The Perfect Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes
By Jennifer Shanteau
It’s that time of year again when the couples coo and canoodle and the singles either drown their sorrows, or celebrate their freedom…..Valentine’s Day! Whether you belong to Camp Canoodle or Camp Single, I have a Valentine’s Day cocktail to assist you in either cozying up to your amor, or blacking out….I mean, blocking out the day entirely.
Me? I’m typically a vodka fan, but I also believe in equal opportunity for liquor, especially when it comes with an intriguing introduction, like Victoria Pink Gin from Gin Lane 1751. Victoria Pink Gin is the result of collaboration between Bloomsbury Club and Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers in their effort to recreate Victorian Era cocktails. Quote that on your next date night! Believe it or not, this pink drink was a staple with the British Royal Navy. They used bitters to balance out a dry or sweet gin, which they drank to cure sea sickness……or so they say. Victoria Pink Gin is pre-blended and ready to sip, and the perfect star ingredient for a Valentine’s Day cocktail!
The first Valentine’s Day cocktail is the ever so British Gin Lane Rickey, a very simple, straightforward mix of gin, lemon, and simple syrup. You can serve it on ice in a high ball glass and topped with seltzer, or my favorite way, shaken, in a martini glass, and garnished with a lemon peel.
Victoria Gin Lane Rickey-
1.5 parts Victoria Pink Gin
1/2 part Simple Syrup
1/2 part Lemon
Shake and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with Lemon Peel.
The next Valentine’s Day cocktail is a Gin Daisy Remix. I started with the recipe of a classic Gin Daisy, (gin, lemon, grenadine, club soda), and switched it up a bit….hence, the “remix”. Necessity is the mother of invention, and quite honestly, I didn’t have any lemons or club soda, but I did have oranges, limes and ginger ale. I gave it try, and it’s delicious!
Gin Daisy Remix-
2 parts Victoria Pink Gin
2 teaspoons Grenadine
1 part freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 part lime juice
Splash of ginger ale
Mix together and serve in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with an orange wedge and mint.
For the next Valentine’s Day cocktail, we are back to my old friend, vodka, Tito’s Handmade Vodka created right in the U.S.A…..Austin, Texas to be exact. For those of you who don’t know, Tito’s is a corn based, gluten free vodka, distilled six times and made in an old fashioned pot still like a single malt scotch or a french cognac. So, here is something I just found out……Not only is this an American company, but Tito’s sponsors several dog rescue events, and set up Vodka for Dog People, a website that helps raise awareness about Emancipet, an organization that is dedicated to spay/neuter and preventative care clinics for dogs. They also sell dog related items on their website to raise additional money for these clinics to help our canine companions. Well, that’s it! I love dogs, and I love vodka. Now that I know this, I may have to apply for a job here. I may have found my calling.
All of this talk of dogs has inspired the creation of our next cocktail, let’s call it the Rescued Greyhound. A classic Greyhound is made with vodka and grapefruit juice, but this drink has a little twist….some cranberry liqueur and Morris Kitchen’s Grapefruit Hibiscus Cocktail Mixer.
2 parts Tito’s Homemade Vodka
1 part Morris Kitchen Grapefruit Hibiscus Cocktail Mixer
1 part cranberry liqueur
Shake, then serve in a martini glass, top with seltzer, and garnish with a maraschino cherry and a lemon peel
Vodka is so versatile when it comes to festive libations. Let’s create another! How about a Dirty Shirley? I have to admit the name got me. I used to drink Shirley Temples growing up, and I absolutely adore a good dirty martini, so why not a Dirty Shirley? It’s just as yummy as my childhood beverages, but produces that extra special adult effect.
2 parts Tito’s Homemade Vodka
1 part Cherry Liqueur
1 part Grenadine
Stir and serve over ice. Garnish with Maraschino Cherries and a wedge of lime.
With these Valentine’s Day cocktail options in your repertoire, you’re off to a good start. They’ll either enhance your evening, or make you not give a rat’s bum. Cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day!