27 Simple and Sexy Cocktails for Valentine’s Day

The infamous love day comes with a few givens—chocolates, roses and, of course, cocktails.

On the topic of the latter, the Observer has curated a list of recipes to make the day special that features everything from sparkling drinks and martinis to spicy libations and chocolate-based specialties. Whether you want something simple or for the expert mixologist, there’s something to quench your thirst. And no matter what spirit you desire, we have you covered.

Ms. Monroe

(Photo:

(Recipe and photo courtesy of Caulfield’s Bar and Dining Room)

2 oz. Strawberry and vanilla-infused vodka
1 oz. St. Germain
3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Habanero Bitters
1 Muddled strawberry
Top with Sprite
Garnish with edible rose petals

Shake first five ingredients and strain into a martini glass. Top with a splash of Sprite and garnish with edible rose petals.

Valley of the Flowers

​Created by Nathan Rawlinson for The Clocktower at The New York EDITION Hotel. Photo:

​Created by Nathan Rawlinson for The Clocktower at The New York EDITION Hotel. (Photo: Snow Leopard Vodka)

1.25 oz. Snow Leopard vodka
1.25 oz. Mizu Sochu
2 Dashes grapefruit bitters

Stir with ice and strain.

French Kiss

(Photo: Martini)

(Photo: Martini)

1 oz. Gin
3/4 oz. St. Germain
1/4 oz. Aperol
1/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
Top with Martini sparkling rosé
Garnish with orange twist

Shake first four ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Top with Martini sparkling rosé and garnish with an orange twist.

 

Peppermint Truffletini

 

Photo: Smirnoff)

(Photo: Smirnoff)

1 oz. Godiva Milk Chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz. Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
1 Godiva milk chocolate truffle

Shake Godiva Milk Chocolate liqueur, Godiva White Chocolate liqueur and Smirnoff with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with chocolate truffle.

The Cloud 9 

Served at The

(Served at The Handy Liquor Bar)

2 oz. Gin
3/4 oz.  Lemon juice
1/4 Cherry Juice
1/2 Lemon Grass
Egg white
Muddled strawberry
Angosture bitters
Cotton Candy

Armagnac Champagne

Photo: Amanda Picotte)

(Photo: Amanda Picotte)

1 oz. Bas-Armagnac Chateau du Tariquet VS
1 oz. Orange liqueur
Brut Champagne
2 Maraschino cherries

Pour the Armagnac into a champagne glass. Add the orange liqueur, then fill with Brut Champagne and stir gently with a bar spoon. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Flirty Fizz

(Photo: Pinnacle)

(Photo: Pinnacle)

1 oz. Pinnacle vodka
2 oz. Lemon-lime soda
Splash of cranberry juice

Mix over ice and serve.

Red and Rosemary

(Photo: Nolet)

(Photo: Nolet’s)

1.25 oz. Nolet’s Silver dry gin
3/4 oz. Meyer lemon syrup
1 oz. Meyer lemon juice
Garnish with raspberries and rosemary

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig and fresh raspberries.

French Kiss

Photo: La Quintinye Vermouth Royal)

(Photo: La Quintinye Vermouth Royal)

1 oz. G’Vine Nouaison
1 oz. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge
.5 oz. Cherry Heering iqueur
1 Dash of lavender bitters
Orange twist
Garnish with a marashino cherry

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir. Serve in a chilled coupe glass, press the orange twist and discard. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

A Love Affair

Photo: Ketel One)

(Photo: Ketel One)

1.5 oz. Ketel One vodka
2 oz. White cranberry juice
1 oz. Mint simple syrup*
5 oz. Fresh lemon juice
Club soda
3 Dashes rhubarb bitters  
Garnish with candied rhubarb

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass andsShake with ice. Strain into a snifter filled with ice and top with club soda and garnish.

* Make mint simple syrup by combining 2 to 1 sugar to water ratio and simmer on low heat uncovered until syrupy (1/4 water reduction). Add mint, remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes.

Labor of Love

Photo: Ketel One)

(Photo: Ketel One)

1.5 oz. Ketel One Citroen vodka
1 oz. Fresh lime juice
1 oz. Club Soda
0.75 oz. Simple Syrup
9.5 oz. Pomegranate juice
2 Bar spoons Green Chartreuse
3 Basil leaves
½ rosemary sprig

Muddle basil, rosemary, lime juice and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add Ketel One Citroen and Green Chartreuse and shake with ice. Fine strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Stir in club soda and top with a float of pomegranate juice and garnish with a rosemary sprig. 

Beeting and Bleeding Margarita

(Recipe and photo courtesy of Diamond Horseshoe)

(Recipe and photo courtesy of Diamond Horseshoe)

-2 oz. Tequila
1.5 oz. Sour mix
1/2 oz. Muddled beets
-3/4 oz. Blood orange juice
Salt, sugar and cocoa for rim
Garnish with a heart-shaped beet

Stir and rim half the glass with a Salt, Sugar and Cocoa. Garnish with the heart-shaped beet.

The Sassy Lassie 

Amanda Picotte)

Available at Les Halles in NYC. (Photo: Amanda Picotte)

2 oz. Usquaebach Reserve blended Scotch whisky
1 oz. Amaro Lucano
2 strawberries
Dash of chocolate bitters
Garnish with shaved dark chocolate and a strawberry

Add strawberries and bitters to a mixing glass and muddle. Add ice, Scotch and amaro and stir.. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with chocolate shavings. Fit a strawberry slice to the rim of the glass.

Pink Love Potion

Photo: Smirnoff)

(Photo: Smirnoff)

1 oz. Godiva Milk Chocolate liqueur
1 oz. Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
1 oz. Strawberry nectar
.5 oz. Milk
1 Strawberry

Shake Godiva Chocolate, Smirnoff, strawberry nectar and milk with ice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a strawberry.

Cupid’s Cup

(Photo: Martini)

(Photo: Martini)

2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. St. Germain
3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. Simple syrup
1 oz. Muddled strawberry
Top with Martini sparkling rosé
Garnish with a strawberry

Shake first 5 ingredients with ice and strain into a mason or highball glass filled with ice. Top with Martini sparkling rosé and garnish.

Sangria Sweetheart

(Photo: Beso de Sol)

(Photo: Grimaldi’s)

8 oz. Beso Del Sol sangria
1 sliced apple
1 sliced peach
1 orange slice
1 cherry

Fill wine glass halfway with ice apples and peaches. Pour Beso Del Sol sangria and garnish with orange slice and cherry.

X’s and O’s

(Photo: Patron)

Created by Rosemarie Ruiz for Cole’s. (Photo: Patron)

1.5 oz. Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa
1/2 oz. Roca Patrón Reposado
2/4 oz. Homemade cinnamon-orange blossom syrup*
3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
2 oz. Pilsner
8 Dashes Angostura bitters
Chocolate orange garnish*

Shake all liquid ingredients in cocktail tin with one ice cube until it melts. Strain into large-footed Snifter glass and top with crushed ice and chocolate-dipped orange.

*Make cinnamon-orange blossom syrup by combining 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and three sticks Canela cinnamon in a sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved and a prominent cinnamon flavor develops. Transfer to a glass jar and Let cool. Add 1 tsp orange blossom water, stir to combine, and store in refrigerator up to one month.

Raspberry Daiquiri

(Photo: Zevia)

(Photo: Zevia)

2. oz White rum
1/2 oz. Maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz. Fresh lime juice
3.5 oz Grapefruit citrus Zevia
4 Muddles raspberries
Garnish with grapefruit slice

Muddle raspberries in a cocktail shaker and add  ice and all ingredients except for Zevia soda. Shake and double strain into coupe glass. Top with Zevia soda and garnish with grapefruit slice.

Hanky Panky

(Photo: Martini)

(Photo: Martini)

1.5 oz. Martini Rosso vermouth
1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
Garnish with an orange peel

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass, strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish.

The Crimson Heat

(Photo: 1800)

(Photo: 1800)

1 oz. 1800 Añejo tequila
2 oz. Blood orange juice
Splash of agave
Garnish with chili

Add all ingredients in cocktail glass and stir. Garnish with chili.

Sweet Tart

(Photo: Zevia)

(Photo: Zevia)

2 oz. Vodka
1 Juiced orange
12 oz. Can grape Zevia
Blueberries
Garnish with star anise

Add ice and blueberries to two tumblers. Add 1 oz. vodka to each glass and the juice from 1 squeezed orange. Pour in half can of grape Zevia to each glass. Stir and garnish with star anise.

French 75

(Photo: Nicolas Feuillatte)

(Photo: Nicolas Feuillatte)

1.5 oz. Hendricks Gin
3/4 oz. Lemon juice
1/2 oz. Simple syrup
Top with Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé

Strawberry Mint Sparkler

(Photo: Zevia)

(Photo: Zevia)

2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Fresh lime juice
2.5 oz. Sliced fresh strawberries
2.5 oz Zevia tonic water
10 Mint leaves
Garnish with lime wheel, mint or strawberry

In a cocktail shaker, muddle strawberries and lime juice and muddle. Add mint leaves and gently tap five times with muddler. Add vodka and ice to the shaker and shake. Fill a Collins glass with ice, add Zevia tonic water, strain into glass and stir gently. Garnish with lime, mint or strawberry.

Copper Rose

(Photo: Elix)

(Photo: Elyx)

2 oz. Elyx vodka
2 oz. Cranberry juice
1 oz. Sugar syrup
1/2 oz. Fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. Bitters
6 to 8 Raspberries

Lightly muddle raspberries and add other ingredients. Shake and fine strain into a highball over cubed ice. Garnish with a raspberry.

 

Prairie Sweet Kiss

(Photo: Praire Organic)

(Photo: Prairie Organic)

1.5 oz. Prairie cucumber-flavored organic vodka
2 oz. Tonic water
½ oz. Cucumber juice
½ oz. Fresh lime juice
1 oz. Simple syrup
Garnish with fresh mint leaves and cucumber slices

Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake to mix. Pour over a rocks glass filled with ice and top with fresh mint leaves and cucumber slices.

Apple of My Eye

Recipe courtesy of BeSpoke Kitchen. (Photo: Michael Radassao)

Recipe courtesy of BeSpoke Kitchen. (Photo: Michael Radassao)

1.5 oz. Apple vodka
1.5 oz. Apple Dashi simple syrup
Amaro foam
Garnish with an apple slice

Shake ingredients with ice and double strain into a martini glass. Top with Amaro foam and garnish with an apple slice.

Cranberry Flower (Serves 4)

(Recipe and photo courtesy of The Stanton Social)

(Recipe and photo courtesy of The Stanton Social)

16 oz. Hendricks gin
8 oz. Lemon juice
6 oz. Simple syrup
4 oz. Fresh cranberries
8 teaspoons Fresh cranberry compote

Muddle all but a few cranberries in a pitcher and fill with ice, Hendricks gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and cranberry compote. Stir vigorously and strain into martini glasses. Garnish with two or three fresh cranberries.