Character Cocktail: Aeaea (Circe)
Updated: Apr 7
I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic. I’m staying at my parents’ house and working from home. It’s strange being away from the NYC hustle, but it has its perks—like having access to my parents’ well-stocked bar. Now seems like the perfect opportunity to create my first official Character Cocktail.
What is Character Cocktails?
There are plenty of posts that talk about how you can tell a lot about a person based on what they drink or order at a bar. Character Cocktails is a series that allows me to take my interests in both character development/analysis and cocktail-making and explore the opposite of that. Can I take what I know about someone—either a fictional character or a real person—and concoct a beverage that represents them while also tasting good?
I want to be clear: I am not a trained bartender, mixologist, wine specialist, or sommelier. I have no formal training when it comes to alcohol. I would call myself an ‘enthusiast’ or ‘hobbyist.’ I like to drink cocktails, and I like to make cocktails.
I’ve previously made alcoholic concoctions for friends, family, and even for my office holiday party. I also occasionally come up with ‘signature drinks’ while developing characters for original projects. But the real seed for this series idea was planted about a year ago, when I wrote a guest post for SYMPOSIIA in which I created the ‘Queen of Thorns,’ a cocktail inspired by Olenna Tyrell, for the final season premiere of Game of Thrones (oh, how bright-eyed, hopeful, and naive we all were). I had such a good time that I thought, “Why not do this more often?” With that, Character Cocktails was born.
Character Cocktails is created in collaboration with SYMPOSIIA, a project by Elie Thawn that demystifies the ancient art of drinking and explores its place in modern society. It also discusses drinking in relation to environmentalism and chronic disease.
For my first Character Cocktail, I needed to choose a character that holds a lot of significance to me. I decided on DC Comics Circe, since I cosplayed as her at New York Comic Con last year. (And, according to Elie, I basically am her. I can’t disagree.)
For a deeper look into my characterization of Circe, you can visit that blog post. Here are the major points I kept in mind while developing this cocktail:
Circe is a master sorceress with a penchant for turning people into animals (usually pigs) and a vast knowledge of potions, herbs, and illusions.
She is a symbol of female empowerment and men’s anxieties surrounding it.
She is complex and underappreciated.
She is very theatrical and charismatic.
Named for the island where Circe lives, the Aeaea is a cocktail that may look unassumingly sweet and harmless, but is distinctly more powerful than that. Inspired by the ‘Manhattan’ as well as modern twists on classic drinks like the ‘Boulevardier’ and the ‘Little Italy’, it combines the bold and complex flavors of bourbon with zesty, bittersweet Aperol and smooth, toasty amaretto. Add lemon for brightness and a splash of soda for fizz, and this elixir will have both men and Wonder Woman turning into pigs🐷🔮
2 oz bourbon (I used Bulleit)
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Disaronno (or other amaretto liqueur)
Juice of ¼ lemon
Lemon twist, for garnish
Add all ingredients except club soda and garnish to a shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a coupe glass (or a martini glass if you, like my parents, don’t have coupes). Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with lemon twist.
Do you think this drink accurately represents Circe? Is there another character that you would like me to create a cocktail for? Let me know in the comments!