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 cocktail made with love? Ahead of your special day, we’re bringing you 5 red and pink drinks that are sure to make your Valentine smile. Here’s the lineup:
Pretty in pink, this tasty classic is the perfect complement to a romantic evening. While its origins remain a bit of a mystery, some theorize that the drink is named after “La Paloma,” a popular Mexican folk song from the early 1860s. It’s also worth noting that “Paloma” translates to dove, another symbol of love.
Similar to a margarita, the Paloma is a refreshing, fruity spritzer that boasts a balance of tart and sweet. For this take on the drink, all you need is tequila (luckily V-Day lands on a Friday this year), club soda, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sugar. And to make things extra special, don’t forget to garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
We can’t leave out another delicious classic, the Cosmo. Often stereotyped as a woman’s signature bar drink, the Cosmo has a rich history in cocktail culture; but the drink really took off in 1987, when bartender Toby Cecchini made the drink at the famous Odeon in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. And thanks to numerous appearances in Sex and the City, the drink has become even more seductive to mainstream consumers.
The Cosmopolitan presents a playful symphony of tart, citrus, sour, and sweet flavors. To make your own, combine cranberry juice, lime juice, orange liqueur, and lemon vodka — and don’t forget to garnish with a slice of lime or lemon, with some extra sugar on the rim. Yum!
3. Pink Gin Fizz
With the promise of springtime and emergence of warmer weather, the Pink Gin Fizz presents an Instagram-worthy cocktail that is sure to delight the senses. This cocktail rose to fame in the early 1900s, though the first printed reference to “fiz” dates back to an 1887 bartender’s guide. The drink was even known as a hometown specialty for the great city of New Orleans, where it wasn’t that uncommon to see teams of bartenders hired to take turns shaking these drinks.
Another unique medley of sweet and sour flavors, the Pink Gin Fizz is the perfect recipe for your Valentine’s Day celebration. Simply combine orange juice, grapefruit juice, seltzer, simple syrup, and your favorite gin, and enjoy! Your sweetie is sure to love the sunset appearance of this tasty beverage.
4. Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail
Looking for something a little more spicy? The Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail is for you. This drink is a bit more contemporary than some of the other options we’ve talked about, but it is delicious, nonetheless. Pomegranate juice adds a tart, berry profile. And the addition of flavorful syrups and bitters create additional dimensions of flavor sure to wow your Valentine.
To make this yummy drink, you’ll need to put in the extra effort of whipping up a homemade vanilla cardamom syrup (but your sweetie is definitely worth it). Next, you’ll gather together vodka, pomegranate juice, lime juice, bitters, mint, and pomegranate seeds, add in your syrup, and ta-dah! You’ve got the perfect date-night drink. You’re welcome.
5. Dirty Shirley
Who doesn’t love a little scandal? This next drink is sure to keep your date blushing (we know we are!)
Inspired by the child movie star, the Shirley Temple is thought to have been created in 1932 at the Chasen’s restaurant in Beverly Hills. At her birthday dinner, Little Shirley is said to have wanted a “fancy drink” like the adults were enjoying, which resulted in the kid-friendly drink we know and love today. Later, an alcoholic version of the drink would emerge — the unforgettable Dirty Shirley.
While everyone’s enjoyed a Shirley Temple as a kid, this adults-only version is sure to please. To create your own refreshingly sweet and boozy cocktail, simply combine vodka, cherry liquor, grenadine, soda water, and maraschino cherries to garnish. Cheers!
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