What to Drink

Valentine’s Day cocktails for the perfect buzz

With strawberries, gin, and love on the list, these cocktails made with award-winning spirits are perfect for your Valentine's Day date.

We’ve been picking up RTD cocktails or cocktail kits from our favorite bars all year long in lieu of sitting at the bar for a few heavenly cocktails. And in that time some of us have been honing our cocktail-making skills at home. 

Time to put those shaking and stirring and maybe bottle-twirling skills to play! This Valentine’s Day picks up any of these award-winning spirits and you know you have the best backing to your perfectionist cocktail-making chutzpah to impress your partner!

1. The Dye House 

Recipe by Caledonia Spirits

The Dye House. Source: Website

Ingredients:

•    1.5 oz Barr Hill Gin
•    0.75 oz Fino Sherry 
•    0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
•    0.75 oz blueberry syrup
•    1 egg white
•    Fresh skewered blueberries for garnish.

Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice, dry shake without ice, then shake with ice, and double strain into a coupe. Garnish with skewered fresh blueberries. Crafted from USA Spirits Ratings’ Gin of the Year, The Dye House cocktail, getting its sweetness from Sherry, is the perfect way to start a Galentines evening.  

2. Palma Negroni  

Recipe by Mallorca Distillery

Palma Negroni. Source: Instagram

Ingredients:

•    25ml Palma Gin
•    25ml Campari
•    25ml Sweet vermouth (Try Rockwell - Extra Dry Vermouth)
•    Cinnamon stick (optional)

In a mixing glass, add all three ingredients and stir over very cold ice until blended. Strain into a rock glass over a large ice cube and garnish with an orange twist or slice and a cinnamon stick. The taste of cinnamon combined with USA Spirits Ratings gold-medalist Palma Gin is a great way to add a tinge of spice to your evening.

3. Strawberry Moscow Mule

Recipe by South Fork Vodka

Strawberry Moscow Mule, Source: Website

We all know strawberries are a great aphrodisiac, and combining them with South Fork Vodka, a Double Gold winner at the Bartender’s Spirits Awards, the Strawberry Moscow Mule, with its red color surely sets the mood right. 

Ingredients:

•    3 oz South Fork Vodka
•    1/3 cup sugar
•    1/3 cup water
•    1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
•    2 tbsp lime juice
•    1 bottle ginger beer

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add strawberries. Mash strawberries with a fork and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl and press on the mixture with a rubber spatula to get all liquid out. Add 1/2 cup strawberry mixture to a pitcher along with lime juice and vodka. Stir well. Add ginger beer and stir. Pour into glasses or copper cups with ice.

4. Aguamiel Rosa

Recipe by Aguamiel Tequila

Aguamiel Rosa. Source: Instagram

Ingredients:

•    1.5oz Aguamiel Tequila
•    1.5oz Grapefruit Juice
•    0.5oz Lime Juice
•    0.5oz Agave Syrup

Add grapefruit juices and lime juice into a shaker. Pour in agave Syrup, then add the award-winning Bartender’s Spirits Awards gold-medalist Aguamiel Tequila and shake well. Fill the cup with ice and strain. Top off with soda.

5. Massey Cocktail 

Recipe by The Spruce Eats

Massey Cocktail. Source: Website

Ingredients:

•    1-ounce Irish whiskey (Try the USA Spirits Ratings gold-medalist Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whisky)
•    1-ounce Gin (Try Highclere Castle Gin, a gold medal winner at Bartender’s Spirits Awards)
•    3/4 ounce sweet vermouth (Try Rockwell Sweet Vermouth)
•    1/4 ounce Green Chartreuse
•    1/8 ounce Campari
•    Garnish: orange twist

In a mixing glass, combine all the ingredients. Add ice and stir vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist. 

6. Pomegranate Mimosas 

Recipe by Delish

Pomegranate Mimosas. Source: Website

Ingredients:

•    1 c. sweetened pomegranate juice
•    1 bottle champagne (Try  Champagne Henriot Brut Millésime
•    Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

In champagne flutes, fill with 1/4 cup sweetened pomegranate juice and top off with the gold medal-winning champagne. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. 

7. Red room Sangria

Recipe by Delish

Red Room Sangria. Source: Website

Ingredients:

•    1 bottle dry red wine (Try USA Spirits Ratings’ 92 points Yerevan 782 BC Red Dry)
•    1/3 c. pomegranate juice
•    1/3 c. bourbon (Try USA Spirits Ratings’ 95 points Devil’s Share Bourbon Whiskey)
•    1 tbsp. honey
•    1 apple, sliced
•    1 peach, diced
•    1/2 lb. cherries, pitted and halved

In a pitcher, combine wine, pomegranate juice, whiskey, and honey, stirring until the honey has dissolved. Add fruit. Chill for at least one hour, letting the fruit absorb the sangria a bit.

Pour into glasses and serve.

8. The Jam 

Recipe by Silvergrin Vodka

The Jam. Source: Instagram

Ingredients:

•    2 oz Silvergrin Vodka
•    3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
•    1 tbsp of your favorite jam or preserve 
•    Optional: 1 dash Angostura bitters

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker, shake vigorously a few times, and double strain. Garnish with a lemon twist to enjoy the splendid USA Spirits Ratings 90 point gold medal vodka. 

9. Billionaire Cocktail (Saveur)

Recipe by Saveur

Billionaire Cocktail. Source: Website

Ingredients:

•    2 ounces high-proof bourbon (Try Treaty Oak Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon, a gold medalist at USA Spirits Ratings)
•    1-ounce fresh lemon juice
•    1⁄2 ounces simple syrup
•    1⁄4 ounces absinthe (Try the Bartender Spirits Awards’ 89 points La Fée Parisienne Absinthe Superieure)
•    1⁄2 ounces grenadine syrup made from pomegranate
•    Lemon wheel, for garnish

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, absinthe bitters or absinthe, and grenadine in a shaker over ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

10. Lovebug Cocktail 

Recipe by Cosmopolitan

Lovebug Cocktail. Source: Website

Ingredients:

•    1-ounce vodka (Try Hall of Fame Vodka
•    3 ounces white cranberry juice
•    2 ounces lemon-lime soda
•    1-ounce grenadine

First, pour simple syrup onto a flat plate. On another plate, place some red sprinkles. Now grab a glass and place the rim of it onto the simple syrup, then in the sprinkles. Fill your cup with ice and add all the ingredients including the 93 point scoring vodka from the 2020 Bartender’s Spirits Awards to add an impeccable touch. Stir and serve chilled. 

11. Be My Galentine 

Recipe by Barefoot 

Be My Galentine. Source: Cosmopolitan

Ingredients:

•    ½ oz. Amaretto Liqueur (Try Lyre’s Amaretti for a no alcohol twist)
•    1½ oz. cherry cocktail juice
•    3 oz Red Moscato (Try the award-winning Barefoot Red Moscato)

Combine the no-abv 2020 Bartender’s Spirits Awards silver medal-winning Amaretto with cherry cocktail juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with the Red Moscato. Stir gently and garnish with cherries. 

12. Hot Buttered Rum

Recipe by The Spruce Eats

Hot Buttered Rum. Source: Website

Ingredients: 

•    2 teaspoons brown sugar
•    1 tablespoon butter (soft)
•    1 dash ground cinnamon
•    1 dash ground nutmeg
•    1 dash ground allspice
•    1 splash vanilla extract
•    2 ounces rum (Try Bumbu The Original)
•    4 ounces water (hot)

Place the sugar, butter, spices, and vanilla extract into the bottom of an Irish coffee glass or mug and mix well or muddle. Pour in the rum and top it with hot water. Stir. Serve and enjoy. Paired with USA Spirits Ratings’ 95 point rum, the Hot Buttered Rum cocktail is a great way to end a chilly night with your partner.

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