Friday, February 10, 2012

Make This! Valentine's Day Cocktails

We wanted to feature another blast from the past. A blog post from last year, that maybe you can put to good use this weekend - enjoy!

Looks like it’s going to be a chilly V-Day, so warm up your celebration by mixing and impressing your date with some boozy cocktail recipes. No need to head to the bar or break the bank, these cocktails will make you look like a pro mixologist using what you’ve already got around the house.

Brandy Alexander

Let’s start off with a 1930’s cocktail bound to impress your valentine by channelling a classic and mixing with some hard liquor with Mad Men-like skills. Feist sings that “it goes down easy” and it should... a luxurious combination of cognac and creamy chocolate, a Brandy Alexander is like grown up chocolate milk that’s easy to make and just as easy to drink!

1 part fancy cognac (go ahead and dust off that Courvoisier)
1 part chocolate liqueur (like dark crème de cacao or Godiva chocolate)
1 part fresh cream (yes, cream not milk)

Shake all three ingredients with fresh ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.  Grate a sprinkling of fresh nutmeg over the frothy top.  Garnish festively with fresh or brandied cherries or chocolate shavings.

Chocolata Agave

If you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, try adding a little spice by boozing up an after-dinner favourite. But this recipe isn’t your childhood skating rink hot’s a surefire way to make your Valentine’s hot and spicy!

2 parts prepared unsweetened hot cocoa (rich dark chocolate like Green & Blacks is recommended)
1 part gold tequila 
1 part coffee liqueur 
1 squeeze agave nectar (or honey)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon

Mix together the agave, cayenne pepper and cinnamon to make a spiced honey (it also doubles as an incredible glaze on nuts and fruit salad). Prepare your hot cocoa as directed and pour over a shot each of tequila and coffee liqueur in a mug. Stir in the spiced honey to taste for sweetness and spiciness.

Homemade Grenadine
Store-bought grenadine is gross and sugary, yet we usually keep a bottle around for the occasional Shirley Temple and nothing else. But make your own and you’ll want to use it for everything: making pink lemonade, to sweeten iced tea, homemade cream soda, fruit salad syrup and can also be used to brighten marinades.

Real grenadine is made from the juice of heart-healthy pomegranates. Here’s how to make a batch of the red goodness for Valentine’s but keep it on hand year-round for a variety of uses.

2 cups POM pomegranate juice
2 cups organic sugar
¼ oz orange flower water
1 oz vodka
Heat up the pomegranate juice in a sauce pan over medium heat – warm enough to dissolve the sugar but do not allow it to boil.  Slowly stir in sugar and turn down the heat and allow it to simmer slightly to thicken the mixture.  Turn off the heat and add the orange flower water (which can be found at your local market or ethnic grocery store).  Allow it to cool and add a shot of vodka to help preserve the mixture.  Bottle the syrup and store in the fridge.

Cheers to a boozy and romantic Valentine’s Day!  --- Michelle Tham

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