14 Wines and Cocktail Recipes That Are Perfect For Valentine’s Day—Plus One Grand Dessert Cocktail

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a lovely Malbec from Trapiche. (©Trapiche)

By Jennifer McKee

What would Valentine’s Day be without a slate of great new cocktails and wines to make your palate go pitter-patter? No matter if you’re celebrating with your sweetie, the gals, or yourself, the following are must-trys.

Divine Wines

Historic Mendoza, Argentina winemaker Trapiche makes the most revered Malbec in the industry, and the Terroir Series Finca Ambrosia Malbec is one wine you want on you dinner table. This spicy, earthy red is dry like a Burgundy and pairs nicely with filet mignon and other red meats—a Valentine’s Day treat, to be sure.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without some bubbly, and Spanish producer Codorniu has delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. In the former category, the Anna de Codorniu Brut Rose is a delightful Cava from Catalonia, light and bubbly on the palate, with aromas of red fruits and a refreshing finish.

The Anna de Codorniu Brut Rose (©Codorniu)

You’ll be surprised that the Codorniu Zero Brut Alcohol-Free isn’t alcoholic—but it’s no less pleasing. Fresh and citrusy, this sparkler is perfect for those who don’t want to get tipsy and is also a great cap to any weeknight meal.

Made in the traditional sparkling wine method, Trentodoc is produced in the Dolomite Mountains of Trentino, Italy. Dry and intense, its Monfort Riserva Trento Doc Brut is ideal as an aperitif and, not surprisingly, pairs wonderfully with Italian meats and cheeses. This top-of-the-line bottle may be your new special occasion wine.

Cocktail Recipes

Loews Hotels’ mixologists are all about creating stunning cocktails, and they’ve kicked it up a few notches for Valentine’s Day. Try this sinfully sweet concoction from the team at Loews Miami.

Raspberry 75

3 Raspberries
0.5 oz. simple syrup
0.5 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. Tito’s Vodka
3 oz. Prosecco

Muddle raspberries in a shaker. Add simple syrup, lemon juice and vodka. Add ice, shake it up and strain into a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and garnish with lemon spiral.

Over at Loews New Orleans Hotel, Chef Drew Mills has created a twist on the traditional Aperol Spritz, one that celebrates the citrus season in New Orleans—and the season of love.

The Bayou Blood Orange Spritz (©Loews Hotels)

Bayou Blood Orange Spritz

1.5 oz. fresh Louisiana blood orange juice
0.5 oz. Aperol
1 oz. vodka
Thin slice of blood orange

Fill your spritz glass of choice with ice. Add the fresh squeezed blood orange juice. Add the Aperol and vodka then stir, do not shake. Top with a splash of Prosecco as a floater and garnish with a thin slice of blood orange.

Kastra Elion is the first sipping vodka made from Greek olives; it’s also fantastic in cocktails. While it always makes a great dirty martini, try your hand at something new this Valentine’s Day.

Kastra Sour

2 oz. Kastra Elion
0.5 oz. fresh-squeezed lime
0.5 oz. simple syrup
0.5 oz. Chambord
1 egg white
Spray of bitters

Place the vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, Chambord and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Do not add ice yet. Seal the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Add ice, seal again, then shake for 7-10 seconds more to chill. Fit a Hawthorne strainer over the top of the shaker and pour the cocktail through a fine-mesh strainer into a coupe glass.

The Kastra Sour (©Kastra Elion)

Decadent Disaronno is a treat year-round, but you’ll want to spice it up this February when you mix it with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire. It’s super-simple, super spicy!

Velvet Fire

2 oz. Disaronno Velvet
1 oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire 

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with ice.

Disaronno’s Velvet Fire (©Disaronno)

Speaking of whiskey, snuggle in for the night with this spirited and simple hot chocolate, made from Conor McGregor’s triple-distilled whiskey brand. Va va voom!

Proper HOT Chocolate

1 part Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
4 parts hot chocolate

In a mug, combine hot chocolate and Proper No. Twelve, Top with marshmallows or whipped cream.

More spicy comes from Santo Spirits, the agave brand launched by Sammy Hagar and Guy Fieri. On the flip side, there’s also a sweet love potion, courtesy of Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum.

Santo Heartbreaker Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita

1.5 oz. Santo Spirits Blanco Tequila
2 oz. watermelon syrup
2 oz. sweet and sour
0.5 oz. orange juice

The Santo Heartbreaker Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita (©Santo Spirits)

The Santo Love Potion Cocktail by Sammy Hagar

1 oz. Santo Spirits Blanco Tequila
0.5 oz. Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum Redhead Macadamia Nut Rum
0.5 oz. Sammy’s Beach Bar White Rum
1 oz. fresh lime juice
0.5 oz. triple sec or Cointreau
0.5 oz.-1 oz. tangerine juice and skin (optional)

For both cocktails, stir all ingredients together and pour into the glass of your choice.

We love to try something new, and the beet juice and pink peppercorns in High West’s Bulette appeals to our senses. Recipe courtesy of Steve Walton, beverage director at High West Restaurant and Saloon.


1.5 oz. High West American Prairie Bourbon
0.25 oz. Amaro Santa Maria
0.5 oz. fresh beet juice
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz. pink peppercorn syrup
0.25 oz. fresh ginger juice
4 basil leaves

Muddle 3 basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add all ingredients to the cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a basil leaf.

The Bullete (©High West American Prairie Bourbon)

Do you both like different cocktails? Mixologist Jason Shelly from TX Whiskey has the solution: His and Hers cocktails.

HIS (My Main Squeeze)

2 oz. TX Whiskey
2 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
0.5 oz maple syrup

Shake all ingredients together and top with an orange twist.

HERS (Head Over Heels)

1 oz. TX Whiskey
1 oz. cranberry juice
0.5 oz. lime juice
3 oz sparkling wine

Shake TX Whiskey, cranberry and lime juice together. Strain into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine and a lime twist.

Cremalosa Bellini (©Cremalosa)

A Delicious Dessert Cocktail

Now, for a delectable dessert: Cremalosa’s Bellini. Cremalosa chef-owner Meridith Ford learned the secret of the Italian Bellini in Venice: that Italians make the frothy concoction with sorbetto, not fruit puree. The result is smooth and refreshing, and none of the fruit sinks to the bottom of the glass! Meridith recommends selecting a sorbetto with seasonal fruit, and loves peach (the original flavor), strawberry, crab apple and citrus fruits best.

Cremalosa Bellini

1 scoop (5 oz.) seasonal Cremalosa sorbetto
6 oz. Prosecco

Measure the sorbetto and Prosecco into a wide bowl and whisk, to slightly melt the sorbetto, until smooth and frothy. Pour into a chilled wine glass. Enjoy!

Note: Add an ounce of gin for a sorbetto-based French 75.


RSS Augusta Magazine’s Front Porch

  • Episode 11: Jay Jefferies
    Jay Jefferies stops by to deliver the weather and much more!
  • Episode 10 - Nesia Wright
    We had the pleasure of sitting down with Nesia Wright, owner and CEO of the Georgia Soul Basketball Team. Ashlee and Nesia discuss life as the owner of a basketball team, retirement and more.
  • Episode 9: Venus Morris Griffin
    Venus Morris Griffin, one of the top real estate agents in the Augusta area, stops by our front porch to talk about her success and her upcoming book. This episode is sure to set a fire in you to go for your dreams!
  • Episode 8: Michael Romano
    Michael Romano, self-proclaimed carbohydrate king and executive pastry chef for Edgar's Hospitality Group stopped by our front porch to chat with Ashlee.


Previous Issues

Related Articles

Prost! Oktoberfest!

Prost! Oktoberfest!

After more than 200 years, Oktoberfest celebrations continue to give folks an excuse to come together with friends and family for good beer and good times. This year, Bath Gardens is having its own, inaugural, two-day celebration on Sept. 29-30.

The Real Thing

The Real Thing

Addison Niday’s passion for art began when he saw his first Coca-Cola mural on the side of a barn in 1995. Today, that passion has grown into a career as a painter with a current primary focus on the art of restoration. 

Augusta’s Poster Show

Augusta’s Poster Show

North Augusta native Jason Craig had an idea about how to rejuvenate the community through an art exhibit. The exhibit would feature captivating posters inspired by Augusta’s history and culture.