In celebration of the total lunar eclipse taking place this weekend, we've cooked up some moon-inspired cocktails that are sure to spice up your lunar viewing party.
This Sunday night (Sept. 27), skywatchers are in for a stunning lunar event: The moon will pass into the shadow of the Earth, creating a lunar eclipse and giving the planetoid a blood-red tint, which is why it is sometimes called a Blood Moon. In addition, this also happens to be a supermoon and a Harvest Moon.
In honor of this exciting convergence of events, we asked Athena Hom, a mixologist and co-owner of the Rumpus Room bar on the Lower East Side of New York City, to whip up some very moony cocktails. And of course, we wouldn't be doing our due diligence as reporters if we didn't test the drinks ourselves. [Supermoon Lunar Eclipse: When and How to See It]
On Tuesday (Sept. 22), we headed down to the Rumpus Room to taste-test the lunar concoctions that Hom had cooked up. It was 1 p.m. and I hadn't eaten anything in about 3 hours, which means I'm starting to think about some of these moon-themed snacks.
(We realized after the fact that none of these cocktails contain moonshine. This was a huge oversight. You could substitute moonshine for some of the other liquors in the recipes below. Or you could just drink moonshine by itself, which we're pretty sure is how it's traditionally served.)
The first cocktail was inspired by the Blood Moon. During a lunar eclipse, light from the sun passes through Earth's atmosphere before it hits the surface of the moon. The atmosphere acts as a color filter and turns the sunlight red, so the moon also appears to turn a shade of crimson.
The cocktail, dubbed a "Bloody Moony," is a very fancy (and very delicious) Bloody Mary. The skewered white onions add a moonlike element.
In a shaker with ice, add:
- 1.5 ounces vodka
- 1 teaspoon of horseradish
- 3-4 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teapoon garlic salt
- 1 teapoon black pepper
- 2-3 splashes of Tabasco sauce
Shake to mix. Pour into a pint glass (including the ice, or strain over fresh ice). Top with tomato juice. Garnish with a whole lime wedge and three skewered cocktail onions. [Video: How to Pour a Bloody Moony]
I was worried that all the spices in this drink would be overwhelming, but it was actually incredibly smooth (you could easily halve the amount of spices if you prefer a milder drink). The thickness of the tomato juice, plus all of the spice and the strong aroma make this creation more of a snack than a cocktail — which, when you think about it, is very efficient. I just realized how hungry I am, so I'll go ahead and take a few more sips.
Next up is the Harvest Moon.
Rim a very short tumbler or Old-Fashioned glass with finely crushed graham crackers. (To rim a glass, first put some water or simple syrup on a small plate, then dip the rim into the liquid so it is wet. Put the graham crackers on a separate plate and dip the wet rim. The crackers should stick.)
In a shaker with ice, add:
- 0.5 ounce applejack liqueur
- 0.5 ounce Fireball (Cinnamon-flavored whiskey)
Shake. Pour into the glass rimmed with the graham crackers. Top with apple cider (just a few ounces). Garnish with cinnamon stick. [Video: How to Pour a Harvest Moon]
A Harvest Moon refers to the full moon that takes place closest to the autumnal equinox — which took place yesterday (Sept. 23). This drink is extremely fitting (it even has the golden-yellow color, just like a real Harvest Moon). The taste of the cider and the applejack comes in first, and together with the graham crackers it's a wonderfully sweet start. The drink finishes with the taste of whiskey, and leaves behind a hint of cinnamon. If you wanted to tone down the sweetness you could leave out the applejack. It's a nice, small cocktail so it's easy to finish the whole thing.
Next up, the Supermoon.
In a shaker with ice, add:
- 1 ounce tequila
- 0.5 ounce triple sec
- 3 tablespoons of cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
- Splash of fresh lime juice
Shake to mix. Strain into a tumbler with a rim as big as the supermoon (or just a regular short tumbler, Old-Fashioned glass or martini glass). Garnish with fresh coconut flakes.[Video: How to Pour a Supermoon]
This drink is big and white, just like the supermoon, which refers to a full moon that takes place when the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit (also known as perigee). A supermoon appears slightly larger in the sky than a regular full moon.
For the cocktail, if you shake the ingredients enough, you'll get some foam on the top, and the bubbles kind of resemble craters on the lunar surface. Look at those adorable little moon craters! This might be my favorite of all the moony cocktails because I love coconut, and this is basically coconut meat in liquid form. I'm going give the rest of this to our video crew because otherwise I think I'll drink it all in the next two minutes. Did I mention what a great crew we have? Great crew! Love these guys!
The final cocktail is the Eclipse Night, a visually stunning concoction that attempts to replicate a lunar eclipse set against the glittering backdrop of the cosmos. It involves a very special liqueur called Viniq. It's purple and sparkly and when you move it or shake it, the way it shimmers is mesmerizing. And I'm not just saying that because I've been drinking. I mean, look at it. Did you look at it?
In shaker with ice, add:
- 1 ounce Viniq
- 0.5 ounce crème de cassis
- 0.5 ounce vodka
Shake. Strain into short tumbler or Old-Fashioned glass. Take an apple and cut into .25 inch slices (so they look sort of like a full moon). Smear the surface of the apple slice with bitters, to give it a burnt red color. Gently set the apple slice on top of the liquid. [Video: How to Pour an Eclipse Night]
Ladies and gentlemen, this is how you make a lunar eclipse in a glass. The apple slice has the burnt red color of the moon during an eclipse, and the deep, shimmery liquid looks like you're staring into the depths of the cosmos. This gorgeous mixture tastes like berries. Just berry juice, there's almost no alcoholic taste to this one. Hey, make one of these for the crew. Great crew! Why don't we do more cocktail stories? Guys, look, I took a bite out of the moon! Hey, can I have another one of those coconut Supermoons? You guys, be sure you visit the Rumpus Room, they'll make you a moon cocktail! Lemme see that bottle of sparkly alcohol again.
Follow Calla Cofield @callacofield. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.