Valentine’s Day: a holiday for nurturing romance, frantically making dinner reservations, and worrying over gift choices. The expectations are high. A drink will help take the edge off. Even better? A themed drink, one embodying all that gooey stuff that you outwardly roll your eyes at but inwardly kinda like. After all, it’s pretty damn nice to be loved and to love in return. To celebrate you and your relationship, whether it’s well-worn or just blossoming, we’ve got some drinking options. Gather your ingredients and whip up one of these 11 cocktails at home—trust us, it’ll be very impressive. Here, we start with the red- and pink-hued classics, then veer into more complicated, more thematic choices. And if beer or wine is more your speed, we have some festive suggestions for those, too.
A Paloma is light and refreshing, with pink-ish tint thanks to the grapefruit soda. But it’s still a tequila drink, which means it’s ideal for a fun sort of night more so than a deeply intimate, earnest one.
• 2 oz. tequila reposado
• 1/2 oz. lime juice
• pinch of salt
• grapefruit soda
1. Combine the tequila, lime juice, and salt in a tall glass.
2. Add ice, top off with grapefruit soda, and stir.
The most recognizable pink cocktail of them all isn’t one to be underestimated. It’s vivid in both color and flavor.
• 2 oz. vodka
• 1 oz. Cointreau
• 1 oz. cranberry juice
• 1 oz. Rose’s lime juice
1. Shake the ingredients in a shaker with cracked ice.
2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, then garnish with lime.
True, the Negroni is most often associated with summertime day-drinking. That doesn’t mean it can’t be retooled as a wintery nightcap. The flavor is bitter sweet, and the deep red color is on point for Valentine’s Day.
• 1 oz. London dry gin
• 1 oz. Campari
• 1 oz. vermouth rosso
1. Add the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Shake well with cracked ice.
2. Strain into a glass over cubed ice. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
If breakfast (or brunch) in bed is on the itinerary for the day, upgrade that Mimosa to a Bellini, with peach purée and Prosecco. Not in a peach mood? A Rossini uses strawberry purée and Prosecco, while a Tintoretto uses pomegranate juice and Prosecco.
• 2 parts Prosecco, chilled
• 1 part fresh white peach purée
1. Pour Prosecco into a champagne glass.
2. Top with peach purée.
Why not celebrate love with the most celebratory alcohol of all? With Angostura bitters and a sugar cube, this cocktail has just enough body to make it more satisfying than champagne alone.
• brut champagne
• 1 sugar cube
• 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
• lemon twist
1. Place a sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute, lash it with 2 or 3 dashes of bitters, and fill the glass with brut champagne.
2. Squeeze a lemon twist on top, then use as garnish.
Pink Lady Cocktail
Courtesy of Monkey 47
Frothy and fresh, the Pink Lady cocktail is a sweet treat.
• 1 1/2 oz. gin
• 1/2 oz. apple brandy
• 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 oz. grenadine
• 1/4 – 1/2 oz. egg white
1. Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker, seal your shaker, and shake vigorously for 5 seconds. Add ice and shake again for another 5 seconds.
2. Fine strain into a cocktail class and garnish with a brandied cherry.
Immortal Old Fashioned
Courtesy of Mount Gay Rum
The most classic cocktail gets a rum update made sweeter with chocolate and vanilla liqueur and a hint of orange—like a good chocolate candy, with alcohol.
• 1 oz. Mount Gay XO
• 1/4 oz. dark crème de cacao
• 2 dashes orange bitters
• 2 dashes Angostura bitters
1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir.
2. Strain over big cube into rocks glass. Garnish with expressed lemon peel.
Courtesy of Tim Herlihy, national ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W.
This cocktail pulls apple flavors from Aperol and the cider casks in which the Irish whiskey is aged. It’s very easy to make, too.
• 1 1/2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask
• 1 part Aperol
• 1 dash orange bitters
1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
2. Stir and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an apple slice.
Courtesy of Grounds & Hounds founder Jordan Karcher
This cocktail isn’t pink, but for some, caffeine is more romantic than flowers ever could be. Consider it as an early-morning treat to start the day off right.
1 1/2 oz. dark roast coffee (espresso or strong brewed)
1/2 c. crushed ice
1 oz. vodka
1 tsp. simple syrup
1 oz. heavy cream
1. Add a handful of ice to a cocktail glass. Gently pour in vodka.
2. Add simple syrup, heavy cream, and finish with espresso. Stir to mix or serve with cream floating.
Courtesy of Natasha Soto-Albors, bartender at Motel Morris
The rich, spicy-sharp cinnamon undertones in this cocktail are complemented with bright twists of citrus. Top it off with candied hearts—after all, it’s the only day of the year eating sugary cardboard is acceptable.
• 2 oz. cinnamon-infused bourbon (Four Roses Yellow Label works)
• 1/4 oz. Mandarine Napoleon
• 1/4 oz. Bruto Americano
1. Fill a mixing glass with ingredients, and stir.
2. Strain over one large ice cube in a glass, and garnish with candy hearts and orange twist.
The Rose is a French cocktail, and some say Paris is the city of love. There you have it: a classic cocktail, tailor-made for Valentine’s Day.
• 2 oz. dry vermouth
• 1 oz. kirschwasser
• 1 tsp. raspberry syrup or Chambord
1. Stir the ingredients well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Rosé or Syrah
Courtesy of Justin Chearno, wine director at the Four Horsemen
Chearno has two recommendations. The first is Les Capriades’ “Piège à Filles” Rosé, which is “mostly Gamay with some Côt, Pineau d’Aunis, and Cabernet Franc in there for good measure.” Rosé of course pairs well with romance, and with this particular bottle, a “slight bit of residual sugar in this wine makes for a great apertif,” Chearno says. The second is more suited for a very special occasion: Pierre Gonon Saint-Joseph. “There’s something lush and romantic about Northern Rhone Syrah, and Gonon is a master of the grape,” says Chearno, assuring us it’s worth the price. If you can’t get your hands on these specific bottles, stay in the ballpark with a bubbly Rosé or a deep red Syrah.
Mexican Lager or Sour Ale
Courtesy of Ashley Santoro, regional beverage director for the Standard Hotels
“I think Valentine’s Day should either be super lowbrow or kind of exclusive and over the top. If you’re going fun, playful, and on the cheap, my beer go-to is Victoria lager from Mexico—light, malty, and refreshing,” says Santoro. A more impressive selection, if that’s your goal, is the Stillwater/Dugges Tropic Punch Ale—”super limited production, creamy texture, and just the right amount of sour,” she promises.
Source : Esquire