Every year couples face the same struggle each February. What to do that will make their loved one feel special on Valentine’s Day? While many will turn to boxes of chocolates, dinners out, and lacy undergarments, there is another way you can wow your partner. A special cocktail to mark the occasion made by you.
“A great drink is balanced and beautiful. It has provocative ingredients and tastes delicious, just like the perfect relationship,” says Trish Rossiene, an NYC-based Cocktail Guru and the president of the NYC Chapter of the US Bartenders Guild. “Making cocktails on Valentine’s Day is special because you’re curating an experience or a chapter in your love story. Since most memories are triggered by smell and taste, you’re implementing a marker for a sweet moment in your lives that will last forever that you can always look back on.”
But, either finding a recipe or creating a unique beverage from scratch for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day can be daunting. Luckily, there are many professionals to help steer you down the right path. Here are twelve special ones that cover a wide array of flavors and will impress your date for the evening and many nights after.
Hearts on Fire
Created by Mixologist Jes Gutierrez-Switaj.
2.5 parts Mumm Napa Brut Rosé
1.5 parts Pink Gin
1.5 parts Pink Grapefruit Juice
1 part Raspberry Rose Water Syrup
1.5 part Raspberry Seltzer
Method: Pour raspberry rose water syrup into the bottle of your glass. Fill the glass with large chunks of crushed clear ice. Separately, combine pink gin and grapefruit juice in a mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill, then add pre-chilled raspberry (or plain) seltzer. Gently pour into your glass so that it layers on top of the syrup. Top off with Mumm Napa Brut Rosé. Garnish with grapefruit slice, fresh raspberries, and some blossoms.
Created by the Cocktail Academy
1.5 oz Ketel One Family Made Vodka
.5 oz Sakura Cherry Blossom Vermouth
.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
.5 oz Lime juice
.25 oz Simple syrup
Method: Combine ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a mini white rose and serve immediately.
Pretty in Pamplemousse
Created by Death & Co
1 oz Ketel One Family Made Vodka
0.5 oz Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit & Rose
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
0.25 oz Giffard Pamplemousse
0.25 oz Aperol
Method: Combine all ingredents into a shaker over ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Serve immediately.
Chocolate Old Fashioned
Created by Mixologist Lynnette Marrero
1 1/2 ounces Zacapa No. 23
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters
1 heavy dash Chocolate Bitters
1 cube Brown Sugar
Method: Combine all ingredients in a double old fashioned glass and fill with ice. Stir gently. Garnish with grapefruit zest and dark chocolate powder dusted grapefruit peel.
Created by Mixologist Tia Konsur
1.5 oz Oxley Gin
.5 oz clementine or green tea cordial
Dried orange blossom
Method: For a seasonal twist on the gimlet, stir gin and Clementine or green tea cordial over ice, then strain. Serve in a small wine glass or goblet, and garnish with dried orange blossom.
Organic Basil Smash
Simón Hernández of the Cana Bar
2 ounces of Barceló Organic Rum
8 basil leaves
1 ounce of lemon juice
½ ounce of simple syrup Basil
Leaves for decoration
Method: Pour the basil and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker to blend both gently, add the rum, simple syrup, and top up with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a short glass over ice, and garnish with basil leaves.
Simón Hernández of the Cana Bar
½ ounce of Curaçao
2 ounces of Barceló Añejo
½ ounce of almond syrup
½ ounce of simple syrup
¾ ounces of lemon juice
Cut pineapple, cherry, tropical flowers
Method: In a shaker with six ice cubes, pour all the ingredients, close the shaker and shake vigorously until a layer of frost forms in the shaker, strain and serve in a tumbler glass and garnish with a pineapple, cherry, 1/4 lemon.
Irish Love Affair
Created by Mixologist Chris Norton
2 oz. Triple Dog Irish Whiskey
½ oz. Monin® Swiss Chocolate Syrup
Method: Combine ingredients in shaker. Cap and shake vigorously until outside lightly frosts. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a cherry and orange peel.
La Vie En Rose
Created by Mixologist Harshini Sahani
1.5 oz Empress 1908 Gin
3-4 Cardamom Pods
1 tbsp Rose Water
2 tbsp Simple Syrup
Juice of Half of a Lemon
Method: Coat glass rim with lemon juice, and dip in cardamom and sugar. Add crushed cardamom pods and gin. Let sit for 5-10 min to let the flavors infuse. Add rose water, simply syrup, and lemon juice, and mix. Add ice and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with dried rose petals.
Created by Mixologist Emily Laurae
1 ½ oz Empress 1908 Gin
½ oz Cherry Juice
2 Drops Rose Bitters or Rose Water
5 oz Rosé Sparkling Wine
Cherry Candy Hearts
Method: Place cherry candy hearts on a plate lined with parchment paper and set in the freezer for 4 hours or until frozen. Then, place the frozen cherry hearts into a serving glass acting as ice cubes to chill the drink. Add the cherry juice, rose bitters, and gin into a glass, mixing to combine. Pour over the chilled candy hearts, then top with rosé sparkling wine before serving!
Pink French 75
Created by Mixologist DFaniel ‘DK’ Kutch
3oz Martini & Rossi Sparkling Rose
1oz. Bombay Sapphire
0.5oz Lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
Method: Shake all ingredients, except the Sparkling Rose, in a cocktail shaker and strain into a coup glass. Top with Sparkling Rose and garnish with a lemon twist for the perfect pink drink for Valentine’s Day!
Heaven Help Me
Created by Mixologist Courtney Sheehan of Sunday Vinyl
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Jar of Olives
Tin of Regiss Ova Caviar
Recipe: (makes about 8-9 martinis)
4 ounces of good extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces of olive brine from an olive jar
This is a batch made drink that you prep in advance. Pour vodka into a blender, add olive oil. Blend until emulsified. Pour into container and freeze overnight for about 12-14 hours. Strain ingredients into a new vessel to get all fat particles removed (You’ll want to use a fine strainer and cheese cloth for this step). This should give a cloudy look to the vodka and a fuller, rounded texture. Move into a container you can fit in your freezer. Here, you can add four ounces of olive brine to your batched vodka – or more depending on if you’d like it “extra dirty”! You can also add it separately when making the martini.
2.5oz Olive-Oil Washed Vodka
.5oz Olive Brine
Method: Stir in a mixing glass with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Serve with a small spoonful of caviar on the side to enjoy with it.