Seductive ideas for Valentine’s Day cocktails

forbidden kiss bar 45

In a traditional English song, a lover famously urges, “Drink to me only with thine eyes”. Romantic as this may sound, most couples will be opting for a more alcoholic alternative this Saturday to mark St Valentine’s Day – and bars are ready to rise to the occasion.

At Mediterranean restaurant Opso in Marylebone, London, bartender Giannis Petris has created a special list of cocktails available on Saturday and Sunday. They include the Love Radio, made with champagne, lychee liqueur and rose water, and the Passionistas, mixing vanilla vodka with passion fruit, lime and ginger. The Berry Heart (pictured below) combines rum, lime juice, crème de cassis, cranberry juice and raspberry.

Berry Heart Opso

Love was also the inspiration for a cocktail at Bar 45 at 45 Park Lane – the Dorchester Collection luxury hotel – in London’s Mayfair. Forbidden Kiss (pictured top) combines Hendrick’s Gin with lemon juice, fresh raspberries and rose elixir.

The team at Hendrick’s Gin have developed their own recipes for Valentine’s Day, highlighting that two of its botanicals, rose petals and cucumber, are “the twin essences of love and romance”. So grab your cucumber to add a slice as garnish to the Chelsea Rose, made with cloudy apple juice and sweet fresh raspberries, or mix up a Flora Dora, mixing the gin with zesty lime and ginger beer. Both are pictured below.

hendricks chelsea rose flora dora

Chelsea Rose
50ml Hendrick’s Gin
150ml Cloudy apple juice
5 Fresh raspberries
1 dash Fresh lemon
Combine all ingredients into a teapot, stir briskly and leave to brew for a few moments. Pour into an ice filled teacup. Garnish with one fresh raspberry and a slice of cucumber.

Flora Dora
40ml Hendrick’s Gin
20ml Fresh lime juice
10ml Raspberry syrup
Topped with ginger beer
Build all ingredients in highball over cubed ice. Churn and serve. Garnish with one fresh raspberry and a slice of lime.

Leading bartender Andy Gemmell from consultancy The Drink Cabinet has developed some Valentine’s cocktails for Pinkster gin, which has fresh raspberries steeped in the spirit to give it a pink hue. They are pictured below in the same order as the recipes.

Pinkster cocktails

50ml Pinkster Gin
15ml Sweet Vermouth
Dash Orange Bitters
Bar Spoon Triple Sec
Stir well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with three rose petals.

Pinkster’s Loving Fizz
50ml Pinkster Gin
5 Fresh Raspberries
5 Fresh Mint Leaves
25ml Fresh Lime Juice
25ml Sugar Syrup
Shake and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with soda water, garnish with a mint sprig.

Hot Ticket
50ml Pinkster Gn
5 Fresh Raspberries
3 Slices Fresh Red Chilli
25ml Falernum
10 ml Sugar Syrup
2 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
Shake all ingredients and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

Gin is the spirit of choice at East London Liquor Company’s bar for Valentine’s Day, with two cocktails, the Black Snapper and In The Pink, which are made with ELLC’s own London dry gin.

ELLC In the PInk

Black Snapper
35ml ELLC London Dry Gin
20ml Worcestershire Sauce
10ml Soy sauce
10ml ELLC Garlic Shrub
115ml Tomato Juice
7ml Chipotle Tabasco
5ml Coffee
Shake all ingredients together and strain into a lowball glass. Garnish with rosemary, lemon and bresaola.

In The Pink (pictured above)
50ml ELLC London Dry Gin
25ml Rose shrub
15ml Celery juice
20ml Lemon juice
Combine all ingredients and stir, and then pour into a stem glass. Float a kaffir lime leaf on the surface of the drink.

Gin confirms its place as the spirit of love at Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar at Marriott Hotel County Hall hotel overlooking the River Thames. Alongside its Valentine’s Day packages for dining, the bar is offering Juniper Love (pictured below) – a mix of Beefeater 24 gin, pineapple juice and Sauvignon Blanc wine, shaken and served in a tea pot.

gillrays beefeater Juniper Love

But tequila is also a renowned oiler of love, so Jose Cuervo has come up with a twist on the nation’s favourite cocktail called the Amor-ito.

The Amor-ito
50ml Jose Cuervo tequila
20ml Fresh lime juice
8 Mint leaves
5-10ml Sugar syrup
75ml Cranberry juice
Muddle and churn all the ingredients except the juice with crushed ice in a highball glass. Add the cranberry juice and top with more crushed ice. Garnish with cranberries and a mint sprig.

jose cuervo amor-ito

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