Making cocktails at home is a fun and easy way to impress your date on Valentine’s Day. And thankfully, you don’t have to be an experienced bartender to make a delicious and great looking drink. Because here are four festive, easy-to-make cocktails that are sure to start (or end) your evening right.
For the vodka fan, here’s a drink that’s like a vodka cranberry all dressed up for Valentine’s Day. Originally from Bon Appetit, this cocktail can be prepared in advance by mixing all the ingredients without ice, and then chilling with ice before serving.
AMARETTO CRANBERRY KISS
1 oz vodka
2 oz cranberry juice
.5 oz Amaretto
.25 oz fresh orange juice
Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of mandarin orange or an orange peel.
Sparkling wine is a must-have for Valentine’s Day, and this recipe is an easy way to incorporate Champagne into a fine-looking cocktail.
THE MANDARIN RIBBON
1.5 oz fresh orange juice
1 dash orange bitters
Build in the glass by adding Campari, juice and bitters to a Champagne glass, and then topping with sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange peel.
For something more spirited, this common variation on the classic Negroni is both delicious and beautiful to look at, with a dark rose hue.
1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir, then strain into a pre-chilled rocks glass with ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Quite possibly the simplest mixed drink of them all (if you can even call it that), the Kir is both a crowd-pleaser and a beautiful, delicious drink. It’s made by simply adding a quarter ounce of Creme de Cassis to a glass of dry white wine. Or spruce things up a bit by using sparkling wine instead. You can also riff on this drink by swapping the Creme de Cassis for nearly any other flavor of sweet fruit liqueur that you have on hand.
THE KIR COCKTAIL
.25 oz Creme de Cassis
White wine or Champagne
Build in the glass. Add liqueur to a flute, then top with wine or Champagne.
Julia Tunstall is the co-creator of A Bar Above. Find her writing and recipes at A Bar Above.com or check out the Mixology Talk Podcast for cocktail tips, tricks and banter.