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    Photo by Jessica Ebelhar

    ARIES: March 21-April 19

    Michelada @ Galaxie
    (732 E. Market St.)

    An Aries has strong leadership skills, confidence, passion and a knack for getting others to jump on any bandwagon. And an Aries is also rambunctious and fiery, just like a Michelada. This cheap-beer-and-hot-sauce concoction originated in Mexico but has since been popularized and made a staple at many local Mexican bars and restaurants. Its deep-red hue and spicy flavor profile complement the nature of the bold (and at times combative) Aries, represented by the ram. Micheladas are often referred to as the beer version of a Bloody Mary, but any regular Michelada drinker will be quick to explain the difference. The light carbonation from the beer is refreshing, in contrast to the heaviness of a Bloody Mary. Plus, the combination of spices and lime juice provides a kick. Galaxie manager Lauren Conley, an Aquarius, says the bar rims a glass in lime juice, then dips it into a blend of cayenne pepper and kosher salt. “We pour roughly a half-ounce of fresh lime juice in the bottom of the glass, then add about a half-ounce of Valentina hot sauce. We use Tecate, a Mexican-style lager, which gives it a nice foamy rim, and the cayenne salt sort of leaks down into the glass,” she says. You won’t find Galaxie’s Michelada on the menu, which makes this beer cocktail even more enticing to an Aries. Conley says the bar has all the ingredients and makes every Michelada to order. Aries, when you order one, don’t be surprised if somebody asks what you’re drinking and orders one, too.


     


    Photo by Jessica Ebelhar

    TAURUS: April 20-May 20

    Sazerac Deluxe @ Alex&nder
    (1121 E. Washington St.)

    Every astrological sign has its own birth metal. Taurus is copper, which is why Copper & Kings brandy is a no-brainer when it comes to the beverage of choice for a Taurus. Brandy has become a staple in Louisville’s bar scene thanks to Copper & Kings, which distills its brandy exclusively in copper pot stills. The rooftop bar, Alex&nder, offers a variety of brandy cocktails, but there is one in particular that any persevering, dependable Taurus would sip on. The Sazerac Deluxe is a brandy version of the classic, featuring several Copper & Kings products: Butchertown Reserve Casks Brandy (with spice and warming characteristics that embodies the sensual nature of a Taurus) and bitters that carry notes of anise, spearmint and pomegranate to satisfy the down-to-earth character of Taurus. A quarter-ounce of Demerara syrup (simple syrup made with light-brown cane sugar) and a few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters (which give the cocktail the familiar red hue of a traditional Sazerac) nearly complete the drink. “One final touch is the notorious absinthe rinse, using a spritz of Copper & Kings Barrel-Aged Absinthe,” says beverage director Eron Plevan, who is a Libra. The absinthe is made from 100-percent Muscat wine and infused with all of what Plevan calls the “traditional, trouble-making botanicals” found in classic absinthe: wormwood, fennel and anise. It’s then aged in bourbon barrels for an oak finish. Plevan says, “The absinthe rinse is a non-negotiable to any attempt at a true Sazerac,” which any stubborn Taurus can get behind.


     


    Photo by Adam Mescan

    GEMINI: May 21-June 20

    Bi-Coastal @ Mile Wide Beer Co.
    (636 Barret Ave.)

    Gemini is known for having two different personalities, making it the most adaptable sign in the Zodiac, represented by twins. This versatile nature might just make Gemini the best beer drinker out there, mirroring the flexible nature of beer — specifically, craft beer, which has the ability to change flavor profiles and characteristics based on the additions of various kinds of malts, hops and yeasts. The wittiness and gregariousness of any good Gemini are also reflected in the nature of most beer pubs. However, there is one beer in Louisville sure to satisfy the best of both Gemini worlds. Mile Wide’s Bi-Coastal takes on the playful citrus and juicy notes of a Northeast IPA and the more serious spice and pine flavors of a West Coast IPA. “After almost two years of brewing Northeast IPAs, as well as West Coast IPAs, we were interested to see what would happen if we married the two styles, creating a hybrid,” says co-founder and head brewer Kyle Tavares, a Scorpio. During the brewing process, he dry-hops (a process in which hops are added after fermentation, as opposed to during the boiling process, to add more flavor and aroma instead of bitterness) with Centennial, Columbus, Simcoe and Chinook hops. “We were trying to find hops that would go well together,” he says.


     


    Photo by Adam Mescan

    CANCER: June 21-July 22

    Take Me On cocktail @ Chik’n & Mi
    (2319 Brownsboro Road)

    Like a crab, folks that fall under the sign of Cancer tend to have complex behavior patterns. They’re quirky yet contemplative, preferring to blend into their environments. When it comes to alcohol, it’s not about getting “LIT,” as the kids say these days. It’s about enjoying what you’re drinking, taking time to understand and savor every sip. The Chik’n & Mi cocktail list features a variety of tempting drinks, but for a Cancer, Take Me On would be the cocktail of choice, made with the Diplomat unfiltered nigori from Proper Saké Co. in Nashville, Old Grand-Dad 100, Kalani Coconut Liqueur and Vermouth La Copa. “Unfiltered sake is more creamy, with more coconut-y and lychee (a small fruit similar to strawberries that’s native to China) flavors,” says bar manger Lucas Worley, an Aquarius. Aside from the sake, the cocktail’s other featured spirit, bourbon, gives this drink that extra complex characteristic a Cancer craves. “I like to use a high-proof alcohol that can stand up to the (nigori-style sake),” Worley says. “Old Grand-Dad is more peppery than sweet, and the coconut liqueur balances out the coconut in the sake.”


     


    Photo by Jessica Ebelhar

    LEO: July 23-Aug. 22

    The Gold Rush cocktail @ Silver Dollar
    (1761 Frankfort Ave.)

    Like most of Jennifer Lawrence’s Hollywood characters, Leos are strong leaders. They’re noble, authoritative and generous. Leo has a warm and inviting hospitality, much like any good bourbon. This zodiac sign is represented by gold and orange hues, which led us to the Gold Rush cocktail. “The Gold Rush is a whiskey sour variation with bourbon, honey and lemon,” says beverage director Susie Hoyt, who’s also president of Kentucky’s chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild. The Gold Rush includes Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond bourbon (Hoyt says it stands up well in a cocktail served over ice), a house-made honey syrup and muddled lemon. “It’s considered to be a modern classic and can be ordered at most classic cocktail bars around the world,” says Hoyt, an Aquarius.


     


    Photo by Adam Mescan

    VIRGO: Aug. 23-Sept. 22

    Martinez cocktail @ Mr. Lee’s Lounge
    (935 Goss Ave.)

    When it’s time for a post-dinner cocktail, Virgos need a bar well-suited to their intellectual natures, where they can discuss the latest theories on anything and everything. Mr. Lee’s Lounge, a cocktail bar in the heart of Germantown, will appease the sharp mind of any Virgo, who loves reading books and learning about the world. The Martinez, a gin riff on a Manhattan, is a cocktail dating back to the mid-1880s. Beverage director Mark Moehle says the first mention of the Martinez was in the first cocktail book by Jerry Thomas, who is said to be the father of American mixology. Moehle, a Cancer, says, “Whiskey was switched out with gin and a tiny bit of maraschino cherry was added to it.” The Martinez at Mr. Lee’s is slightly different from the 19th-century version. There’s enough history and intrigue to keep Virgo invested with every sip.


     


    Photo by Jessica Ebelhar

    LIBRA: Sept. 23-Oct. 22

    Gin and tonic @ Zanzabar​
    (2100 S. Preston St.)

    Libra, the seventh sign, marks a shift in the Zodiac world. While the first six signs have a focus on the individual, the remaining six turn their lenses toward others and the world around them. Libra, in particular, has a strong focus on relationships with others. A Libra strives for balance and longs to be paired up. That’s why there is no better drink for Libra than the classic pairing of gin and tonic. This highball cocktail is easy-going, likable and low-key, just like a Libra. Plus, it’s an easy go-to drink for the indecisive Libra. The notable juniper botanical gives gin the distinct pine flavor that mixes well with the bitterness of tonic water. With a squeeze of a lemon or lime wedge, it’s refreshing and bubbly, allowing Libra to feel wild without actually being wild. Zanzabar is a fitting bar for a gin and tonic — and a Libra. Libras are sociable, so the ability to move throughout the bar and enjoy different experiences allows Libras to maintain their mellow nature. They can see a show in the back concert hall, relax on the patio or have a friendly competition in the pinball arcade. Bartender Heather Lush, a Cancer, says the gin and tonic is one of the bar’s most popular drinks. So, Libra, enjoy this iconic pair — responsibly, of course, but you already know that.


     


    Photo by Jessica Ebelhar

    SCORPIO: Oct. 23-Nov. 21

    Mai Tai @ the Limbo
    (411 W. Chestnut St.)

    Exotic and elaborate, tiki drinks are just what the Scorpio ordered. Like outlandish cocktail names and complex flavors, Scorpios demand attention. (Think: drinks set on fire and served in Polynesian-style glassware.) Scorpios are almost always “on trend” because of their fixation with others and intuitive spirit. That’s why a decked-out tiki bar in downtown Louisville is the place to hang loose. Olivia Griffin, owner of the Limbo, says that next to a daiquiri, a Mai Tai is the most well-known tiki drink. “Ours is made with dark and gold rums together with Orgeats, Cherry Heering and Pernod. Then we serve it with a brûléed orange wheel,” she says. Griffin, who is on the cusp of Virgo and Libra, says Mai Tais are a good way to measure a tiki bar. “Mai Tais can have up to seven different ingredients. Usually, bars will make this sweet red thing, and that’s not what it is at all. They should be layered and complex,” she says. Tiki drinks are strong, which means, come morning, they can be revengeful — like a Scorpio can be at times. Just remember: It’s all good times and tan lines until you have too many!


     


    Photo by Adam Mescan

    SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 22-Dec. 21

    Champagne Cocktail D’or @ the Champagnery​
    (1764 Frankfort Ave.)

    Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, which in Roman mythology is known as the king of the gods. This royal pedigree is thought to be present in most Sagittarians, so it makes sense that these independent social beings surround themselves with people, and drinks, that elevate their status. Hello, champagne! Champagne is bubbly and fancy, just like our dear Sagittarius. The Champagnery not only serves the best bubbly in town, but it takes it to the next level with a menu of champagne cocktails. The Champagne Cocktail D’or will soak any Sagittarius soul in glitz and glamour. It’s a spin on a classic cocktail, but beverage director Andy Wood says Champagnery’s version uses Veuve Clicquot Brut, a dry sparkling wine, plus a sugar cube, Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters and, yes, gold dust. “We first dose the sugar cube in bitters, then sprinkle it with gold dust and add the champagne to the flute. The bitters change the color of the champagne a bit and the gold dust makes it sparkle,” Wood says. Citrus and berry fruits derived from the champagne lend a balance of power and finesse. Wood, a Cancer, says the gold dust is food-grade. “It won’t harm you,” he says, “just make ya feel fancy for a minute.”


     


    Photo by Adam Mescan

    CAPRICORN: Dec. 22-Jan. 19

    Smoke & Pickle cocktail @ MilkWood​
    (316 W. Main St.)

    With words like tenacious, disciplined and wise often used to describe Capricorns, Scotch is the only drink qualified to square up to their mature, refined spirit. Winter is the season for this sign, so gripping a rocks glass filled with Scotch on a cold night is the move. The smoky flavors in Scotch make this style of whiskey (spelled whisky in Scotch's case) a lone wolf at times — just like Capricorn. Scotch isn’t something you just start drinking one day for the hell of it. Its taste demands maturity, just like MilkWood’s Scotch cocktail, Smoke & Pickle, made with Dewar’s White Label Scotch whiskey, Manzanilla sherry, pickle brine, dry vermouth and honey syrup. MilkWood bar manager Kelsey Preuss, a Gemini, says that after combining the ingredients she and her staff will “give it one good shake, stir it real good and garnish it with two pickles.” This peat-forward, brine-infused drink is after the Capricorn’s sophisticated heart.


     


    Photo by Adam Mescan

    AQUARIUS: Jan. 20-Feb. 18

    “Flavored shots” @ Highlands Tap Room
    (1056 Bardstown Road)

    Aquarius is the kind of zodiac sign that knows the best way to stand out is to order a round of Buttery Nipple shots. Flavored shots and bombs are the cat’s pajamas for the individualistic, eccentric and unpredictable Aquarius drinker. If it’s radical and rebellious, Aquarius is drinking it — e.g., throwing back a shot that tastes like a PB&J on a Monday night. While most bars shy away from mixing up these crazy concoctions, Highlands Tap Room proudly advertises them. A chalkboard menu lists more than a dozen different shots and liquor bombs. “Some of them are a little more obscure, but most of them are your typical bar shots,” says owner Tommy Clemons. Lemon Drop, Rotten Peach, Vegas Bomb, Surfer on Acid. Even a green-tea shot for the health-conscious. Clemons, a Cancer, says the bar sells more Vegas Bombs than anything. The Vegas Bomb, one of the most potent drinks out there, is made of whiskey and peach schnapps, served in a shot glass alongside a larger glass filled with Red Bull. The method? Drop the shot glass in the Red Bull and chug. An Aquarius loves giving back, which is why you’re likely to find yourself roped into slamming a Vegas Bomb on their tab.


     


    Photo by Jessica Ebelhar

    PISCES: Feb. 19-March 20

    Schnitzelburg cocktail @ Rye
    (900 E. Market St.)

    A Pisces is complex and mysterious but packs a punch, much like the components of any good digestif. Meant to be consumed to aid digestion, digestifs are typically fortified with herbs, spices and roots, lending a robust flavor. Exact recipes for spirits like Underberg and Fernet-Branca are secret, amplifying their mysterious nature. While digestifs are mostly served neat, mixing up a cocktail with one or two makes for an intense and complex flavor profile, like with Rye’s Schnitzelburg cocktail. This boozy, spice-forward drink is made with bourbon, maraschino liqueur and two types of amaro (an Italian digestif): Fernet and Cardamaro. Rye co-owner Doug Petry says the Schnitzelburg has been on the menu since they opened in 2011 and was created by one of Rye’s first bartenders. Petry, an Aquarius, says, “He named it after a part of town with a bunch of hardworking folks who just wanted a drink at the end of the day.”

    This originally appeared in Louisville Swig: Volume XI. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Cover photo: Zanzabar's gin and tonic // by Jessica Ebelhar

    Katie Molck's picture

    About Katie Molck

    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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