Let the countdown to Valentine’s Day begin! Of course, there are many exciting things around that time as well (the “Big Game” and The Grammys), but why not start thinking about your way to celebrate the day of love?
Hotel chefs and mixologists know a thing or two about catering to couples. So for Valentine’s Day, who better to turn to for sweet culinary inspiration? We’ve curated a collection of simple but sophisticated cocktail concoctions, plus one delectable dessert, that are sure recipes for romance.
- Red Velvet Molten Cake. Executive Pastry Chef Brittani Szczecina, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, Fla.
Hearts will melt along with the molten center of this classic chocolate dessert, reinterpreted in Valentine’s red.
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate, melted
- 1/8 cup bread flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4 tbsp. red food coloring
- Bring eggs, yolks and sugar to ribbon stage on speed 3 with a whisk.
- Melt butter and chocolate together.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the ribbon eggs and pulse a few times.
- Add in the sifted flour and pulse a few times again.
- Finish folding by hand and add the red coloring.
- Spray 4 4 oz. tins on all sides and portion batter in tins 3/4 high.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, being sure to rotate and not overbake.
- Deep Affection. Lead Mixologist Zachary Blair, The Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, N.Y.
Red berries make this jewel-toned cocktail the perfect choice for an evening of romance.
- 3 whole strawberries (reserve an additional strawberry for garnish)
- 1 oz raspberry liquor (Merlet)
- Splash of lime juice and simple syrup
- Dash of orange bitters (Bittermens)
- Splash of brut champagne
- Muddle first four ingredients.
- Double strain in high ball.
- Add ice and top with brut champagne.
- Garnish with flared strawberry.
- Lover’s Lagoon. McCoy’s Oceanfront at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, Fla.
Think of as a moonlit stroll on the beach — in a glass.
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz spiced rum
- 1 oz peach juice
- 1 oz pear juice
- 1 oz plum juice
- ½ oz blue curacao
- Stir all ingredients in a glass without ice.
- Pour mix into a chilled glass.
- Garnish with a mint sprig.
- Fiery Mandarin. Lead Mixologist Eddie Garcia, jade bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Guaranteed to add heat to any romance.
- 2 oz Absolut vodka
- 1 slice jalapeno
- 1/3 of an orange zest
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- ½ oz lemon juice
- ¾ oz simple syrup
- Muddle jalapeno, add zest and liquids.
- Add ice, shake and double strain.
- Serve up in chilled martini glass with jalapeno slice garnish.
- Fennel. The Umstead Bar, The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary, N.C.
Deceptively simple, this three-ingredient cocktail gets a romantic boost from aphrodisiac fennel.
- 2.0 oz Conniption Navy Strength gin
- .75 oz fennel syrup
- .50 oz lime juice
- Dash of fennel powder
- Mix first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
- Fill with ice and shake.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a dash of fennel powder.
- Hint for the adventure home mixologist: The Umstead adds candied fennel fronds to its garnish.
- The Wink. Henry’s Hotel Bar, Harbor View Hotel, Martha’s Vineyard
The name of this cocktail says it all.
- 1 2/3 oz. gin
- 2 tsp. triple sec
- 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup
- 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1/2 oz. absinthe, to coat the glass
- Orange twist
- Combine gin, triple sec, sugar syrup and bitters in a shaker over ice and shake.
- Strain into the absinthe-coated rocks glass.
- Finish with a spritz of orange zest and garnish with the orange peel.