Drink your sign (or your date’s) with The Corner Door’s adventurous Zodiac Cocktails
By Christina Campodonico
Halloween falls on Thursday this year, and so does Mercury retrograde — a celestial season when matters in the spheres of communication, travel, and sometimes relationships, proverbially go awry.
E-mail crashes. Flights are missed. Breakups happen. These, according to astrological wisdom, are signs that Mercury’s backward motion across the heavens (in reality an optical illusion) is wreaking havoc on our lives. As some astrologers have noted, it’s spooky that Mercury retrograde (happening during intense Scorpio season) and Halloween align this year.
But don’t let this seemingly star-crossed cosmic collision dampen your Halloween spirit, advises Horoscope.com’s Senior Astrologer Narayana Montúfar, who told readers of Refinery29.com: “… Let’s not be too quick to shy away — the tricks this intense yet fascinating pairing brings can and will turn into treats for those that are daring enough to go beneath the surface.”
Live dangerously and indulge in this streak of cosmic mayhem at The Corner Door, where one (or more) of 12 cocktails inspired by the zodiac set the mood for mirthful Halloween fun.
Created by bartender Liam Odien, the Zodiac Cocktail menu both invites conversation (“Tinder should pay us. It’s amazing how many Tinder dates happen here,” Odien says) and encourages patrons to venture out of their comfort zones. Some twirl their finger around the circular zodiac wheel on the menu and point, observes Odien — allowing fate to choose their libations for the night — while others allow their birth charts to be their guides (as my companion did when we visited at the end of Virgo season in September).
“We have a surprising amount of people come in and try this extremely weird boozy drink that they never in a million years would have tried,” says Odien. “They try it just because they have some weird association with it.”
Lift your spirits and raise a glass with The Age of Aquarius, a “progressive, original, independent” and “humanitarian” mix of Real McCoy 3 and Appleton rums with almond, aloe vera and, yes, glitter, that’s “very, very slightly blue,” according to Odien.
Channel the resilience of your inner Taurus with the Brazen Bull, a “reliable,” “patient” and “practical” mix of Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Real McCoy 5 rum, pineapple, bitters and absinthe (modeled after Odien’s star sign and favorite liquors).
Get starry-eyed on the saffron, lemon and pineapple-infused vodka drink Castor and Pollux — representing the constellation Gemini as well as “the ethos of brunch,” says Odien — or the Lion OG, inspired by the sun sign Leo and cannabis culture. Served in a glass bong stuffed with sage (but not marijuana), it may nonetheless inspire another plane of consciousness with its smoky mix of Jack Daniel’s, brown butter, honey and citrus.
If caffeine is more your thing, get buzzed on the flaming cognac and cold brew in the Chiron, Son of Cronus cocktail inspired by the fiery sign Sagittarius. The bartender literally lights this one on fire! That drink is not only good for tried-and-true Sagittarii, like moi, but anyone who “wants
a coffee or some spectacle,” says Odien.
For an earth sign spectacle try Like a Virgo, made with artisanal The Botanist gin, eucalyptus and coconut. “The Virgo is like if you want to wear cocktail attire and be a little bit fancy. It’s super pretty, it has rose petals, and that’s probably the most like ‘hoity toity’ drink on here,” observes Odien.
Then there’s vermouth-based The Scales of Justice, based on the “cooperative, diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded” and “social” sign of Libra, which Odien recommends if you’re feeling the vibe of “a fancy person on a beach wearing a linen suit, but you don’t want to drink something with an umbrella in it.”
You can cast self-restraint to the wind and live it up with the decadent and totally extra (as my peer group would say) Scorpio Bowl — a playful astrological twist on the classic Scorpion Bowl tiki punch popularized by Trader Vic’s. The Scorpio Bowl’s “a blast with your friends,” says Odien, and can be served in a large ceramic seashell. Drink that one down slow through a metal straw and say “Aloha” to the two decorative neon-colored plastic mermaids and purple lei flowers floating in this icy mixture of mezcal, Amaro di Angostura, citrus and honey.
Whether a liquid horoscope can predict a love match or inspire greater self-awareness may be subject to interpretation, but bartending’s association with wisdom is undeniable.
“This industry serves an underappreciated and weighty importance, because people go to bars to celebrate. They go to bars to … grieve,” Odien says. “They go to bars for all these different purposes, and so it’s important to provide them with more than a good drink. It’s important to provide them with an experience that will suit whatever mood they’re in.”
The Corner Door serves Zodiac Cocktails from 4 p.m. till close daily at 12477 W. Washington Blvd. Call (310) 313-5810 or visit cornerdoorla.com.