Cupid in a Glass:Valentine's Day Cocktails

Whether you're hosting a party for twenty-five, twelve, or just two, Valentine's Day is the perfect time to whip out that sweetheart of a drink that everyone will leave everyone wanting the recipe. You don't have to be a pro to mix a great Valentine's Day treat, all you need is a few bar basics and a little practice. Let's start mixing!

Berries, Champagne, and Bordeaux

Ingredients:

1-1/2 oz. citrus vodka
3/4-oz. Cassis de Bordeaux
1-1/2 oz. fresh lemon sour
Champagne
Marinated wild berries

Directions:

   1. Marinate raspberries and blackberries for 6 hours in superfine sugar and Grand Marnier.
   2. Make simple syrup by dissolving an equal amount of granulated sugar in boiling water (i.e., 2 cups sugar dissolved in 2 cups boiling water) and then allow to cool. Store in a clean bottle in a cool place.
   3. To make fresh lemon sour simply mix 2 parts fresh, filtered lemon juice with 1 part simple syrup. Add a teaspoon of egg white to each drink for a creamy head.
   4. Place cocktail glasses in the freezer to chill (this can also be accomplished by filling them with ice and water).
   5. In a 16 oz. mixing glass add fresh lemon sour, Cassis and citrus vodka. Add ice and shake until well blended.
   6. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with marinated berries, top with 1/2-oz. chilled Champagne.

After you've impressed your guests with this rather complicated cocktail, switch gears a little and mix up something light and refreshing:

Hearts And Ice

Ingredients:

1 part Rose's Lime
1 part grenadine
1/2 part simple syrup
3 parts water

This is a simple refresher. Shake all ingredients over ice and add a splash of Sprite or club soda. Garnish with a lime and cherry.

If your February 14th is just a little colder than you'd like it to be, curl up by the fire with that special someone and this sweet treat that's certain to light a fire:

Heart-to-Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

1/2 ounce tequila
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 packet hot chocolate mix (prepared)
Whipped cream

Preparation:
1.    Mix tequila, Grand Marnier and hot chocolate in a cocktail shaker.
2.    Pour contents into an Irish Coffee glass.
3.    Layer 1/2 inch of whipped cream over the top.

Serve in an Irish Coffee glass.

Makes one drink (simply double for two!)

To cut down on calories, try using low fat whipped cream.

Can't imagine Valentine's day without a hot and spicy kiss? Add a little bit of Paris to your Valentine's rendezvous with this classic vodka martini.

French Kiss

Ingredients:

2 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Chambord
1 oz. Creme de Cacao (White or Dark)
1 oz. Cream or Half & Half

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled martini or cocktail glass.

It's been said that playing with the Queen Of Hearts is asking for trouble, but in cocktail form, it's just tasty. Try this decadent delight and share with your sweetie.

Queen of Hearts

Ingredients:

1 oz. gin
1 oz. strawberry-flavored lemonade
1/4 oz. red wine infused simple syrup

This cocktail is best shaken with ice, strained into a champagne flute and topped with champagne.

Whatever your pleasure this Valentine's Day, turn any dinner, party, or intimate night in into a night to remember with these great recipes. Chocolate and flowers never go out of style, but neither do these Cupid-inspired cocktails. Happy Valentine's Day!

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