Tag Archives: Valentines Day

Valentines cocktails: An Bitter Aftermath

So Valentines has been and gone, couples have loved and lost and there’s even been a rather infamous movie release (a favourite with the female audience more than the male I imagine) but sometimes valentines does not always work out for everyone so below is a cocktail specifically created for the aftermath of a bad valentines day. Whether it was the breakups to end all break ups or just simply a poor first date this cocktail will help you suck it up and move on. Or realise what went wrong and correct it… Either way enjoy the cocktail and and chin up!

A Shot to the Heart

Recipe:

1-3 slices Jalapeno

1.5 measures Campari

1.5 measures Cold Coffee

Bitter and refreshing, this cocktail is sure to perk you up...
Bitter and refreshing, this cocktail is sure to perk you up…

Method:

  • Shake all of the ingredients well, over ice (shake for around 5-10 seconds, or until the tin ices over).
  • Double strain into a small rocks glass with fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel and another slice of Jalapeno pepper.

This cocktail was originally created and shared for a twist on the same old valentines cocktails. It was meant as a take on how sometimes this time of year can be a bitter pill to swallow for obvious reasons.

However I feel the cocktail itself is pretty darn good in its own right. It blends bitter Campari with refreshingly cold coffee and, in a move that shouldn’t work but does; it also has a subtle hint of spice, from the Jalapeno, running through it! This might sound like a match made in hell but assuming you like all three ingredients this drink really is something you can sink your teeth into, it’s a little different which will look good when preparing it for your friends.

One final thing to mention is that the spice scale can be tweaked for those who, like me, have an adversity to too much spice. Simply use 1 slice per spice level (1 for a slight tingle, 2 for a slight tingle followed by a small burst of intense heat and, finally, use 3 slices for an intense heat wave that will build up as you sip (especially with the garnish floating about).

Bitter-Sweet Valentines day? Then knock this cocktail back and forget all about it...
Bitter-Sweet Valentines day? Then knock this cocktail back and forget all about it…

So for those of you with a passion for spice and coffee then this cocktail could be your new sipper and even if you’re not a fan it could still be a hit for one of our spice loving friends…

Valentines Day Cocktails – A gift from the Fervent Shaker

Valentine Day

Spirits, as any good bartender knows, are the door to many a persons’ heart (buy me a bottle of rum and you’ll have a friend for life), come in many shapes and sizes and nowadays flavours. There is a lot of choice out there and even more so these days, the choice can be very difficult for those not up to date with the ‘in’ product. For instance do you know the best types of Dark rum to buy for your dark ‘n’ stormy? Or whether Smirnoff is the best UK vodka? (Hint: it’s not even from the UK).

Well the idea behind these valentines inspired cocktails is that they use spirits (as well as other ingredients) that can all be easily found in your local supermarkets (UK readers) or liquor stores (USA & other worldly destinations)…

So here we have 6 cocktails: 1 for each of the big 6 spirits: Whisky, Rum, Vodka, Tequila, Cognac & Gin. As I stated above; all the ingredients used can be easily sourced and in short notice too. So without delay let’s get started, with this wonderful Vodka cocktail:

Vodka Valentine: The Pomegranate Martini

Lustful and Red, this 'Martini' might not be classic, but it sure is classy...
Lustful and Red, this ‘Martini’ might not be classic, but it sure is classy…

Recipe:

1 measure Vodka

½ measure Cointreau*

3 measures POM Pomegranate Juice

Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake well (around 5-10 seconds – just enough time for the shaker to ice over).
  • Strain mixture into a well-chilled martini cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with an orange/lime peel.

This cocktail is a lovely little drink similar in hue (and length) as a cosmopolitan. It’s a girly favourite and that should make it a shoe in for any of you guys trying to impress a lady on a night in (or order them on a night out – always a winner).

*if you’re not a fan of the wonderfully sweet Cointreau Liqueur then you can always replace it with the same measurement of orange or lime juice. Equally if you want alcohol but want a less-sweet liqueur then try replacing it with Orange Curacao.

Rum Valentine: Cranberry Kiss

Simple and extremely effective; This rum cocktail is perfect for stargazers and long movies...
Simple and extremely effective; This rum cocktail is perfect for stargazers and long movies…

Recipe:

1 measure Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum

2 measures Sour Mix*

2 measures Cranberry Juice

1 wedge of lemon

Method:

  • Build the ingredients over ice in a Collins glass and stir well as you do so (you can mix this drink but it’s best built).
  • Drop in a lemon wedge and stir gently. Serve with a straw.

This is a lovely long-ish cocktail with a slightly sweeter-than-normal taste. Great for chilling out on a long night out (or in) especially if you need a slight pick-me-up, this cocktail is definitely perfect for intimate evenings with loved ones and will go down a treat.

*Sour mix is a fancy term for lemon & lime flavoured sugar syrup. It can be made by following the usual sugar syrup method and adding lemon & lime juice to the mix. Click on the Sour Mix in the recipe for the sour mix recipe itself. Again – all the ingredients can be found in your local shop(s).

Tequila Valentine: Phoenix Rising

Not for the faint of heart, this cocktail packs a hell of a kick, but a flavour profile to match: Perfect for Tequila lovers and for something a bit different...
Not for the faint of heart, this cocktail packs a hell of a kick, but a flavour profile to match: Perfect for Tequila lovers and for something a bit different…

Recipe:

2 measures Blanco Tequila (100% Agave)

4 measures Fresh Orange Juice*

1 measure Agave Nectar

1 splash (5ml) Lime Juice

5-6 fresh pitted cherries**

Method:

  • Muddle the cherries with a splash of lime juice and leave to one side.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake well (for around 5-10 seconds – or until the shaker ices-over).
  • Strain into an ice filled rocks glass and drop in the cherries for a garnish.
  • Serve with a straw, or straight if preferred.

This cocktail is what Valentines is all about: Sharing something special with someone special. Sure it’s only for tequila lovers as the tequila really shines through, but this cocktail, prepared correctly is a fantastic combination of flavour and kick.

*You can use juice from a carton but the fresher the better: Long Life Carton < Chilled Carton < Fresh Squeezed. Hint: The middle option, whilst not the freshest is the best value without losing too much quality. Especially if you choose a nice brand or supermarket top brand e.g. Sainsbury’s TTD or Tesco’s Finest.

**The cherries, if muddled just right, will release their burgundy coloured juice and tint the cocktail a nice reddish hue that dances about your glass with every sip. It also adds a slight fragrance to the drink enticing you in…

Gin Valentine:  Lady Killer

This elegant cocktail oozes class and will help you charm her back for a second date.
This elegant cocktail oozes class and will help you charm her back for a second date.

Recipe:

1 measure Hendricks Dry Gin

½ measure Cointreau/Triple Sec

½ measure Apricot Brandy*

2 measures Passion fruit Juice**

2 measures Pineapple Juice***

Method:

  • Combine all of the ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well (5-10 seconds or until the shaker ices over).
  • Strain into a champagne flute half filled with crushed ice.
  • Garnish with a cherry on a long skewer & serve with a straw.

*Apricot Brandy is an apricot flavoured liqueur and the most common brands (at least here in the UK) are: De Kuyper & Bols (surprise, surprise they’re both Dutch!).

** This can be found in long life cartons in the UK, as for the USA: you should be able to find it in a grocery store (failing that a large supermarket should sell what you need).

*** Whilst fresh pineapple juice is always better than pre-juiced products it is also extremely expensive. So go for the ‘not from concentrate’ pineapple juice available in almost all supermarkets (UK readers hint: use the supermarket own brand).

Cognac Valentine: Angel’s Shoulder

Class redefined... This unique little cocktail is perfect for showing off your flair and a risky move - but done right it's a sublime master-stroke.
Class redefined… This unique little cocktail is perfect for showing off your flair and a risky move – but done right it’s a sublime master-stroke.

Recipe:

1 ½ measures Cognac (V.S.O.P.)

¾ measure fresh lemon juice

½ measure rosemary simple syrup*

¼ measure Amaretto

¼ measure Crème de Peche (Peach Liqueur)**

¼ measure Benedictine

Red wine (Cotes Du Rhone)

Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients (except the red wine) in an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake well (around 5-10 seconds – or until the shaker ices over).
  • Strain into a rocks glass containing 1 large ice cube.
  • Then float the red wine on top of the drink (best done using the back of a bar spoon).

This cocktail has a bit too it, but if you practice it before hand; surprising your date with this rather classy drink is certain to get you some plus points. Use a bar-spoon (a teaspoon will suffice) to layer the red wine and look like a real pro! – Don’t know how to do this little trick? Worry not; click here and you’ll master the technique in no time at all!

Click here for a rosemary simple syrup recipe, and liven up your cocktails today!

** This is a peach liqueur and the most common brands are again the 2 big Dutch brands of Bols & De Kuyper. But failing that Archers peach liqueur is a very handy substitute.

Whisky Valentine: The Rob Roy

A Scottish classic if there ever was one; this cocktail is for the Scots out there. Have a Scottish date that loves whisky? Then order them one of these...
A Scottish classic if there ever was one; this cocktail is for the Scots out there. Have a Scottish date that loves whisky? Then order them one of these…

Recipe:

2 measures Blended Scotch

1 measure Vermouth

1 Dash of angostura bitters

Garnish: Lemon Peel Twist

Method:

  • Pour ingredients into a mixing glass full of cracked ice.
  • Stir well for around 30-60 seconds (stirring for longer helps chill the drink right down).
  • Strain into a well-chilled small rocks glass.
  • Garnish with the lemon peel twist and a cocktail cherry (optional).

This cocktail will be the focus of a whisky special coming soon, but for now it’s perfect for wooing those you truly care about. You may have to ask the drinker if they like whisky, but if they answer yes the chances are they’ll love this classic Scottish cocktail.

Top Tip: For the sharp eyed this cocktail will resemble a classic Manhattan cocktail almost exactly. Except the Rob Roy uses Scotch Whisky instead of American Rye whisky…

My Sweet Valentine: 5 Cocktails you should be drinking this Valentine’s Day

Cocktails: Made, literally, with love…

Cocktails: Making Love a little smoother since, well, forever.

Here below are 5 of the best cocktails you’ll be drinking this Valentine’s Day. Some will open the door for you, others might just slam it in your face; pick wisely and, as always, enjoy in moderation…

Please note: These cocktails are so good you’ll be wanting more and more, so they are best used for the love of your life, and if you’re single why not invite a few friends over and celebrate an argument free life – after all you shouldn’t miss out. Right?!

1) Agave Kiss

Recipe:

2 measures Very Smooth Silver Tequila

1 measure Crème De Cacao

1 measure Double Cream

½ measure Chambord

Garnish: White Chocolate flakes & Fresh Raspberries.

Cream and Tequila: Pefection. The Raspberries add a little love.
Cream and Tequila: Pefection. The Raspberries add a little love.

Method:

– Rim a cocktail glass with the flakes of white chocolate (use some lime juice/water as adhesive)

– Combine the ingredients over ice and shake until

This drink is a mixture of pure bliss with a splash of Tequila.  Blending chocolate, raspberry and tequila with the cream in this cocktail brings out the best of all the different flavours and then finishes it off with a smooth creamy texture that only double cream can supply. Hint: The smoother the tequila the better the overall taste of this drink.

2) Love Potion

Recipe:

30ml Sipsmith Vodka

20ml Sipsmith Damson Vodka

2 fresh strawberries

½ a lime

10ml sugar syrup

35ml Pineapple Juice

20ml Mango Juice

1 shot of strawberry Champagne

Image
Elegant and Sophisticated… Just like the person you’re sharing one with… It’s OK, we don’t judge here!

Method:

– Muddle the strawberries and sugar syrup in a shaker and then add the rest of the ingredients.

– Shake well, over ice, until the shaker ices over and strain into a martini glass.

– Serve next to a shot of strawberry champagne.

This cocktail is a perfect fit for this year’s Valentine’s day; utilising one of the best gins in the world (and the only one distilled in London) as well as some fabulous creativity with the addition of a strawberry champagne shot.

If you can’t be bothered to stay in and make your own then make your way to the ‘Kensington Palace Restaurant & Fish Shop’ this February 14th as this is their valentine cocktail this year.

3) Frosted Rose

Recipe:

25ml Vodka

25ml Orange Juice

25ml Pineapple Juice

50ml Cranberry Juice

Image
Cute & Petite, Just my type!

Method:

– Combine the ingredients over ice and shake well until the shaker ices over.

– Strain into a martini glass and serve well.

This cocktail is one of the lighter options on this list, using only the one measure of spirit – but that’s not to say it’s any less tasty. It’s similar to a sea breeze but with the added exotic flavour pineapple juice brings with it. If you want to tweak the flavours slightly then Peach Schnapps is a good addition (yes so it becomes more like a Sex on the Beach).

4) Cherubs Cup

Recipe:

1 measure St. Germain Liqueur

2 measure Vodka

¾ measure Lemon Juice

¼ measure sugar syrup

3 muddled strawberries

Top Up Rose Champagne

Garnish: halved strawberries

cherubs cup
A sweet little cocktail with a name to suit this special day…

Method:

– Shake over ice and strain into an ice filled glass. Add in some strawberry halves here.

– Top with the rose champagne and garnish with a left over strawberry half.

The cherub’s cup is a cocktail perfect for those summer nights on the veranda, but seeing as the summers in the UK are nothing but a damp squib (no they really are rather damp) this cocktail becomes perfect for those romantic evenings with loved ones, so it kind of makes sense to include it on this list. Using the best the French have to offer (St. Germain Liqueur & Champagne) this cocktail really does spark things up when it comes to a romance. Looking the part and tasting delicious; if you hand your date one of these they will be readily impressed – just make sure they aren’t allergic to strawberries first…

5) Besame (Kiss Me)

Recipe:

50ml El Jimador Blanco (Silver) Tequila

2 lime wedges

5/6 raspberries

Top up Passion Fruit Juice

1 teaspoon Chambord

Image
Besame, quick whilst no-one is looking!

Method:

– Muddle the lime wedges and raspberries in a highball glass.

– Add the tequila, stir and fill with crushed ice.

– Top up with the passion fruit juice and stir well.

– Top up with the crushed ice and float a teaspoon of Chambord on top of the drink.

For an added twist mix, shake the ingredients before added to an ice filled glass.

Aptly named, this drink is a colourful mixture again using tequila. Whilst not known for the abundance of female drinkers, Tequila can be a beautifully balanced spirit (if chosen correctly). Like other spirits the smoother the tequila the better and this drink utilises that fact. Smooth Silver tequila blended with some tropical flavours result in not only a stunning red hue, but also one of the better tasting cocktail on this list.