Not everyone wants to get out to brave weather and traffic for a jam-packed restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Instead, why not create a romantic dinner in with your sweetie, friend, or even yourself. Check out these great cocktails to get things started, and finish the meal with a red wine-infused cake. You’ll be glad you did.
Basil Hayden’s Blushing Pear
1 ½ parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
1/2 part tawny port
3/4 part simple syrup
3/4 part lemon juice
5 pear slices (2 for garnish)
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
Add 3 pear slices and 1 sprig of rosemary to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Next, combine all remaining ingredients in the cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and 2 pear slices before serving.
Smoke and Flowers
7 ½ parts Montelobos Mezcal
2 ½ parts St. Germain
5 parts strawberry puree (wash strawberries and blend in a blender)
3 ¾ parts lemon juice
2 ½ parts simple syrup
This serves five. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir together vigorously. Add ice cubes when ready to serve. Garnish with strawberry and lemon slices.
1 part Drambuie
1/2 part peach brandy
½ part sweet vermouth
2 parts Chameleon Vanilla Coffee
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with Ice. Shake, then double-Strain. Garnish with brandied cherry before serving.
by NYC mixologist Andrey Kalinin
1 1/2 parts Laphroaig Select Scotch Whisky
1/2 part Drambuie Liqueur
1 part bordeaux red wine
3 dashes orange bitters
orange peel (for garnish)
Add all ingredients together in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
In Good Company Hot Cocoa
courtesy of In Good Company Hospitality Cocktail Curator Will Benedetto
1 1/2 oz. In Good Company Cabernet
1/2 oz. Montelobos Mezcal
1 ¾ oz. chocolate syrup
a pinch of salt
4 oz. soy milk
In a saucepan on low heat, warm up the milk until it’s just about to simmer. Turn the temperature down to to low and stir through the chocolate syrup and wine. Take the pot off the stove and carefully pour the liquid into a mug. Stir in the Mezcal and sprinkle with salt. To garnish top with marshmallows and any extra chocolate syrup.
Cherry Sake Cocktails
adapted from Food Network Magazine
6 dark sweet maraschino cherries (We used Amarena Fabbri)
4 shots sparkling sake (We used Mio)
Divide cherries among two tall glasses, along with a teaspoon of the syrup they’re packed in. Fill the glass with ice and chilled sparkling sake. Sip and let it be.
by Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador Mattias Horseman
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
1 1/2 parts fresh lemon juice
½ part vanilla simple syrup
2 parts plumb bitters
1 part brandied Amarena cherry syrup
Shake all ingredients together with ice. Double strain into chilled and sugar-coated glass. Garnish with 1 cherry and ½ powdered sugar rim.
courtesy of Botanist Gin
2 oz. Botanist Gin
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
6 strips julienned red bell pepper
3 drops homemade orange bitters (store bought bitters are fine as well)
In a shaker tin, muddle the red bell pepper, then add all remaining ingredients. Dry shake without ice vigorously, then add ice and shake briskly again. Double-strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a strip of julienned red bell pepper.
Eve of the Don
1 3/4 oz. Don Papa Rum
1 3/4 bar spoon raspberry and thyme purée
3/4 oz. lemon
3/4 barspoon sugar
Combine all but the Prosecco in a shaker and shake hard until diluted and chilled. Strain into a coupette, Top with Prosecco. Garnish with a raspberry and thyme. Grate lemon zest on top and serve.
Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Cocktail
courtesy of Mixthatdrink.com
1 oz. white creme de cacao
1 oz. Chambord
1 Tbsp. cream cheese
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup crushed ice
Pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a parfait glass. Garnish with a raspberry.
Better Than Flowers
courtesy of Eureka! Restaurant
1 oz. egg white
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. rose water simple syrup
¼ oz. St George Raspberry Liqueur
1 ½ oz. Copper and Kings Immature Brandy
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 dashes rose water
Add ice and soda water to a coupe glass to chill. Next, Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin and dry shake vigorously. Add ice and shake for 10 seconds. Dump ice and soda water from coupe glass. Then double strain into coupe glass. Using an eye dropper; drop 4 droplets of rose water on top of cocktail foam. Use a bamboo skewer straight down each droplet to make a heart.
To make rose water simple syrup:
8 oz. granulated sugar
8 oz. water
4 oz. Fee Brothers Rose Water
Combine rose water, sugar and water in a pot. Bring mixture to a light boil and remove from heat. Let cool at room temperature. Place in bottle and refrigerate for up to 30 days.
Apothic Dark Red Wine Cake
recipe by Russell van Kraayenburg
¾ cup flour
¼ cup oz. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
8 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¾ cup vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup sweet red wine (We used Apothic Dark)
1 cup cinnamon red wine sauce, recipe below
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Butter and flour or grease a bundt pan. Set aside. Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Beat the sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then the vanilla, mixing well after each addition. Add half of the dry mixture and mix in well. Pour in the wine and mix in well. Add the rest of the dry mixture and mix until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out just clean.
Let the cake cool upright in the pan for a few minutes. Turn the pan over on a rack, and let it cool completely before unmolding. Before serving, poke holes across the cake and drizzle on a little cinnamon red wine sauce. You can use any left over cinnamon sauce in place of simple syrup in an Old Fashioned.
To make Cinnamon Sauce:
2 oz. unsalted butter
8 oz. vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 cup sweet red wine (try Apothic Dark)
1 cinnamon stick
Place all of the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat the mixture over high heat and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally, maintain a boil until the sauce is thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Makes 2 cups.