Im going to talk about making Valentines Day cocktails, so if you cant stomach the notion that a drink can be both pink and good, this wont be for you.
Come to think of it, if youre unable to be seen and Im addressing a certain type of guy sipping a rose-colored cocktail, youve either been drinking the wrong stuff or have deeper issues to resolve.
For the rest of you intrepid tipplers (unfussy drunks, too), here are a few pink-hued drinks that should make your Valentine swoon.
Okay, this refreshing pre-dinner cocktail is really more orangey-pink. But its exotically pretty, bubbly without Champagnes price, and delicious. Its also ridiculously easy to make.
Aperol, a faintly bitter-orange based Italian aperitif, gives this drink is exotic look and zing.
Come to think of it, youll want a bottle of this stuff around for other great drinks well be making in the weeks ahead.
In a champagne flute, pour 1 and 1/2 ounces of Aperol, 2 ounces of chilled Prosecco or other sparkling wine (I say go full Italian), and a splash of chilled seltzer. Garnish with a lemon twist.
If you like less Aperol, back off on it. You can also skip the splash of seltzer, if you like. In other words, make drinks like you like em.
If heat is what your romantic heart and palate craves, try a cocktail called Coming in Hot!
In this remarkably multifaceted drink, a few teensy slivers of jalapeno transform what would be a tasty but ho-hum strawberry margarita into a modern classic. Created by mixologist Carlos Yturria, this drink is featured in my book, Organic Shaken and Stirred.
You can go with organic ingredients, as I have, or not.
2 organic strawberries, hulled
4 slivers peeled and seeded organic jalapeno chile
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
1 and 1/2 ounces organic reposado tequila
1/2 ounce organic agave nectar
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries, 3 of the jalapeno slivers, and lemon until well mashed. Add the tequila and agave nectar, and fill the shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously, then strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the remaining jalapeno sliver.
Martinis are the dozen red roses of cocktails. A perfectly fine drink, but about as romantic as scheduled nookie. Instead, try a Martinez. No, this isnt the martinis Latino cousin. Rather, the Martinez is a precursor to the martini and a far better drink, I think. Very old-school and very sexy. Plus, it has a nice rosy hue.
I'll give you two recipes for it. First is the easier and a perfectly tasty version; the second, the more likely authentic, though tracking down ingredients will be a little tougher. Once you try one of these, Im betting youll add it to your list of home bar go-to drinks.
2 ounces gin (Plymouth or Bluecoat works nicely)
1 ounce sweet vermouth (Punt e Mes is a good brand; Carpano Antica is best)
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur (Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)
Dash of orange bitters (Angostura Orange Bitters is a good fit, though most any will do fine)
Into a mixing glass go the gin, vermouth, maraschino liqueur and bitters. Top with ice and stir with a bar spoon until well chilled (about 20 seconds of stirring should do it). Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with lemon peel.
1 and 1/2 ounces Old Tom Gin (slightly sweeter, more old-school gin thats recently been revived)
1 and 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth (definitely Carpano Antica)
1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Dash of orange bitters
Fix same way as the first.
Unlike many cocktail geeks, Im no Cosmo hater. Im not a fan; but I dont sneer at folks who are. Properly made, a Cosmopolitan is a perfectly fine drink. However, a poorly made Cosmo is sublimely shitty. As with any cocktail, if youre going to make one, make it right. And come on, making your date a great drink with confidence and flair can only be a good thing.
First, I know many recipes for this drink call for Roses Lime Juice. Dont use it. Why? Because it sucks. Sorry, it just does.
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice (fresh, if possible)
1/2 ounce Cointreau (or Combier, which I like better)
1 ounce vodka
In cocktail shaker add all ingredients. Top with ice cubes. Shake like Mr. Big is chasing you. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish, if you like, with lime slice on rim of glass.