As Valentine’s Day approaches, people feel as though they have to take a stance on it. Is it a made-up holiday? Are we doing presents? How long do you have to be dating before celebrating Valentine’s Day? Here’s something we can all agree on–any occasion that calls for good food and drink is worth celebrating. Whether your affianced, just-dating, in-a-situation, or (un)happily single, you deserve to mix up a few cocktails and toast yourself this V-Day. Check out our post on easy Valentine’s Day drink recipes for a boozy addition to our our recommended food pairing article.
Bitter Hearts Club
The Gimlet is a classic recipe, built on simplicity and the infallible combination of spirit, sour, and sweet. If your summer go to is a margarita or daiquiri, try the gin gimlet for the cold months. Pair it with a shrimp dish, like Herbes de Provence shrimp with basil, and don’t be afraid to go heavy on the garlic–gin can take it. This cocktail calls for amaro, a bittersweet Italian liqueur that you can sip on its own as a digestif.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounce lime juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce gentian amaro
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe or martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel and candy heart. Enjoy a snifter of the amaro after dinner.
If you’ve been following our cocktail posts for a while, you know we love a champagne cocktail. It’s an instant celebration in a glass. Served in a coup, you’re encouraged to drink it fast before the bubbles disappear. Pair this riff on a classic with an easy mussels with white wine recipe and discover how (almost) effortless decadence feels.
- 6-8 dashes of Angostura bitters
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 4 ounces sparkling rosé
Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Add rosé to the shaker and strain everything into a coupe or martini glass.
Sometimes the best things are those that don’t last. This riff on the French 75 adds supple sweetness from honey. It goes great with either seafood or spicy food, so we recommend pairing it with a shrimp and chorizo paella.
- 1 ounce tequila
- ½ ounce apricot cordial
- ½ ounce honey syrup (2 parts honey: 1 part water)
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- Top with prosecco or champagne
Combine tequila, apricot cordial, honey syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until combined—strain into a champagne flute or coupe glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Blood and Sand
If Valentine’s Day is a sore spot for you right now (we’ve been there), try this classic Scotch cocktail paired with Gordon Ramsay’s class steak recipe. Seriously, even if you’re cooking for one, treat yourself to a well-made cocktail and fancy meal. You deserve it.
- ¾ ounce Scotch
- ¾ ounce sweet vermouth
- ¾ ounce Heering Cherry Liqueur
- ¾ ounce orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled—strain into a coupe glass or a rocks glass with a giant ice cube.
It is a cocktail for those whose only true love is the spice–spicy food, spicy drinks, Flamin Hot Cheetos, etc. We recommend pairing it with spicy slow-cooked short ribs; it’s a combination you’ll break out for any special occasion, not just Valentine’s Day.
- 1 ½ ounce whiskey
- ½ ounce Ancho Reyes liqueur
- Bitterman’s Hellfire bitters to taste
- ½ ounce blood orange juice
- 1 ounce lime juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
Box of Chocolates
For some, Valentine’s day is about reigniting the romance with their partner. But we prefer to think of it as a day devoted to the real MVP life partner–chocolate. Dessert cocktails get a lot of flack, but they’re the perfect way to remind yourself of what you care about in life; cookies and cakes and sweet stuff. Pair this Box of Chocolates cocktail with a no-cook chocolate raspberry tart to share with your beau or treat yourself.
- 1 ½ ounces chocolate vodka
- ½ ounce amaretto
- ½ ounce Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
- ½ ounce white creme de cacao
- Dash heavy cream
Drizzle chocolate sauce inside a chilled rocks glass. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Pour (with ice) into the glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Valentine’s Day Drink Recipes Featured Photo Credit: Photo by Jesse Goll on Unsplash