Valentine's Day is upon us once again. Some adore this celebration of love. Others find it the most depressing holiday of the year. Either way, you're going to need a drink. Here are a few suggestions for cocktails to mix up for your sweetie — or yourself.
Champagne is probably the perfect drink for Valentine's Day. It's simple, delicious and elegant. You can find a good bottle of Taittinger or Charles Heidsieck for around $30-40. If you prefer California sparkling wines, several types of Domaine Chandon can be had for under $20.
Maybe you're tired of the bubbly, though. (If you're tired of Champagne, you're quite possibly tired of life. But I digress.) But you can always try that sparkling wine in a cocktail.
Crème de Cassis is a sweet liqueur flavored with blackcurrants. You can substitute Crème de Framboise, which is flavored with raspberries. As far as that goes, you could try using any fruit-flavored liqueur that you favor.
5 oz Sparkling Wine (chilled)
1/2 oz Crème de Cassis
Build in a Champagne flute: wine first, then liqueur.
I've always thought that lavender was one of the most romantic colors. (The color scheme of our wedding was based on lavender.) So here's a lavender-colored drink: my award-winning creation, the Antixodiant Cocktail.
The Antioxidant Cocktail
1 1/2 oz White Rum
8-10 Fresh blueberries
1 oz Pomegranate Juice
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
In a mixing glass, muddle the blueberries with the rum. Next add the remaining ingredients. Shake with ice, then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Here's a little something hot and sweet. (Insert lewd joke here.)
1 1/2 oz Appleton Estate Rum
2 1/2 oz Hot Chocolate
Combine in an Irish Coffee glass. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Layered or pousse-café-style drinks are somewhat déclassé in today's hip cocktail culture. But they shouldn't be. They're rather romantic, especially when made with Parfait Amour, a purple liqueur made with a Curacao base.
Layering is achieved by pouring slowly over the back of a spoon held against the inside of the glass. (Here's a video of Jamie Boudreau demonstrating how to do it. Note that he's making a different drink.)
1 oz Cherry Liqueur
1 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1 oz Parfait Amour
Layer the ingredients in the order listed above in a pousse-café or large shot glass.
The Valentino is named after St. Valentine's Italian cousin. (Or maybe not.) It's a take-off on the Negroni; an ideal variation for those who aren't too fond of the bitterness of Campari. (You can make this with Vodka instead of Gin, if you insist.)
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Campari
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Chocolate and strawberries are a classic combination. Here's a cocktail that uses them both to good effect. (Apologies for the name.)
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Chocolate Liqueur
3 Strawberries, sliced
1 oz Half and Half
In a mixing glass, muddle the strawberries and half and half. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Finally, you knew I was going to include a Tiki drink. I considered several choices, including the Suffering Bastard. (Heh, heh.) But I decided to go with something easy: the Hurricane. Why did I select the classic New Orleans cocktail? Because it has passion fruit in it, of course.
3 oz Gold Rum
1 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a Hurricane glass.
I hope your Valentine's Day is filled with romance and booze — and no hangovers on either score. Cheers!