The origin of Valentine’s Day has dark roots born of a ritual in Ancient Rome that was meant to promote fertility in a rather violent fashion. We’re spare those details for now, but in modern times, the holiday has come to signify love and romance and we’re highlighting some cocktails that should fit the theme.
This won’t be your typical Spirit. Ed column with us exhaustively breaking down the finer points of each cocktail. We’re going to keep it simple here and just list a handful of drinks that share the color of red, a favorite color of Valentine’s Day.
One of the more notable scarlet cocktails of all time is the Cosmopolitan, a drink with heavily debated roots but largely credited to the bartender, author, and bar owner Toby Cecchini and Melissa Huffsmith-Roth. Their version of the cocktail is thought to be the gold standard of the drink, and it’s the recipe we’re listing below.
1 ounce Cointreau
2 ounces Absolut Citron
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce cranberry juice
Lemon peel (garnish)
Chill a Martini glass with ice cubes and some still water if you like.
Combine the liquids in an ice-filled shaker and give it a vigorous shake until the outside of the container begins to frost, around 20-30 seconds. Toss the ice out of the Martini glass, strain, and then garnish with a lemon peel.
If you’ve been reading this space for a while, the Negroni has been featured on Spirit. Ed. I make no bones about my love of the cocktail, and I ask all reading to check out this article to get my nerdy breakdown of the drink. I’ll be frank and say this isn’t a syrupy sweet cocktail despite its bright red look. This drink skews to the drier and bitter side, but that’s what makes it such a great before-dinner drink. I’d adjust the recipe and add a 1/4 oz more gin, but the equal 1 ounce pours of the gin, vermouth, and Campari is a fine choice.
1 ounce London Dry Gin (preferred)
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1 ounce Campari
Orange peel (garnish)
This drink is built in the glass but can also be mixed in a cocktail glass then strained. In a rocks glass filled with ice, combine the liquids and stir moderately for 20-30 seconds until well mixed. Take an orange peel, express the oils over the drink, and garnish the cocktail.
The Bay Breeze
The Bay Breeze is a simplistic drink built upon the Cape Cod or Cape Codder, which is simply put a cocktail made with vodka and cranberry juice. The drink is a favorite among younger bar crowds and for folks who generally don’t like the taste of alcohol but want to get the needle moving in the “let’s get lit” direction. The Bay Breeze adds pineapple juice to the equation, which is also related to the Sea Breeze, a classic cocktail reportedly born in the 1920s.
2 ounces vodka
3 ounces cranberry juice
3 ounces pineapple juice
Lime wedge (garnish)
Combine the liquids into an ice-filled highball glass give it a few stirs until mixed. Garnish the drink with a lime wedge and serve with a straw.
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day weekend and, as always, sip safely and surely.