6 COCKTAILS YOU SHOULD DRINK ON VALENTINE’S DAY

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Apparently physicians in the 1800’s would advise their patients to eat chocolate to help calm the pining for a lost love, which honestly makes us wonder whether chocolate is such a suitable gift for your lover on Valentine’s Day after all…unless you’re perhaps planning on breaking up with them!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, why not mix things up (literally and figuratively) with these fresh, fun…and dare we say…sexy cocktail ideas.

1.Rose and Mint Champagne Cocktail

Credit to HGTV

Dried rosebuds, freshly picked mint, lime and champagne all work wonderfully together in this beautiful and delicious festive beverage.

Ingredients (makes 8 pint sized jars)

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey, or more to taste
  • ½ a cup of mint leaves, with a little extra for garnish
  • 4 tablespoons of lime juice, or more to taste
  • 1 cup of dried rosebuds (available at specialty food shops)
  • 2 bottles of Champagne, Brut or dry sparkling wine, chilled.

Make the Rose Syrup

Over a low to medium heat, combine your sugar, honey and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Once the sugar has melted, add your mint leaves and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Strain before returning the liquid to your saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh lime juice, crushed rosebuds and rose water. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to a week.

Serving Suggestions

When ready to serve, add 2 tablespoons of rose syrup to each Mason jar or alternative serving glass you’re using, and top with some dry Champagne or other sparkling white wine. Finally, garnish with finely crushed rosebuds and mint leaves to top off that festive look.

2. Valentino’s Delight

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Credit to HGTV

Named after Hollywood’s ‘original latin lover’ Rudolph Valentino, this cocktail is luscious, rich and opulent; perfect to drink snuggled up next to that someone special.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 45 ml of bourbon
  • 30 ml of ruby port, the sweeter the better
  • 30 ml of Kahlua
  • 45 ml of heavy cream
  • Ground nutmeg for garnish

Preparation

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add liquids and shake vigorously for 10 seconds before straining into a large chilled martini glass. Gently sprinkle nutmeg on top for garnish.

3. Raspberry Chocolate Kiss

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Credit to Martha Stewart

Created by renowned Chef Michael Schulson, this raspberry chocolate kiss cocktail is sure to sweeten up your Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1/4 cup of a basic sugar syrup
  • 3 chocolate cookies and/or wafers, finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice
  • 10 raspberries
  • 60 mls of vodka
  • Ice cubes

Preparation

Fill a shallow dish with just enough sugar syrup to line the bottom, and place crushed cookies spread out into another shallow dish. Flip a martini glass over and dip the rim into the sugar syrup and then immediately into the crushed cookies/wafer to coat the rim of the glass. Place your raspberries into a cocktail shaker and crush with a muddler. Add a dash of sugar syrup before crushing with your muddler once more. Fill the shaker with ice and add vodka and cranberry juice. Shake well until chilled. Finally, strain the contents of your cocktail shaker into your prepared martini glass and serve immediately.

4.Spiked Jones

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Credit to Martha Stewart

This smooth and decadent coffee based cocktail is sure to both warm your heart and get it racing!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • ½ a cup of milk
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole coffee beans
  • 55 grams of semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon of confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dark chocolate-covered coffee beans, chopped

Preparation

Combine your milk, ½ a cup of cream and whole coffee beans in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer before turning off the heat, covering the saucepan and steeping the coffee beans for an hour. Strain the liquid and return to the saucepan, discarding of the beans. Bring the milk and cream mixture back to a low simmer, add the semi-sweet chocolate and whisk through until it’s been incorporated into the mix. Remove this from the heat, whisk in your Kahlua and whip the remaining ½ a cup of cream and confectioner’s sugar until soft peaks form. Divide the hot chocolate between 2 cups and finish it all off with the addition of a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chopped chocolate covered coffee beans.

5. Liqueur Lollipops

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Credit to Martha Stewart

These easy to make liqueur lollipops make for a playful twist to your favourite bottle of bubbly.

Ingredients (makes 24 lollipops)

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • Flavouring extracts (black currant, peach, and raspberry)
  • Food colouring (burgundy, ivory, red)

Preparation

Cook sugar, corn syrup, and the water in a small pan over medium-high heat, brushing the sides often with a damp pastry brush, until the mixture measures 150 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in the flavouring extracts and food colouring. Pour the mixture into lollipop moulds and add sticks while still hot. Let cool completely, then unmold. Store in a single layer in an airtight container with a silica package, and add to a glass of your favourite sparkling white wine for unique and fun flavour experience.

6.White Strawberry-Lemon Sangria

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 Credit to Kitchen Treaty

Strawberries, lemon, apples, white wine, and rum…a perfect summer sangria here we come!

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced (any kind)
  • 1 cup of strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or an unoaked Chardonnay
  • ½ a cup of light rum
  • 4 cups of lemon-lime soda

Preparation (prep time: 10 min, wait time: 5 hrs)

Add your lemon slices to a large jug, followed by the apples, then the strawberries. Pour the white wine and rum over the top. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 - 5 hours. Remove from refrigerator and add the lemon lime soda. Finally, a few pieces of the fruit to your glass before pouring your sangria mix over to serve.