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