm vodka, which is incredibly smooth and pure, with an almost velvety texture. My citrus choice had to be orange because that’s Leo’s color. To that I added just a bit of Aquavit, which has a strong fennel flavor, and an equally small amount of dry curaçao to bump up the orange flavor just a bit. Next came Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur, distilled in Brooklyn, some simple syrup, and a teaspoon of apricot preserves. I used two of DRAM’s bitters to tie things together: Hair of the Dog accentuated the fennel and Citrus Medica pulled out the orange. The end result was a cocktail that was bold and refreshing, fairly strong, and pretty enough to turn heads appropriately. The resident Leo gave it her approval – and that’s saying something.
The Mane Event
1 ½ oz Bleu Storm vodka
½ oz Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur
¼ oz Krogstad aquavit
¼ oz Pierre Ferrand dry Curaçao
1 oz orange juice
1 tsp apricot preserves
½ oz simple syrup
1 dash DRAM Hair of the Dog bitters
1 dash DRAM Citrus Medica bitters
Place the ingredients in the bottom half of a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds or until very cold. Double strain into an old-fashioned glass over one large cube. Garnish with a fennel frond and an orange twist. Cheers to Leo!