It’s that time of the year when the mood is light, love is in the air, and a pronounced effort to appreciate your significant other is made. So, while making your usual dinner reservations at your favourite restaurant is a routine, how about you skip the flowers and the dinner date for a change? Score yourself some brownie points with a party for two at home, and yes, there are cocktails as part of the course.
Now, while this may seem daunting for a beginner, let me assure you that Valentine’s Day is a few days away, so this gives you lot of time to prepare. If your significant other enjoys cocktails, a cosmopolitan is a good choice. With flavours of vodka, sweet lime and cranberry, cosmopolitan is a cocktail quite popular among women. Among various popular-themed cocktails, the ones that work really well are bloody margaritas, chocolate martinis, between the sheets, sex on the beach, and more.
Chocolate is one item that is widely sold and consumed on this occasion. There are also many interesting ways chocolate can be used in cocktails. Infusion is the best way to get this dominating flavour. For instance, chocolate can be infused in a White Russian. Melted chocolate can be infused with Baileys in a few concoctions. Even strawberries can be coated with melted chocolate and added to drinks!
Another perfect combination is chocolate with red wine. Notes of chocolate go very well when infused with red wine. Both dark chocolate and milk chocolate pair well with a merlot or pinot noir. One can make a nice warm mulled wine cocktail which is infused with chocolates. Additionally, dark chocolate goes well with port wine. One can also get a good bottle of red wine and get a slab or bites of chocolate to go with on the side, to enjoy a cosy evening.
You can also recreate classic cocktails on Valentine’s Day. One drink could be the whisky sour — take 45 ml of whiskey, 20 ml of lemon juice, 10 ml of sugar syrup and 1 egg white as ingredients to re-create a Valentine’s special whiskey sour for your whiskey loving partners! Another one that can be recreated is the old-fashioned cocktail. Take 60 ml of bourbon, a dash of angostura bitter and for a twist, add 1 tsp of brown sugar and see the magic work! For gin lovers, recreate a perfect Valentine gin martini by bringing together 45 ml of gin, 15 ml of martini Bianco and add 15 ml lemon juice. And Voila!
When experimenting, always keep it simple. Find a base recipe and work with easy-to-source ingredients. For any experiments, begin with vodka for spirit, orange juice as mixer and mint as garnish. Cheers!
— Binny Dhadwal is a mixologist and flair bartender at Flaming Trio
50 ml 10-year-old scotch whiskey
10 ml salted star anise syrup
5 dashes apple cider vinegar
10 ml apple juice
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass. Serve over a large ice block in a rocks glass.
Garnish with apple slices and star anise.
Your drink is ready to serve.
45 ml 10-year-old scotch whiskey
10 ml rose syrup
10 ml fresh lemon juice
20 ml litchi juice
60 ml champagne
Add all ingredients apart from the champagne into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard.
Double strain into a chilled champagne flute and top with
Garnish with rose petals or orange twist.
Happily Ever After
60 ml gin
45 ml cranberry
45 ml orange juice
10 ml strawberry syrup
Shake all the
ingredients in a shaker, and pour it in a mug.
Garnish with chocolate shaving on top.
Your drink is ready.