Saturday, December 15, 2018

Astro-Punch: The Practice: Aries-Virgo-Aries-Aries-Aries x2

So Thursday we started out with the Theory. Today, a bit of a practicum on how to construct and evaluate punches for maximum tastiness. The MacGuffin? Let's look at my own placements and riff on that.

All my personal planets (for those unfamiliar: all those inside the asteroid belt, including the "Lights") are Aries except for my Virgo Moon, so the structure of these punch recipes goes as follows:

1 Aries Sharp
2 Aries Sweet
3 Aries Strong
4 Virgo Weak
Aries garnish/spice

You can make punch to the extent of filling garbage cans if you want (I tremble at the thought of juicing that much citrus..), but for individual servings 1/2 oz per part makes an appropriate serving size. (e.g. 1/2 oz Sharp, 1 oz Sweet, 1 1/2 oz Strong, 2 oz Weak = 5 oz + minor dilution when shaking briefly with a couple pieces of ice).

Let's go to the ingredients!

Four Rams and a Lamb
lime juice
grappa (100pf Nardini)
green tea
chili powder (Peruvian chili-lime blend)

Somehow, on the nose, the citrusy chili powder and Meyer lemon go together splendidly. In all, the balance works, but I'd probably use a more assertive, or at least textured, Weak component. A blend of dried herbs and flowers ontop of green tea would work even better; keep the green tea because of its affinity for citrus, by which I mean more the Spice than the Sharp. Despite the proof, the grappa slips in under the radar: it's been known to do this, so I would recommend caution, though the green tea's caffeine probably helps here too.

Granted, Meyer lemon trends more towards Pisces - the zest's oils are rather floral and the juice is softer than normal lemon juice, which fits the sign in which Venus is exalted. Alas, it's the only falernum I have on hand, but it still has an appropriate kick. In my case, it'll swing because of my Aries-intercepted-under-Pisces, though YMMV.

Erigone at the Racetrack
lime juice
Cherry Heering
gold cachaça (Ypioca Ouro)
ginger ale
brandied cherry

The punch ratio allows for an elongation of the cachaça flavors; underneath the coppery aging note there's still a bit of funky petrol more readily found in unaged variants. Hey, Aries likes to go to the races. Virgo's gentle ginger is a welcome compliment, and, when using a drier brand like Canada Dry, balances the Sweet. From past usage I've found Cherry Heering tends to run a smidge dry, so the mini-Sweet-boost worked well. Finally, racy lime demonstrates why it's better than lemon in this application: it brings out fruitier notes and keeps pace alongside funky spirits (e.g. cachaça, tequila, rum).

In all, this perhaps expresses in a more pure form something I've been driving at for the entirety of Feu-de-Vie. Cocktails are iconographic. Each recipe contains a blend of full-on archetypes rising towards something more fully-realized because of the ingredient nuances. The variants on the Manhattan align like Picasso's Nude Descending a Staircase, conveying mood and motion in the same way 75+ years of comics have delineated Superman, tried and teased from all angles and cultural shifts. Robust entities, pure Forms and spirits. Cocktails are Strike a Pose, There's Nothin' to It.

Ok, and post-script: tasting both of these at once when I (who, me? A lady? No!) burp a little. It tastes a little like A-1 Steak Sauce. This is not a bad thing, especially if you're an Aries.