It’s almost Valentine’s Day. What do you have planned? A night out on the town? A romantic dinner at home with your sweetie? A gathering of couples to share a quiet evening? No sweetie? Then, meet up for a night out with your best girlfriends. Sweet Shark and I will be sharing a romantic dinner for 2. And on Saturday, I’m hosting a Valentine Brunch for some girlfriends ~ ones I don’t see nearly as often as I’d like. Whatever your plans, a celebratory toast to start the evening is definitely in order. Then after dinner and socializing, top the night off with an after dinner drink. I asked my personal, resident bartender Sweet Shark to concoct something special for the occasion. And he didn’t disappoint. We’re taking the guess work out of your celebration with 5 delicious cocktails to share with your Valentine.
5 Delicious Cocktails to Share with Your Valentine
Sweet Shark named our kick~off~the~evening cocktail the Red Dress (The original drink is called Red Shoe Diary, but of course, he changed it up a bit.)
Featuring blood orange combined with the floral notes of Pisco and a bit of bitter Campari, this drink is perfect to start the evening.
- 2 blood orange slices
- ¾ tablespoon agave nectar
- 2 ounces dry vermouth
- 2 ounces Pisco
- ¾ ounce Campari
- Muddle 1 blood orange slice in a cocktail shaker.
- Add the agave nectar, Pisco, and Campari. Fill shaker with ice and stir until outside of shaker starts to frost, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into martini glasses and garnish with ¼ of the remaining blood orange slice.
Tired of chocolate martinis and heavy cream drinks? (Well, not really.) Sweet Shark has been making this old-style cocktail since he found it in the Wall Street Journal in 2009. The Delores Cocktail ~ why it is named that remains a mystery ~ has just enough candy sweetness with a touch of sophistication to make it a perfect beginning or ending to a special evening. If you are not familiar with Cherry Heering, it’s a Danish liqueur with a complex dark cherry flavor that is not too sweet.
Luxardo cherries are made in Italy; dense and chewy with a sweet-tart flavor, these maraschino cherries are made with prized sour marasca cherries preserved in the fruit’s famed liqueur. No cream in this cocktail, but dark creme de cacao to add the requisite “chocolatey~ness”. Pair it with my Rosy Chocolate~Raspberry Tart for the ultimate Valentine finale course.
- 4 ounces brandy
- 1 ounce dark creme de cacao
- 1ounce Cherry Heering
- 2 maraschino or Luxardo cherry, for garnish
- Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and "stir, stir, stir" with ice and then strain into a stemmed cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a cherry.
You know what the most popular cocktail in the world is? A margarita. And Sweet Shark makes one of the best ever. I shared his recipe here. Now there is no reason that you can’t serve a margarita for Valentine’s Day. But you do need to dress it up a bit, keeping in the red or pink theme. How? Sweet Shark added 1 teaspoons of Grenadine to his margarita ingredients in the the shaker (for 1 drink) and like magic, this beautiful drink appeared. We’re calling it a Val~A~Rita.
This drink is so easy. I’m so proud of myself because I thought of the name. Sweet Shark had a bottle of Pink Prosecco in the fridge and I had bought some Raspberry Sorbet for a recipe. So we thought to combine them. Yummy and pretty and festive. I used my smallest ice cream scoop and put 3 scoops in the glass. I served them in this sherbet dish that I found at one of our local antique malls. I think they were $3.00 each and I couldn’t resist cuz I am such a pink girl. Then we poured the prosecco on top. Serve this drink with a little spoon for the sorbet as you sip the Pink Prosecco. Girlfriend cocktail heaven.
When I was in graduate school I worked as a cocktail waitress at a couple of very nice local restaurants. Back then, the most popular after dinner drinks were ice cream drinks: Brandy Alexander, Velvet Hammer, Grasshopper, and the Pink Squirrel. Ice cream drinks went out of favor for a few decades, but like so many classic cocktails, they are making a comeback, with good reason. Who doesn’t like a grown~up, adult milk shake? And of all the ice cream drinks, which one is the best choice for Valentine’s Day? The pretty Pink Squirrel, of course. What makes it pink, you ask? Crème de Noyaux, an almond-flavored crème liqueur made from apricot kernels; certain versions are artificially colored red which contributes to the pink color in a Pink Squirrel. If you want more background on this pretty drink, check out this amusing list of Pink Squirrel cultural memorabilia.
You only need 3 ingredients: Crème de Noyaux (if you can’t find it, look for Crème de Almond), White Crème de Cocoa, and (good quality) Vanilla Ice Cream ~ here in Texas, we’re partial to Blue Bell.
Just for extra prettiness and fun, garnish the rim of your glass with sparkling sugar. Sprinkle the sugar onto a small plate. Rub the rim of the glass with a lime wedge and roll the rim in the sugar until you get the amount of sugar garnish you like.
1 Pink Squirrel (this is Sweet Shark’s adjustment because I like my Pink Squirrel, and any ice cream drink, a little thicker.
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Crème de Noyaux
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons White Crème de Cocoa
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
In the jar of a blender, stir the 2 liqueurs until combined. Add the ice cream and pulse 2 ~ 3 times on low speed, just until ingredients are combined. If you want your drink thicker, add more ice cream. Or you substitute the ice cream with heavy whipping cream. Either way, it’s a delicious drink that can take the place of dessert.
This week in Saturday’s Bulletin, I’m sharing a fabulous Valentine Brunch menu. Just sign~up to receive it in your inbox.
Have a wonderful, romantic weekend. Drinks are on me.
This Friday is 10 Under $10 on the 10th. Join 9 other bloggers and me as we share great ideas and inspiration ~ all under $10. I’ve got 2!!! under $10 for you.