I’ve never been big on celebrating Valentine’s Day with cards, chocolates (though I won’t turn them down, of course) or teddy bears. It’s all just a little too…contrived. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Valentine’s Day-“this-is-just-a-marketing-ploy-fronted-by-Hallmark”-Hater. I think any day that asks you to stop what you’re doing and appreciate the ones you love is a good one.
But rather than buying your sweetie some overpriced heart-shaped pillow that says “Be Mine,” why not show your love with some quality time at home. Nothing says “I love you” like a home cooked meal and a well-crafted cocktail. Or, if you’ve already got reservations for dinner out, set aside time for cocktails at the home bar afterward. Try a few of these tasty tipples and toast to the ones you love on Valentine’s Day!
Ok, this one might take a little extra work but it’ll be worth it in the end, and it’ll show your Valentine just how much you really love them. Oh, and bonus points if you serve it up with a long-stemmed rose on the side (buy two—one for your rose syrup!).
1 oz. OVAL Vodka
1/3 oz. Rose Syrup
1/3 oz. Simple Syrup
2/3 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
½ glass Perrier Jouet champagne
Shake all ingredients well over ice and pour into a champagne flute half-filled with Perrier Jouet. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Rose Syrup: C’mon…it’s not that hard
20 (or so) rose petals
You can make Rose Syrup the same way you make simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water), but first, flavor the water by adding rose petals and simmering for about an hour.
If your sweetie has a sweet tooth, try this Deep Chocolate Cocktail. It’s a wonderful dessert drink to sip by the fireplace this Valentine’s Day.
1 ½ oz. Leblon Cachaça
½ oz. Jago Cream Liqueur
½ oz. Navan Vanilla Liqueur
4 oz. Chocolate
Mix all ingredients in a tall handled glass. Pour and thoroughly stir in the hot chocolate mixture. Top with whipped cream and white chocolate shavings.
Keeping with the chocolate theme, the Chocolate Temptress is the perfect cocktail if you’re Valentine is looking to try something new.
2 ½ oz. Chocolate flavored vodka
½ oz. Absinthe Mata Hari
½ oz. Simple Syrup
Crushed chocolate cookie for rim
Star anise float for garnish
Rim a cocktail glass with crushed chocolate cookie crumbs. Combine vodka, Absinthe Mata Hari, and simple syrup in an ice-filled shaker. Shake thoroughly and strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Float the star anise on top.
If you can’t afford the rock, you can at least fix up a properly-titled cocktail—the Ruby Diamond.
Ruby Diamond: (photo above)
2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
2 oz. Lychee puree
½ oz. lime juice
Dash simple syrup
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
6 mint leaves
Muddle mint and pomegranate in a shaker. Shake with remaining ingredients. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
And if your boy/girlfriend wasn’t kind enough to wait until after Valentine’s Day to call it off, make yourself a Broken Heart Martini. You can enjoy it curled up at home with a good book, or out with your friends, because there’s no rule that says you have to have a Valentine!
Broken Heart Martini:
2 ½ oz. OVAL Vodka
½ oz. Hiram Walker Crème de Cacao
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 slice orange
1 tsp sugar
Rim a cocktail glass with cocoa powder. Stir together the OVAL vodka, sugar, and Hiram Walker Crème de Cacao with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with an orange slice.
*Photo of the Chocolate Temptress photo is from the fabulous Cheri of The Intoxicologist. Go check her out!