Drinks That Keep You Together
“You always hurt the ones you love.” -They
One of my favorite couples not only recognizes the obvious Day-We-Got-Together anniversary every year, they also celebrate the day they nearly broke up. The reason they do this is because, well, obviously they didn’t, but more importantly, it’s a reminder of what made them stronger. Even the truest love comes with a taste of bitterness from time to time.
This is why it always seemed silly to me that when it comes to Valentine’s Day drinks, they’re always so cloyingly sweet. No one likes to be around that ooey gooey couple that practically sweats confection from their pores in constant public displays of kissyface - get a room, guys! Those sticky Valentine’s drinks aren’t very sexy, and aren’t what true love is all about.
Like a strong couple, a Valentine’s Day drink should be balanced between the sweet, bitter and perhaps even sour, with a heart of darkness and depth that can be appreciated from both sides. Here are some drinks for February 14th that celebrate the tribulations of love, and also offer something to appreciate for the many of us who have to go it solo that day.
Can It, Cupid! by Hal Wolin
- 2 oz/60ml Black Bottle Scotch
- .5 oz/15 ml Ancho Reyes chili liqueur
- .5 oz/15 ml Cocchi Americano
- .5 oz/15 ml Campari
- 2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well chilled and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Because true love is about acceptance, there is no need to garnish.
Desert Rose, by Artemio Vasquez at Añejo NYC
Here’s a romantic drink with a honeymoon of ingredients that goes just a touch sour, but holds together.
- 1.5 oz/44 ml Bols Parfait Amour liqueur
- 1.5 oz/44 ml Tequila Blanco infused with Dried Moroccan Rose tea (recipe follows)
- .75 oz/ 22 ml Prickly Pear Purée (found at most good supermarkets or online)
- .5 oz/ 15 ml Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice until well chilled. Double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with dried roses from the tea.
Rose Tea-Infused Tequila
Pour a 750 ml bottle of tequila blanco (Añejo uses Siembra Valles) into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1/2 cup of the rose petals and store in a away from sunlight for at least 2 days up to a week, shaking the container at least once a day. Strain out solids and using a funnel, pour tequila back into bottle.
Heart Breaker, by Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo
A dark, spicy take on a Manhattan, a beloved drink that should be appreciated from many angles, that celebrates the kind of love whose peppery spark never burns out. Be okay with life's decisions!
- 1.5 oz/44 ml Bonded Rye (such as Rittenhouse)
- .5 oz/15 ml Luxardo Amaro Abano
- .5 oz /25 ml Punt e Mes
- 7 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- Lemon twist
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill and dilute. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express the oil from the twist over the drink and discard.
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast your bright eyes, my sweetheart fair. - Minna Thomas Antrim