Valentine's Day Cocktail Recipes to Make for Your Special Someone

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Valentine's Day Cocktail Recipes to Make for Your Special Someone

Valentine’s Day’s saccharine, pastel pink warning signs often come just in time as winter begins to really overstay its welcome. During one of the most depressing times of the year, everyone deserves a little treat. Regardless of whether you have plans to celebrate with a special someone, dining (and drinking) out on February 14th can be a real hassle.

Whether you’re staying home because you forgot to grab a reservation this year or just want to dodge the crowds as covid numbers fluctuate here in the states, you should give some of these Valentine’s Day-themed drinks a shot. We’ve assembled a diverse list of original cocktails worth trying on this holiday—or any other.

Chocolate Cherry Old Fashioned

In a mixing glass, combine:

2 oz. rye (I used Stranahan’s Rye)
1 oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes cherry bitters
1 dash chocolate or mole bitters
¼ to ½ oz. simple or demerara syrup to taste (the Maraschino’s already very sweet)

Add about a handful or two of ice and stir for roughly 30 seconds or until the liquid doubles in volume. Then, strain the contents into a rocks glass, add a couple of ice cubes or a large ice cube and garnish with a cherry.

I used Stranahan’s because I love how rye opens up when diluted; it takes on the perfect notes for this cocktail. With notes of peaty tobacco, pepper and the slight, earthy-sweet stone fruit flavors, it’s a perfect complement to the rich, sweet Maraschino in this cocktail.

Like a chocolate-covered cherry, it hits your tongue with strong, sweet, earthy chocolate and coffee flavors upfront and gives way to a luxurious deep cherry flavor. This drink isn’t as overwhelmingly sweet as it might sound, but it is very rich and spirit-forward. This is a great sipping drink to enjoy throughout the evening. It’s velvety-smooth and sits on your tongue for a long time.

Kiss From A Desert Rose

In a shaker, add:

1 oz. Meletti
2 oz. tequila (I used 1800 Cristalino for its smoothness, which is very helpful in taming the Meletti’s bitter qualities)
3 shakes Peychaud’s bitters
Juice of 1 lime
1 egg white
¾ oz. conversation heart syrup

Shake for roughly 20 seconds without ice, while holding your shaker tightly closed. Shaking egg white without ice helps fluff it up and create a silky foam that adds a spectacular textural layer to your drink. Be careful to keep your shaker tightly closed when shaking the egg whites. Usually, ice helps tighten your shaker’s seal. Obviously, this won’t happen without ice, so if you’re not careful, it could burst open and cover you in a sticky, partially complete cocktail.

Once you’re done shaking without ice, add some ice cubes and shake for a little while longer before straining the contents into a coupe glass. Garnish with two dashes of Peychaud’s bitters. Then—if you’re dextrous enough—you can draw a heart in the foam on top of your cocktail using the bitters.

The result is a strong, bitter cocktail that teeters on the edge of being overwhelming without ever going overboard. Just like a rose, this drink may have its thorns, but it’s still sweet and fruity. Tart and sweet up front and bitter the rest of the way, each ingredient plays well with the one that comes before it. The Peychaud’s Bitters and cristalino tequila serve as supportive, full-bodied foundations that supplement both sweet and bitter spectacularly. The whipped egg white brings everything together with sublime, silky aplomb. I’ve had plenty of sour-style cocktails, but none have benefitted from an egg white quite the way that this one does. I get that eggs are expensive at the moment, but this ingredient is a can’t-miss in this application.

If You Like Piña Coladas

In a blender (or food processor), combine:

1 oz. white rum (I used Real McCoy)
½ oz. Maraschino
½ oz. Triple Sec or Dry Curacao
3 frozen strawberries
2 frozen pineapple spears
1 ½ oz. cream of coconut
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
¼ to ½ oz. coffee
½ oz. simple syrup

Blend everything until smooth, pour into your choice of glassware and enjoy through a straw.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Coffee?! In a Piña Colada?!? What the heck is wrong with you?

Well, on a recent trip to Miami, I had the opportunity to drink at Sweet Liberty, a bar voted one of the 50 best in the Americas. There, they featured the best piña colada I’d ever had. The secret ingredient was coffee. Since then, I’ve never been able to look at the iconic drink the same way.

This cocktail hits every note you’d want it to; it’s rich and creamy thanks to the cream of coconut and rum with lively citrus and berry flavors intermingling with the chocolate-y coffee and bitters to balance it all out. Every flavor here fits squarely into its place, allowing each element in this drink to pop in its evolution. The weather outside might not exactly scream tropical (or at least it doesn’t where I live), but this decadent escape from the cold is best shared with a loved one.

Whether it’s for a valentine or just to give yourself a little treat during a tough time, we hope these cocktails hit the spot!