What To Drink Now: Cocktails for Falling in Love

cocktails for Valentine's Day

Whether your Valentine’s Day involves you and your sweetheart sipping Champagne, you and your best friends sipping Cosmos and watching back to back episodes of “Sex In The City,” or a large celebration with both, a good cocktail is in order for a very special night to show all that you love them. Here are a few romantic drinks to celebrate with this holiday, a few spirit selections were sent for editorial consideration.

blvshSkyy Vodka Infusions is releasing their latest flavor-filled spirit now, Skyy Infusions Vanilla, made from vanilla beans creating creamy vanilla, white chocolate and toasted toffee flavors, delicious to sip with the one you love.

Created by Mixologist John deBary 
1 ½ oz. SKYY Infusions Vanilla Bean
½ oz. SKYY Infusions Moscato Grape
¾ oz. Lime Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
½ cup Organic Raspberries
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Pour into a coupe glass.

This cocktail will make you feel good about your evening cocktail – (BELVEDERE) RED is a special edition bottling of their super premium vodka created in partnership with (RED)™ that raises proceeds for the Global Fund, the world’s leading financier of programs to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

(BELVEDERE) RED Fire and Passion
Pulp from one passion fruit
Dash simple syrup
1 oz blood orange juice
Preparation:Build over crushed ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of ruby red grapefruit.

Always beautiful and always delicious, the floral combination of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur with Champagne. This one includes a Rose Brut instead of the traditional Brut or Semi Brut versions, adding a touch of berry notes to the floral aromas and flavors of the cocktail.

La Rosette
1½ parts St-Germain
Top with Brut Rosé, like Chandon Brut Rose, Segura Viudas Aria Rose Brut Cava or Michelle Brut Rose Sparkling wine from Washington.
Preparation: Serve in a flute glass and garnish with a strawberry.

shellbackSweet and spicy, rum cocktails tend to put you both in the mood for romance, and inspire you to plan your beach side getaway. This one, from Shellback rum, adds seasonal fruit to their delicious rum for a tasty cocktail. I used strawberries, blackberries, lime and pomegranate seeds, and added a few seeds to the top for texture.

Shellback Seduction
Created by: Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist
2 ounces Shellback Silver Rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Fresh, seasonal fruits and berries
Preparation: In a shaker, muddle fresh fruits with the simple syrup. Add fresh lime juice and Shellback Silver rum. Shake with ice until well blended. Double strain into a chilled cocktail coup. Garnish with a thin slice of lime and fruit of your choice.

We live in a city with such a wonderful abundance of products, right on hand at any number of grocery and specialty stores throughout Dallas lining their shelves with truffles, caviar, lobster, tomatoes and grapes (any time of year) and beautiful citrus, especially right now with Meyer lemons and blood oranges available everywhere.
However, if you love the sweet, slightly bitter and juicy flavor of blood oranges then Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur may be your perfect spirit. Made from Sicilian blood orange oil, extracted within 24 hours of picking, and enhanced with Italian lemon and a touch of sweetness for a fresh, citrus filled spirit delicious with just a touch of club soda (if you don’t like cocktails with a lot of sweetness) and a twist or made into flavorful cocktails.

solernoSicilian Sour
3 parts Solerno
1 part Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 part blood Orange Juice or Puree
1 part Simple Syrup
1/2 of an egg white
Preparation: Shake ingredients vigorously with ice and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a half an orange wheel wrapped around and speared onto a Luxardo maraschino cherry.

This one is perfect for girl’s night –
Blood Orange Cosmopolitan
1 1/2 parts Stoli Oranj
1 part Solerno
3/4 part fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 part Cranberry Juice Cocktail
Preparation: Shake ingredients on ice and fine strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

Another cocktail that combines both slightly tart and sweet flavors that I am in love with is a Tamarind Margarita. Komali makes an incredible one, but if you want to try one at home an easy recipe for this Mexican specialty is below. This will make two cocktails.

Tamarind Margarita
1 1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp (available at specialty, Asian and Latin markets)
1 1/2 tablespoons water
4 ounces Herradura Silver or Reposado tequila*
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
Crushed ice
2 ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces Cointreau
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
Lime wedges
Dash chili powder (optional)
Preparation: In a saucepan, simmer the tamarind and water over low heat, stirring, until the pulp dissolves. Press the mixture into a shaker through a fine-mesh sieve. Add 1/2 of the tequila and the sugar; shake vigorously. Add ice to the shaker, then add lime juice, Cointreau, the orange juice and the remaining tequila; shake well. Fill margarita or martini glasses with ice. Strain the drink into the glasses and garnish with the lime wedges and a sprinkle of chili powder. *I like the toasted, vanilla and spice notes of a Reposado so ask for it in any cocktail with tequila, the silver will create a cleaner, slightly floral flavor.

lover's paradiseFor a perfect end to the evening, Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur combines with Godiva for a romantic pairing.

Lover’s Paradise
1 ½ oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1 ½ oz Frangelico
½ oz Dry White Rum, like Brugal Extra Dry
Chocolate shavings (garnish)*
Preparation: In a shaker, add Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Frangelico and White Rum. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for about 8 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a coupe and garnish with chocolate shavings. Serve.
* For the chocolate shavings – carefully draw a vegetable peeler across the broad surface of a bar of semisweet or milk chocolate. This works best if the chocolate is at room temperature. For narrower curls, use the side of the bar.