Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and if you haven’t started thinking about what to get for your sweetie yet, then you’re running behind! Luckily, the best kind of gift is one that comes from the heart, and what’s better than whipping up a tasty beverage made with love? Ahead of your special day, we’re bringing you 7 romantic drink flavors with recipes that are sure to make your Valentine smile.
Here’s the lineup:
Throughout history, cherries have cemented their place as a sensual motif in everything from paintings and poetry, to music and cinema. But there is more to the cherry than its erotic reputation.
Like many fruits, cherries tend to have a sweet-sour flavor, but some varieties can present green or nutty notes. A common ingredient in beverages of all kinds, artificial cherry flavor in particular is known for having almond-like undertones because of benzaldehyde—the same compound found in the essential oils of bitter almonds.
Whether you plan on using the real thing or a flavoring, there are a range of romantic beverage possibilities with this tasty drink flavor. We recommend trying this recipe for a Cherry Bomb. Not only does the drink come with a delightful reference to the song of its namesake, but it also includes rum! Just muddle together cherries, lemon and lime wedges, mint leaves, simple syrup, and bitters in a mixing glass, then add the rum and stir.
If you’re looking for something a little sweeter for your sweetheart, then this Frozen Cherry Daiquiri Float is sure to please, though it’ll take a little more prep. First, you’ll need to pour cherry juice into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once the cubes are solid, add them to a blender along with cherry and lime juices, rum, and frozen cherries. Blend until a thick slush is formed, then add sugar to taste. Finally, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and don’t forget to garnish with cherries. Bonus points if you can tie a knot in the stem.
Mmm—nothing says “I love you” quite like a box of chocolates! Pleasantly sweet and slightly bitter, chocolate is both a decadent drink flavor and a perfect metaphor for any romantic relationship. It’s also a so-called aphrodisiac, if that’s an important factor in your Valentine’s Day plans.
To set the mood, we recommend a Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate. Not only does it follow current beverage trends favoring dairy alternatives, but it is sure to warm up you and your precious companion. Start by bringing full-fat coconut milk or vanilla almond milk to a simmer. Once warm, add cocoa powder, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne for a punch of heat. Pour into your favorite mugs and top with coconut whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
Of course, if the goal is to encourage cuddling, you could always take the route of making something a little colder (you rogue!). This recipe for a Boozy Chocolate Milkshake with Whisky combines milk, whisky, malted milk powder, chocolate ice cream, and ice. Just blend together, pour into a glass, and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. This shiver-inducing drink will definitely have your darling leaping into your arms.
Why does honey make our lineup for romantic drink flavors? Because it’s thick and sweet—hopefully like your date!
Depending on the source of the nectar, honey can range in flavor from floral and fruity to nutty or spicy. That’s also why it makes a welcome addition to drinks of all kinds.
You can whip up a smooth Bourbon & Honey Beer cocktail that’s sure to give you a buzz-buzz—and it’s so easy to make! All you need to do is shake together Bourbon, lemon juice, honey, bitters, and ice. Once the honey is dissolved, divide the mixture into two glasses and add your favorite lager beer. Garnish with a lemon twist for a fresh pop of color.
Or maybe you’re looking for something to sip while cuddled up on the couch in front of a romantic comedy—no problem! This recipe for a Honey Cinnamon Milk has got you covered. Just heat milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Once warm, whisk in the honey, then serve in a mug with a cinnamon stick for garnish.
You’ll stay toasty inside and out.
Chocolate covered strawberries, anyone? A Valentine’s Day staple, strawberries are the perfect addition to a romantic February 14th drink. When in season and at peak ripeness, strawberries are fruity, sweet, and juicy, but with a little bite of tartness.
If you’re looking to surprise your beau for breakfast, a Strawberry Agua Fresca is the perfect companion. To prepare, heat up water and sugar to taste. Once cooled, add your simple syrup to a blender with chopped ripe strawberries, fresh lime juice, and combine until smooth. Strain the mixture, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with more chopped strawberries and your sweetie’s favorite omelet.
If you want something a little more decadent, you could also try an eye-catching Korean Strawberry Milk. And don’t worry—this is definitely a few hundred steps up from those strawberry milk cartons you drank in the lunchroom as a kid!
First, you’ll need to make your strawberry puree: mash fresh strawberries, then add the mixture to a small pot with sugar and chopped strawberry pieces. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, then chill. When you are ready for the drinks, take two glasses and fill halfway with the strawberry puree and more chopped strawberries. Fill the remainder of the glass with cold milk, then swirl the heavier mixture up and around the glass to create an artsy pattern. Top with whipped cream and a whole strawberry for a wow-worthy presentation.
It’s the breakfast of champions—ahem—or in this case, lovers.
5. Red Wine
Part flavor, part actual drink, no romantic evening is complete without a glass of red wine.
Red wine offers a breadth of flavors and styles, but what we think of as a standard red wine typically features a more acidic, tart, and zesty fruit flavor. It’s usually made from dark-colored grape varieties which is also why it can range from intense violet, to brick red, and even brown in color, depending on the age of the product.
If you’re looking to fancy up your fancy pants glass of red wine, we’ve got you covered. Mix things up with a Red Wine Tangerine Spritzer. Just shake together your star ingredient (red wine), tangerine or orange juice, and maple syrup, then pour into a chilled glass with soda water. Top with a rosemary sprig and tangerine wheel for a presentation as good looking as your date.
If that doesn’t get your tastebuds salivating, you can also try a Pear Pomegranate Sangria. First, you’ll need to make the pomegranate simple syrup by simmering pomegranate seeds, sugar, and water. Once the syrup is strained of seeds and chilled, you can start on the sangria.
Combine red wine, pear and orange slices, Grand Mariner (or Cointreau), pomegranate juice, and your syrup to taste. You’ll want to allow the mixture to chill for at least 2 hours, then serve over sparkling wine for a bubbly effect. It’s the perfect drink to toast to your love!
6. Chili Peppers
You’re sure to have a spicy evening with this one. Burning with a heat like passion, chili peppers can range from sweet to smokey, with varying spice levels depending on the varietal of the plant.
Chili peppers also contain the chemical compound capsaicin, which is responsible for generating that fiery sensation to your taste buds. Capsaicin can also reportedly boost testosterone levels and increase libido. Talk about sensational!
If you’re looking to start the day with something a little more savory—and boozy (it is a special occasion, after all)—then you can make this Spicy Bloody Mary. First, make the sweet and spicy bacon: combine hot sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl. Lay out your bacon strips on a baking sheet in a single layer, then cover with the spicy sugar mixture. Bake, flipping halfway through for optimal crispiness. Set aside.
Next, combine your favorite Bloody Mary mix with vodka, pickle and lime juices, and more hot sauce. Now it’s time to throw it all together. Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and line with chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Fill each glass with ice, then pour out your Bloody Marys. Garnish with the works—the sweet and spicy bacon, olives, pickles, celery, you name it!
Of course, if that’s too much spice for you to start your day (acid reflux is SO not sexy), then you can save it for lunchtime or dinner with these Chili-Lime Mango Margaritas. Just blend together a ripe cubed mango, orange and limes juices, silver tequila, and triple sec (or orange liqueur) with a dash of hot sauce and agave nectar to taste. Garnish the rim of the glass with lime juice, salt, and chili powder, and serve. Now that’s hot!
We couldn’t make a list of romantic drink flavors without including this one! Rose is described as highly aromatic for its thick, floral scent. Depending on the varietal, rose can range from sweet, to spicy, to tart in flavor.
Because smell has a lot to do with taste, it’s not surprising that a rose’s aroma qualities contribute a great deal to its flavor. For example, white and yellow roses are often likened to other more delicate floral scents, like violet and nasturtium with undertones of fresh lemon; meanwhile, orange roses tend to take on bolder floral, fruit, and spice notes.
For breakfast (or an afternoon pick-me-up), surprise your lover with a Rose Milk Tea, also known as a Rose Tea Latte. It’s a rich, flavorful drink that looks sophisticated while being surprisingly easy to make—seriously, the hardest part is the rose syrup!
The syrup only requires 3 ingredients: food-grade rose petals, sugar, and water, boiled together. You can increase that delightful pink color by including hibiscus petals in the mixture. When you’re ready to make the drink, just combine the rose syrup with black tea steeped in milk.
Then, you can either store the leftover syrup or use it to make a Rosewater Lemonade—just add it to fresh lemon juice, sugar, and water. It’s refreshing and romantic! Muah!
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