Looking for new ways to toast Valentine's Day at home this year? Polish up your best stemware for this bouquet of 12 cocktail and spirit ideas.
Say It with Flowers
- St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur - A crystal-clear liqueur made from a white, star-shaped flower hand-harvested from the French Alps and delivered to the distillery by bicycle. Spirit backstory doesn't get much more romantic than this.
- Creme de Violette - A delicate violet-colored liqueur made from the crushed petals of the fragrant springtime flower. Once considered lost, it has now returned after an absence of many years.
- Hendrick's Gin - A light and ethereal Scottish gin infused with cucumber and, yes, roses.
- Cocktails with Roses - Other floral options include cocktails made with rosewater and rose petal syrup.
- Cherry Heering - Real black cherry taste without the cough syrup flashbacks. Great when sipped chilled on its own (see pic at the top of the post), or mixed in a variety of cocktails. A charming companion to chocolate.
- Pama Pomegranate Liqueur - A delicious liqueur made from pomegranates.
- Jack Rose Cocktail - Although this classic cocktail is often said to have gotten its handle from a notorious New York crook, Mr. Jack Rose, February 14th is a good time to honor an alternate story: Its delicate ruby-red color is an exact match for that of a cultivated rose, the Jaqueminot.
- Americano Cocktail - A deep-red, bittersweet cocktail with a European twist.
- 3 Roaring Red Ways to Love Gin - Even gin lovers can go a little red with the help of sweet vermouth, Campari, and Dubonnet.
Add a Little Sparkle
Whether you use the real stuff from the Champagne region of France, or opt for less expensive alternative such as a Cava from Spain or a Prosecco from Italy, sparkling wines can make a wonderful base for a light, fizzy cocktail:
- Classic Champagne Cocktail - Champagne, cognac, bitters, and a sugar cube. Shades of Casablanca.
- Flowers and Champagne - Start with a splash of rose syrup or elderflower liqueur, then top up your glass with Champagne or another sparkling wine for a romantic cocktail that won't dull your senses.
- Romantically Bubbly and Red - Or try a splash of Cherry Heering with your sparkling wine.
Nora Maynard is a longtime home mixologist and an occasional instructor at NYC's Astor Center. She is a contributor to The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and is the recipient of the American Egg Board Fellowship in culinary writing at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow. She previously covered food and drink in film at The Kitchn in her weekly column, The Celluloid Pantry.
(Images: Nora Maynard)