Superlative Love-Centric Cocktails

Shake it out on Valentine’s Day.


If you're looking to impress a Valentine's Day date with cocktails that have a romantic twist to them, I've got you covered. Most of these cocktails are classics that elicit this holiday's charm via name, history...or the simple fact that they're red and delicious.
The Blood & Sand is a heavy, dark hitter probably best for the end of the evening. Taking its name from a 1922 Valentino film, its use of a very seasonal fruit lends a beautiful, deep red hue to the cocktail.

3/4 oz blended scotch whiskey (I recommend Famous Grouse)
3/4 oz fresh blood orange juice
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
3/4 oz cherry heering
Shake & strain all ingredients into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a blood orange half-moon.
The French 75 is a beautifully balanced cocktail with great citrus and effervescence. It's a good way to start the evening off.
2 oz London dry gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
Shake & strain into a champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine of your choice and garnish with a lemon pigtail.
How To Marry The Rich is a cocktail we serve at my bar that I reverse-engineered after stumbling upon a book with that title. It's currently our best selling drink at Fools Gold in New York City.
2 oz Hayman's Old Tom gin
3/4 oz cucumber juice (break out that juicer again and leave the skins on for color - I prefer using English seedless cucumbers)
3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz honey syrup (equal parts honey & water combined)
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano 
Shake & strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice and garnish with a tarragon sprig.
Our fifth and final cocktail is widely regarded as one of the most labor-intensive cocktails ever created, so let's give you a nice easy one before that: the Aperol Spritz.
2 oz Aperol
3 oz Prosecco or sparkling wine of your choice
A splash of club soda
Combine all ingredients in a white wine glass and garnish with an orange peel.
And finally, here it is. The drink I love to make for friends or when trying to impress the fairer sex. However, if I'm three or four deep at the bar and you order this, you should be prepared to wait. Here's the Ramos Gin Fizz. It takes a ton of time and puts some wear and tear on your shoulders and elbows, but it's the most delicious gin cocktail I've ever tasted. Key Lime Pie in a glass, people.
Set aside 1 oz of heavy cream.
In a mixing tin, add 1 egg white, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz lime juice, 1 oz simple syrup, 7 drops of orange flower water and 2 oz of your favorite gin (I prefer Plymouth). Chill a Collins glass.
You're going to shake all of these ingredients dry, without ice, for 15-20 seconds to get that egg white emulsified and frothy. Then, add a very small amount of crushed ice to your shaker and shake AGAIN for 15-20 seconds.
Then, get that ounce of heavy cream in the shaker and, you guessed it, shake ONE MORE TIME for 15-20 seconds. Pour the cocktail into the chilled Collins glass.
Let that rest briefly and then try to form a channel down through the center of the glass through the frothy top of the cocktail. Then carefully pour seltzer down into the cocktail through the channel. You may be able to get the meringue of the drink to crown over the top of the glass by an inch or so. If not, don't stress. Just drink & enjoy!
Have a very happy and very fun Valentine's Day!
For more recipes & tips, follow Matt on Twitter at @MattyFLES

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