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Valentine's Day cocktail recipes

The Kir Royale cocktail combines Champagne with crème

The Kir Royale cocktail combines Champagne with crème de cassis.  Credit: iStock

Uncork romance.

There are plenty of drinks to suit your and your love’s style, from sweet to tart, vivid red to a subtler hue, a partner for the darkest chocolate to a mate for the candied rose petal. After all, classic pairings can range from Sally and Harry to Scarlett and Rhett, Rodgers and Hart to Rodgers and Hammerstein.

A simple and elegant drink: the Champagne Cocktail. Salvatore Calabrese’s recipe in “Classic Cocktails” brings together, in a flute glass, a sugar cube soaked with 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, followed by 2/3 ounce of Cognac, all topped with brut Champagne. He garnishes the cocktail with a slice of orange and a red maraschino cherry.

Just as refreshing, but with a bit of casual flair, is the Negroni. From the “Mr. Boston Platinum Edition” bar raiser is a recipe that calls for stirring 3/4 ounce each of gin, Campari and either sweet or dry vermouth in an ice-filled, old-fashioned glass. Add a splash of club soda, if you like, and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

The Kir is named for Félix Kir, for 20 years the postwar mayor of Dijon, France . Mardee Haidin Regan’s “The Bartender’s Best Friend” says to pour 5 ounces of chilled white wine and 1/4 ounce of crème de cassis in a wineglass, stir briefly, and add a lemon twist for garnish. The Kir Royale substitutes 5 ounces of chilled Champagne or other sparkling wine for the still white.

For the name alone, there’s the Honeymoon Cocktail, from “The PDT CocktaIl Book” by Jim Meehan, with illustrations by Chris Gall. Combine 2 ounces of Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, and 1/2 ounce each of Marie Brizard Curaçao Orange, Benedictine and lemon juice. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

And for a splash of color as well as a fine sip, consider the American Beauty cocktail. Dale DeGroff cites this recipe in “The Essential Cocktail.” Combine 3/4 ounce each of brandy, French dry vermouth and fresh-squeezed orange juice, 2 dashes of grenadine, and, if you prefer to include it, a dash of crème de menthe, in a mixing glass with ice. Shake well. Strain into a small cocktail glass. Float 1/2 ounce of ruby Port on top. Garnish with an organically grown or well-washed rose petal.


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