This year has only just begun and already we've hit our first roadblock, Mercury is in freaking retrograde again. This is the first of three times Mercury will go into retrograde this year — the other two times hitting in June and October, so we thought we'd get you prepared now. And what better way to prepare for the worst astrological time than with alcoholic beverages to fit your sign!
Before we jump into drinking, let's get to the bottom of what it actually means for Mercury to be in retrograde. We spoke with cosmic consultants and authors of The Good Reverend's Guide to Infused Spirits, Sonia Kurtz and Reverend Michael Alan about what Mercury retrograde is and how it can affect our lives, astrologically speaking.
The reason that Mercury retrograde exists is that "Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and has an 88-day orbit, whereas Earth's is a 365-day cycle," explains Kurtz, "This speed discrepancy means that Mercury 'laps' the earth four times in the course of one Earth year. When Mercury is in retrograde, it appears to be moving backward when viewed from Earth. It is, however, an illusion."
Astrologically speaking, this means that aspects of life controlled by Mercury (communication, finance, commerce, and travel), can get turned around. This can mean everything from salary negotiations gone awry to confusing people sliding into your DMs. Alan and Kurtz suggest, that "in general, Mercury retrograde is a great time to slow it down, be patient, and double-check your work." Ahead, the tinctures, elixirs, and cocktails you definitely need to try during this time of patience and precision.
The Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
According to Alan and Kurtz, fire signs "tend to be extra fiery, impatient, and prone to flare-ups during a retrograde." They recommend drinks with spicy herbs, such as cinnamon, rosemary, and clove as these plants contain a lot of potent energy that can be transferred to you. For fire signs in retrograde, they suggest drinks featuring rosemary tincture, cinnamon liqueur, and clove tincture. Personally, I'd throw a few dashes of rosemary tincture in champagne or mix cinnamon liqueur into a piping hot cup of coffee.
The Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn
Earth signs in retrograde "tend to feel vulnerable, distrustful, anxious during a retrograde," says Alan and Kurtz, "but luckily they have the most options when creating a solution." Because all herbs grow in the ground, they could technically all be considered Earth sign herbs, but for retrograde, Alan and Kurtz recommend sticking to ground herbs, such as ginger, sage, and other woodsy herbs and roots. To keep you stabilized this retrograde, they suggest cocktails featuring vermouth (martini season!), ginger bitters, and their own creation — The Virgin — which contains St. Germain, Grand Marnier, sage tincture, a splash of champagne, and an edible flower garnish.
The Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius
Alan and Kurtz suggest air signs "back up software, double-check contractual details, and create back up plans in general" this retrograde. For drinks, they recommend herbs that correspond to Jupiter and Mercury as they will help with clearing your mind and spirit. They suggest cocktails containing lavender tincture and peppermint liqueur, both of which would be excellent additions to a cup of green tea or a vodka soda, depending on your mood.
The Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
"Water rules the emotional body," says Alan and Kurtz, so Mercury in retrograde can easily lead to an emotional overload (aka there might be a lot of tears). To get you through, they suggest drinks featuring "divine, nurturing, and feminine ingredients," such as rose tincture and chamomile liqueur. They also recommend their cocktail — The Simplest Solution — which mixes equal parts liquor of your choice, simple syrup, and a chopped fruit of your choice. Mix with ice, shake well, and enjoy!