February 12, 2019
Whether you’re whipping up a few drinks for you and your date after a Valentine’s Day dinner, hosting a single ladies night in, or you’re overseeing a more formal soiree, make sure your bar cart is stocked with all the items you’ll need to mix up some cocktails appropriately festive for Valentine’s.
While it may seem kitschy to break out the pink-frosted Valentine’s Day cookies during a romantic evening or at an adults-only affair, everyone still loves a seasonal specialty cocktail. These pink drinks will have your guests and friends raving about your mixology skills; the flavours you’ve magically pulled together, the top-notch, local ingredients you’ve used and, of course, the eye-catching pink hue—but you’ll know all along just how easy they were to create.
We’ve handpicked some local spirits to go into each cocktail so you can also dazzle your guests with some of the many high quality local liquors that are available, and of course you can find them all at Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
Serve a Gin-Campari Sour
If you think a pink drink has to be fruity and overly sweet, this version will make you think again. The citrus, lemon and gin notes all meld together perfectly for a well-balanced experience. Plus, you’ll get to use an ingredient that may cause a spirited debate among your guests — raw egg. Don’t worry, though; raw eggs in cocktails are generally quite safe; the lemon in this recipe along with the gin should take care of any stray bacteria.
Turner Valley’s Eau Claire distillery was one of the first craft distillers in Alberta, and we’ve chosen their Eau Claire Parlour gin for use in this drink. A London dry-style gin, you’ll get that light hint of juniper berry, but with unique hits of rosehip, Saskatoon berry, coriander, lemon, orange, mint and spice.
1.5 oz. EauClaire Parlour gin
3/4 oz. Campari
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 dash orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and give it a good shake. Add ice and shake about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass.
Pour Pink Martinis
You can’t go wrong with a martini, unless, of course, you fill it with sugar and give it a cutesy name. This pink martini, however, keeps the ingredients to a minimum, so the flavours aren’t as aggressive as what you might find in similarly named martinis at budget bars. Plus it uses Calgary-made Burwood vodka, so you can support local!
Burwood is a small distillery in northeast Calgary that makes small batch spirits with unique essence and character.
2 oz Burwood vodka
1/4 oz (or less) dry vermouth
4 dashes orange bitters
1-2 teaspoons Grenadine, depending on how sweet you want it
Fill a shaker with ice. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Ginger-Jasmine Sparkling Rosé Cocktail
A little bubbly always sets the mood, whether that be for some romance or just a dishy gossip session with your best friend. Skip merely uncorking a bottle of rosé and upgrade the experience by making this impressive and delicate cocktail. It takes a little bit of extra work and a bit more time — what with the slicing of the ginger and the steeping of the jasmine tea — but it’s worth it.
Highwood vodka is another local choice that lets you share handcrafted spirits with friends or loved ones. It’s distilled from Canadian wheat and pure natural water. Highwood is one of the few distillers who use wheat instead of corn to create their vodka, so expect a crisp, clean, natural tipple.
3/4 cup simple syrup
8 slices fresh ginger
6 oz. steeped jasmine tea, cooled to room temperature
3 oz. Highwood vodka
1.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 bottle sparkling rosé wine of your choice
Muddle the ginger and simple syrup together. Add the tea, lemon juice and vodka. Strain over a glass and finish it off with the rosé.
The Pink Elephant
If you really want to wow your guests with exotic ingredients and an unexpected, creamy, cotton candy pink hue, you’ll want to make the Pink Elephant. This is also a great cocktail for those who do happen to like their cocktails on the sweeter side.
The main ingredient in this drink is Amarula Cream, available at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer. Amarula Cream is made with the berries of the Marula Tree (indigenous to Southwest Africa and Madagascar), also called the Elephant Tree, because elephants happen to love the berries as much as we do.
1.5 oz. Amarula Cream
1 oz. chocolate liqueur
3 oz. raspberry puree
3 oz. heavy cream
Small squeeze of lemon juice
Combine all ingredients except for the heavy cream and sugar in a shaker with ice and shake, before straining into a martini glass. Then layer the cream on top of the base.
Strawberry Whiskey Smash
This cocktail uses whisky as its core. Refreshing and similar to a Mint Julep, you’ll love the fresh minty, lemony, strawberry flavour.
Revel Stoke Canadian whisky is a blended whisky where a 3-year whisky and more mature 8-year come together to create a smooth and bold flavour that’s nice enough to sip neat, but it also works really well in cocktails like this one.
7 fresh mint leaves
1 lemon half
3 strawberries, hulled
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1/4 cup Revel Stoke whisky
Mash and muddle the strawberries, mint leaves and quartered lemon half, along with the simple syrup, in a cocktail shaker, until all the juices are flowing. Add whisky and swirl to combine. Pour all into an Old Fashioned glass (no straining) filled with ice.
Staying in tune with the season doesn’t have to be cheesy—or syrupy sweet. These rose-hued cocktails will set a festive tone for Valentine’s Day and have your guests asking for more.
Need more drink ideas for a romantic dinner a deux, or some wine pairing suggestions? Head to your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer and ask one of our sommeliers to guide you.
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