February is here, which not only means that every dreadful “New Year, New Me!” Instagram post is finally behind us, but also that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. Though the thought of it might send you reaching for the tired and true seasonal samplings of chocolate and flowers, there’s actually a far better way to lend an air of romance to your love-day celebration.
Whether you’re a couple trying to pretend for one night you live the life of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, getting your lady loves together for a Galentine’s Day do, or just looking for something different to anything heart-shaped—these Valentine Day cocktails are bound to get you in the loving mood. And after all, nothing says I care about you quite like a tasty offer to get tipsy together.
A Rose by Any Other Name
Not only is this cocktail actually infused with rose petals (flowers and booze all in one, wow!) but it also includes the known aphrodisiacs cocoa and almond, which is sure to set the mood.
1 ounce rose and almond infused Grey Goose vodka*
1/3 ounce crème de cacao blanc
1/3 ounce rose liqueur
Rosé champagne or prosecco
Stir together the vodka, crème de cacao and rose liqueur. Strain into a flute and top with champagne.
*Infuse one bottle of Grey Goose vodka with four large tablespoons of dried rose petals. Add in 8 drops of organic almond essence. Strain the rose petals after one to two days, or to taste.
If you are so over Valentine’s Day this year, I’m not quite sure why you’re reading this piece, but this is the cocktail for you. Forget roses! Top your drink with an edible pansy and rejoice in knowing that you are cool and different.
1 1/2 ounces Bombay Sapphire
3/4 ounce Combier triple sec
1/2 ounce Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Shake and double strain all the ingredients into a large coupe glass. Garnish with an edible pansy flower.
Nolet’s Silver Rose Gimlet
Even if you have someone buying you flowers, this bright twist on a classic gimlet will have you wishing that all roses were delivered inside a delicious drink.
1 ounce Nolet’s Silver Gin
1 ounce fresh lemonade
1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Rose petals, for garnish
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with rose petals.
Date Night In
Combining Valentine’s Day classics like prosecco and crème de cacao, this is an adventurous drink for whiskey and bubbly lovers alike.
1/2 ounce Michter’s U.S. 1 Rye
1/4 ounce crème de cacao
4 ounces Santa Marina prosecco
1 Spray Giffard Framboise
Strawberry, for garnish
Build in a champagne flute, garnish with strawberry.
Not everyone has heart encircling February 14, but this pink cocktail is the perfect trick to woo anyone who feels a little chilly about the day. Garnished with marshmallow and red sugar, the Valentini goes all out to get you in the spirit.
2 ounces Rosa Regale
1/2 ounce tequila
1 tsp unsweetened chocolate powder
1/2 ounce maple syrup
2 ounce almond milk
Marshmallow, for garnish
Red sugar, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, unsweetened chocolate powder, maple syrup and almond milk. Add ice and quickly shake. Pour the contents into a martini glass (pre-garnished with red sugar) and add the Rosa Regale. Finish with a marshmallow.
Cachaça Me Cupid
With fresh strawberries and basil, you won’t need a romantic warm-weather getaway, this tastes like one in a cup.
1 1/2 ounces Leblon cachaça
3 lime wedges
2 teaspoons superfine sugar or 1 ounce simple syrup
3 basil leaves
Muddle the lime, strawberries, basil and sugar in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and add Leblon Cachaça, shaking vigorously. Serve in a rocks glass, and garnish with a strawberry or basil.
With passionfruit and lemon, this drink is a perfectly tart compliment to all the Valentine’s Day sweets.
2 ounces Jaja tequila blanco
3/4 ounce passionfruit liqueur
1 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce vanilla simple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh passionfruit
Muddle four of the raspberries in a cocktail shaker. Add the liquid ingredients and ice and shake until chilled. Fine strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with the remaining four raspberries.
Every Rose Has Its Thorns
Writing the power ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” may not have landed Bret Michaels the love of his life, but serving this tasty cocktail is sure to lead to better results (not hard, so long as you don’t end up starring in three sad seasons of a VH1 reality show about your dating life).
2 ounces hibiscus infused D’usee cognac*
1 ounce rose water
1/2 ounce vanilla bean syrup
2 dashes cinnamon syrup
Martini & Rossi prosecco
Rose petal for garnish
Add D’usee, rose water, vanilla syrup and cinnamon bitters together in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute. Garnish with a rose petal.
*Infuse one bottle of D’usee cognac with four large tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers. Strain the flowers after two hours or to taste.
This drink may not be pink, but caramel notes in the whiskey pair perfectly with all of the chocolate you’ll either be gifted or buy for yourself for 50 percent off on February 15.
1 1/4 ounces Sexton Irish whiskey
1/2 ounce Becherovka
1/2 ounce Strega
2 dashes DeGroff bitters
Grapefruit twist, for garnish
Combine the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until cold. Strain into a double Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice.
Forget chocolate-covered strawberries, let this cherry and cocoa infusion top off the night as desert in a glass.
1 1/2 ounce Stillhouse spiced cherry whiskey
1 ounce crème de cacao
2 ounces half-and-half
1/2 ounce grenadine
Combine the ingredients and shake over ice. Strain into chocolate swirled martini glass and garnish with plain or chocolate-covered cherry.