|If your special someone likes cocktails, they’ll love getting a bottle of orgeat in their stocking. You can’t make a Mai Tai without it.|
|Garnish your Martinis and other cocktails in style with these classy metal picks.|
|What could be better than a Zombie in your stocking? A book about Zombies! (The real thing would probably make a mess.)|
|Swizzle up your Tiki drinks the Caribbean way with this authentic wooden swizzle stick. How do you swizzle a cocktail? Let Jim Meehan show you how.|
|A barspoon is a great accessory to have on hand. Here is a deal on two for the price of one.|
|An essential guide for the home bartender, in a conveniently stocking-sized volume.|
|A muddler is an excellent tool for a variety of cooking and drinking tasks. Here’s a solid one.|
|These Kah Tequila nip bottles are too cool. Buy one — or all three — and drop them in the grown-ups’ stockings. Christmas morning is sure to be much merrier.|
|I bought some of these for myself. They’re cheap, but cute. Great for stockings.|
|High-end cocktail bars often fine strain their drinks when pouring them into the glass to ensure that no shards of ice or fruit pulp mar the appearance of the drink. This is what you use to do it.|
|Whiskey Advocate magazine consistently has some of the best writing about spirits anywhere. Scotch, bourbon, Canadian, Irish, craft or Japanese, they cover it all with deep knowledge and lively writing.|
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!