What to Drink Based on Your Chinese Zodiac
If you’ve noticed your monthly horoscope never seems to quite match up with reality and every trait of your zodiac seems totally off-base, your life may be ruled not by Western astrology at all. Instead, look to the Chinese zodiac for guidance. Not only is the Chinese zodiac just all-around cooler than its Western counterpart (seriously, which mythical animal would you rather chill with: a sea-goat Capricorn or a dragon?), but it can also help you find your ideal drink to fit your personality.
Rat: Champagne Cocktail
Birth Years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Holed up in its den, the Rat can survive any major life changes or sudden curveballs, navigating tricky situations with wit and poise. Invented way back in mid-1800s, the Champagne Cocktail has also survived the tests of time. While it may seem odd in the West to celebrate the down and dirty rodent, the Chinese zodiac version is much more respectable, a sign of wealth and surplus—like balling out on a Champagne-based beverage.
Birth Years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Like the Western Taurus, the bull-like ox of the Chinese zodiac is strong, dependable and conservative. As an especially hard worker and patriotic soul, any Ox would love a Boilermaker, the characteristic drink of the working man—er, animal. The strength of the beer and whiskey pairing is no match for the sturdy Ox.
Tiger: Last Word
Birth Years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Those born under the Tiger are proud and composed, natural leaders that hide any pain or threat beneath a controlled exterior. While extremely competent, Tigers can run into trouble when their inner emotions finally break the surface, causing them to lash out in unpredictable ways. The Last Word too is a study in balance and control, with four equal part ingredients that lend the drink its unique and endearing flavor—but could easily get out of whack with the slightest adjustment. Still, when made right, the stoic cocktail will satisfy any cocktail drinker who appreciates quiet strength.
Rabbit: Garrick Club Punch
Birth Years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
The fluffy Rabbit is sociable and a natural planner, making them the perfect zodiac animal to prepare the punch for a party. Plus, a self-serve punch format gets the Rabbit out of hectic drink-serving duty, which could easily overload their fragile sense of stability and order. After one glass of this classic gin punch, guests will find themselves going back for another, and another, and another—with drinks proliferating faster than real rabbits.
Dragon: Flaming Shot
Birth Years: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Confident, excitable and a touch reckless, the macho Dragon is one for bold drinks—and of course the fire-breathing sign would get along with a flaming shot wonderfully. Like the brazen shooter, those born under the Dragon are frank and fearless, sidling up to a blazing shot like it’s just another day at the bar. Despite their death-defying bravado, Dragons aren’t stupid; they have enough sense to light and extinguish their fiery shots properly before imbibing.
Birth Years: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Depending on how you look at it, Snakes are deceptive and sly, or simply introverted and misunderstood—but in either case, they hide their wit and power behind a veneer of quiet inscrutability. In the wilds of the cocktail bar, you may come upon the Rattlesnake, an esoteric take on the Whiskey Sour, that seems approachable at first, before walloping you with its hidden inner strength. With a cooling tinge from a dash of absssssinthe (sorry), the drink is as cold-blooded as a reptile, yet utterly delicious when you get to know it.
Horse: Mezcal Old Fashioned
Birth Years: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Those born under the Horse sign are free roamers and free drinkers. They forge ahead, trying new spirits and turning their friends on to fantastic new flavors—so it’s no surprise they were way ahead on the mezcal explosion in America. Incorporating mezcal into the traditional Old Fashioned format is especially appropriate for these equine drinkers, as donkeys were traditionally tasked by mezcaleros with dragging a giant stone wheel to crush agave piñas. This new classic cocktail is a reliable workhorse for any bar, combining the hot new spirit with the reliable standard of cocktails.
Sheep/Goat: Aperol Spritz
Birth Years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Compassionate yet docile, the innocent Sheep doesn’t need much to have a good time—and yet they somehow always stumble into the best situations. While they would be happy to sip an Aperol Spritz on a city sidewalk, their seemingly eternal good fortune means they’re more likely enjoying the drink on the patio of a sun-dappled Italian cafe. While the occasionally pessimistic and vulnerable Sheep sometimes needs protection, there’s no threat to their kind spirit from this low-ABV Spritz.
Birth Years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Equal parts intellectual and irresponsible, those born under the sign of the Monkey tend to be great at a cocktail party—until they go a little off the rails. As the evening goes on, the charming monkey will sparkle in conversation, but their drinks will go one Martini, two Martini, three Martini, floor Martini, as the amiable simian spills a drink all over your new rug. Still, all those under the Monkey sign should take pride in their wit—pride that will only grow after a few Martinis.
Rooster: Singapore Sling
Birth Years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Roosters love to strut their stuff, raising their coxcomb (the fancy, rubbery sail on top of their heads) for a dramatic entrance. This egotistical, flamboyant show aligns the drinking fowl with a tiki drink as bright red as a raised comb, especially one overly festooned with tiki garnishes of all sorts, both edible and inedible. As lovers of knowledge and storytelling, the rooster would fit right in with the tiki crowd, happily pecking away at a Singapore Sling while trading maritime yarns and deep tiki lore with the bar crew.
Dog: Old Fashioned
Birth Years: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Sorry, Dogs. 2018 is your year on the zodiac calendar, and unlike in Western astrology in which planetary alignment signals good luck, the Year of the Dog is only set to bring you bad tidings. Since your astrological representation is clashing with Tai Sui (aka Grand Duke Jupiter, aka Grand Commander of the Year, aka the deity of time), you’ll need a calm and reliable cocktail to get you through the year of unrest and bad luck. Like those born under the Dog sign, the Old Fashioned is loyal, sincere, direct and strong.
Birth Years: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
A hedonistic dessert-tail is just what the occasionally indulgent Pig sign deserves after a long day of being universally kind and benevolent. While the Mudslide may not be the most highbrow cocktail around, the creamy mix of vodka, Kahlúa, Irish cream and ice cream is a thick treat those born under the Pig sign would happily roll around in. The drink is both strong and gentle like the Pig itself.