Cocktails: A Love Story

photo by Aliza Kellerman
photo by Aliza Kellerman

For what it’s worth, I kind of like Valentine’s Day. There’s usually a lot of chocolate on sale, and I can’t argue with that. Plus, it gives me another excuse to drink. If you’re in a relationship (or something like it), buy your sweetheart all the candy (s)he desires. But can we please quit it with the cloying, mouth-coating sugar bomb cocktails? There are plenty of sexy drinks that don’t involve crème de cacao. Here, I’ve listed one for every stage of your relationship:

The Honeymoon, Phase One

This isn’t the real honeymoon, you know, the one that happens after marriage or what have you. This is that giddy, I-will-weave-you-awkwardly-into-conversation infatuation. You need a drink that’s equally light and bubbly.

photo by Amanda Schuster
photo by Amanda Schuster
  • 3 oz/90 ml Dry Prosecco
  • 1.5 oz/45 ml Spring 44 Vodka (if you get the joke, I love you)
  • ½ oz/15 ml Lemon juice
  • ½ oz/15 ml Honey Syrup
  • 3 Dashes Bitters, Old Men Macadamia Bitters

Reader, take note, this is the sweetest cocktail on this list.

In a shaker filled with ice, shake all of the ingredients except the Prosecco. Strain into Champagne flute or Martini glass and then top with the bubbly. Garnish with a twist. Enjoy your young love.

The Hard-Earned Companion

You know this point in the relationship: you’re seeing each other’s flaws, but you’re also growing to appreciate each other. You discuss important things like taxes and your stance on food delivery minimums. This drink is serious, but satisfying, with just the slightest touch of tenderness. I can’t believe how far we’ve come!

photo by In Team
photo by In Team

Build over ice in a lowball. You’re done!

The Honeymoon, Phase Two

This cocktail is based on the new romantic phase of your relationship: maturity. While there are still hints of sweetness, the depth in this cocktail surpasses superficial flavorings. However, the bubbles give it a nice celebratory effect. This is your second honeymoon, after all.

Pour tonic water and gin over ice in whiskey tumbler. Add bitters and stir lightly. Zest rim with blood orange slice and use for garnish. Top with almond shavings, perfect for this buttery gin and tonic variation.

Bonus Round: Let’s Be Friends

Okay, so things didn’t work out quite the way you planned. Still, you don’t want to be bitter about it. I mean, you don’t want to be that bitter. But you can still retain a bit of bite. Here’s a (mostly light and airy) cocktail with a hint of passive aggressive rudeness.

Dry shake all the ingredients for twenty seconds to froth up the cream, then fill shaker with ice and shake for another twenty seconds. Strain into champagne coupe and sip while casting a dirty look to your former mate.

I hope everyone truly enjoys his or her Valentine’s Day. Feel free to join me at the bar, I’ll be the one drinking all of these!