Next up in our Zodiac cocktail series is Scorpio, the most intensely focused of all the horoscope signs. Like those born under its fellow water signs, Cancer and Pisces, Scorpios are a constant swirl of wild emotions, but the difference lies in their ability to keep them contained beneath the surface. If and when they do erupt, look out, there’s a deadly stinger coming your way. Scorpio extends from October 23 through November 22, and is symbolized by a scorpion whose mythological origins can be traced back to a conflict between Orion and Artemis. Orion became boastful and told Artemis he could (and would) kill every animal on the earth. Although Artemis herself was a huntress, she was also a protector of all living things. She asked her mother, Leto, to send a creature that would be a match for Orion. They fought fiercely and Orion lost, but the battle caught the attention of Zeus who immortalized them both in the heavens.
Despite their calm, cool, and sometimes even reserved outward appearances, Scorpios have magnetic and powerful personalities that draw people to them, sometimes inexplicably. They can be somewhat mysterious, making others want to learn what makes them tick. They’re extremely tenacious and passionate about their convictions, determined leaders who will stop at nothing to get the job done. If Scorpios fail, they don’t see it as an end to anything, but rather as an opportunity to start over again. Naturally curious, Scorpios are also tireless truth seekers who make the rest of the Zodiac squirm under their ever watchful, penetrating gaze. They cannot stand to be lied to; for them, a lie often represents an unforgivable offense. Scorpios can be incredibly brave, like the scorpion who took on Orion, and they will often assume responsibility for issues the rest of us don’t want to deal with. They are also highly sensitive, almost to a fault, and can take things the wrong way if they don’t take a moment to objectively evaluate the words or actions that have upset them so much. On the flip side of things, Scorpios can become too demanding and too inquisitive, making them seem suspicious or jealous. At times the rest of the Zodiac wants to run from their seemingly endless probing and poking. If not kept in check, they can also have a tendency to turn a bit obsessive and manipulative, and if crossed, they can become vengeful and downright nasty. Always remember that this is a scorpion you’re dealing with!
Scorpios have powerful likes and dislikes. They love the truth, factual evidence, and being right about things. They value longtime friends, loyalty, and grand, romantic passion. They’re huge fans of extreme sports, spicy foods, organic ingredients, one-of-a-kind things, and wireless devices. Scorpios have great disdain for dishonesty, passivity, insincere flattery, and when other people reveal secrets, especially theirs. And please don’t try to play any kind of mind games with them. You’ll soon find yourself in some seriously dangerous territory.
For Scorpio’s cocktail, I had to try to capture the essence of this powerful sign with some equally intense flavors. Beginning with a black pepper infused Plymouth gin as my base, I added in a ginger liqueur, and a turmeric cordial. All three of these ingredients had quite a bite, so I needed to soften them ever so slightly. Suze is sweet and herbaceous, but assertive in its own right, as is the pineapple turmeric shrub from Element. To finish things off, I topped the drink with 4 dashes of Angostura bitters, which added color, drama, and some intense flavor right at the outset. The end result is a cocktail that does justice to Scorpio’s magnetism and complexity. The light in the photos also helped to add some drama, although I admit that it took incredible patience to find just the right shot in the 50 I took. I have a Scorpio niece who deserves a major shout out from me and she knows exactly why. Cheers to you, Kirstyn. I’m so glad you’re a part of my life.
Some Like It Hot
1½ oz black pepper infused Plymouth gin
¾ oz Suze d’Autrefois
½ oz Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur
½ oz Von Humboldt’s turmeric cordial (from Tamworth Distilling)
1 oz Element [Shrub] Pineapple Turmeric shrub
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Add all the ingredients except the bitters to the bottom half of a cocktail shaker and fill ⅔ full with ice. Shake 15-20 seconds or until cold. Pour into a wine goblet, cocktail coupe, or Nick & Nora glass. Slowly add the Angostura bitters on top. Garnish with candied ginger. Cheers to Scorpio!