Having tackled food last week, I decided that even more important as Valentine’s Day approaches is the booze. Single, taken, or it’s complicated…we’re likely to all want a drink this Friday, so I thought I’d try to craft five romantically-themed cocktails for the occasion. Now I’m an excellent drinker (or so I tell myself), but a little out of my depth when it comes to creating drinks, so I pulled in the help of a friend and former bartender to get the ball rolling.
1. The ‘Pop your…blackcurrant’
In my opinion Valentine’s Day would be incomplete without a glass of bubbly, so we decided first to create a prosecco-based cocktail. This went down a treat, and certainly straight to my head – mission accomplished already I’d say.
· 25ml gin
· 25ml crème de cassis
· 12.5ml peach liqueur
· Lemon juice
· Rose petals
1. Add a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker
2. Pour the gin, crème de cassis and peach liqueur into a cocktail shake
3. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and then shake vigorously
4. Decant into a champagne flute and top up with prosecco
5. Place a rose petal on top and serve
2. Chocolate Orange “Martini”
So you’ve polished off the bubbly…obviously the thing you turn to next on Valentine’s Day is something decadent and chocolatey.
· 25ml vodka
· 12.5ml Cointreau
For the Terry’s Chocolate Orange liqueur:
· Half a Terry’s Chocolate Orange
· 50ml Baileys (or any coffee liqueur)
· 50ml milk
· Chocolate orange
· Orange zest
To make the chocolate orange liqueur:
1. Melt the chocolate orange pieces on the hob, stirring occasionally
2. Add the milk and baileys and stir to combine – if the melted chocolate starts to re-harden then simply add more baileys (also add more baileys just for the hell of it)
3. Leave in the fridge to cool for at least an hour
For the drink:
1. Once the chocolate orange liqueur has cooled, pour 50ml into a cocktail shaker, and add the vodka and Cointreau
2. Shake vigorously over ice
3. Serve over ice and garnish with chocolate orange shavings and orange zest
3. Prosecco Jellies
Perhaps a little less classy (but still more sophisticated than your average jello shot), these strawberry, prosecco and rose jellies will go down a treat. They’re perfect for a Valentine’s Day party or a Galentine’s Day…or simply for you and your significant other to laugh about as you try to extract them from the shot glasses (trust me it’s hilarious and can get messy).
· 135g flavoured jelly cubes – strawberry works well, but you could go for any flavour you like
· Rose petals
1. Cut up the jelly cubes and dissolve in a cup of boiling water
2. Add as much prosecco as needed to make up the volume the jelly packet recommends you dissolve it in
3. Wipe ~20 shot glasses with vegetable oil (this will help the shots come out once chilled)
1. Fill each shot glass up half way with the dissolved jelly
2. Place a rose petal (shredded or not) into each shot glass, and leave to chill for an hour
3. Then fill up the rest of the shot glasses with the dissolved jelly (if kept at room temperature it should not have set)
4. Leave for at least 2 hours to set completely
5. If you just want to get on with your life rather than wait for jelly to set, then just fill the shots to the brim and add the rose petal, then leave to cool in the fridge
4. The ‘Nothing Like a Clover Club’
One of my friend’s favourite drinks is ‘The Clover Club’ – huge fan of raspberries. Unfortunately, it’s February and finding decent raspberries is a little tricky this time of year. However one of my flatmates unearthed a delicious bottle of blackberry gin, and we decided to create a variant of the classic cocktail. The resulting pink and frothy extravaganza seemed perfect for Valentine’s Day.
· 1 egg white
· Lemon juice
· 50ml blackberry gin
· 12.5ml peach liqueur
· 10ml crème de cassis
· Cocoa powder
1. Whenever using egg whites in a cocktail, you need A LOT of ice, so start by filling your cocktail shaker half full with ice
2. Then add the gin, peach liqueur, crème de cassis, a dash of lemon juice and an egg white
3. Shake vigorously and then serve neat in short tumblers with a dusting of cocoa powder
5. The ‘Sex on the Sofa’
This one is far lazier than the usual ‘Sex on the Beach’ cocktail you might have had before. Perfect if like me you’re a lover of citrus, it makes for a great wind down drink to enjoy curled up on the sofa (funnily enough) after a tiring Valentine’s Day.
· Pinot grigio
· Orange juice
· 50ml peach liqueur
· Orange slice
1. Pour equal parts pinot grigio and orange juice into a wine glass
2. Add the peach liqueur
3. Stir to combine
4. Garnish with an orange slice
So there you have it: 5 cocktails to attempt this Valentine’s Day. My personal favourites were the Prosecco Jellies (jelly is as fun now as it was when I was five) and the Chocolate Orange “Martini”, but they were certainly all a laugh to make.
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