Named after the Roman god who ruled the universe, Jupiter is the largest celestial body in our solar system other than the Sun itself. It is eleven times wider than Earth, so if our planet were the size of a nickel, Jupiter would be as big as a basketball. It has the shortest rotational period of all the planets, with each day clocking in at just shy of 10 hours. A Starbucks on Jupiter would double its sales volume! Its year, however, is something quite different: it takes 4,333 Earth days for Jupiter to complete its orbit around the sun. I feel like the size of that number gives us a glimpse into how vast the idea of space really is, yet it remains just beyond our comprehension. After all, we can get a package delivered the next day, or the same day in certain cases. It’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea of anything taking over 4,000 days.
Jupiter is considered to be a gas giant, or a planet comprised mainly of swirling hydrogen, helium, and dust, pulled together by gravity. The atmospheric pressure is so great on Jupiter (2 million bars as opposed to Earth’s 1 bar) that the hydrogen has liquified into the largest ocean in the solar system. Jupiter’s super fast rotation gives it a powerful magnetic field, the strength of which is surpassed only by the area controlled by the Sun, also called its heliosphere. This magnetic field also produces spectacular auroraes at the planet’s poles, that are vastly different from those here on Earth. Jupiter’s colorful bands and spots come from having an atmosphere made up of ammonia, phosphorus, and sulfur that create great storms that are constantly swirling everywhere on the planet. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot visible for over 300 years and twice Earth’s width, is the largest of these storms. All of these factors make any kind of life as we know it simply impossible on Jupiter.
Jupiter has 53 confirmed moons (again mind-boggling) and 16 provisional moons. This does not mean they’ve done anything wrong (insert winky), but rather that scientists are waiting for further investigation to confirm their presence. Jupiter’s four largest moons, Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Io, were first identified by Galileo in 1610. Jupiter also has three rings, but they are almost invisible, and certainly nothing as dramatic as Saturn’s. In terms of astrology, Jupiter rules the ever-optimistic Saggitarius, and is directly responsible for the sign’s generous nature and expansive way of thinking. Jupiter is associated with a sense of humor, good will, and mercy for all signs in the zodiac, depending on where it falls in your chart.
For today’s cocktail, I chose mezcal as my base spirit because of its smokiness, and I intensified that with a simple syrup made with equal parts brewed lapsang souchong tea and sugar. I added Element’s pineapple turmeric shrub, which was perfect with the mezcal, and orange juice for my citrus component. In terms of appearance, I needed this cocktail to be big, so I served it with lots of ice in a large Burgundy wine glass. Rather than going for Jupiter’s traditional appearance of bands, which would totally challenge my layering skills, I decided on splashes of color instead. The blue represents the appearance of Jupiter’s poles, only recently discovered by the NASA spacecraft Juno in July of 2016, and the red area is meant to be the Great Red Spot. The four lemon wheels are Jupiter’s largest moons, of course! Cheers, everyone!
The Storm King
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Pour over ice into a wine goblet. Drizzle in 1 bar spoon of Campari and one of Blue Curaçao. Garnish with 4 lemon slices. Enjoy!