(Un)Happy Valentine’s Day

Cupid in his true guise

Cupid in his true guise

I’d like to make it clear that my dislike of Valentine’s Day does not stem  from my  single status. Absolutely not. No way….Well ok, maybe just a tiny bit. However, I do find the massive volume of  roseate-hued trash in the shops  genuinely offensive. I’ve only just recovered from Christmas and here  I am, plunged into another vortex of consumerism.

To make matters worse, my inbox is stuffed to bursting with bar and restaurant press releases of V-Day themed drinks and menus. I warn you, if I see one more elderflower, passion fruit or rose based champagne cocktail suggestion,  I’ll hurl something. Possibly the contents of my stomach.

So as an antidote to all this schmaltz,  I’ve come up with a list of drinks of a more astringent character.  Just the ticket for the independent and strong-minded single person to brace themselves with next monday.

(For the less contentedly single I offer the following solution. My flatmate gave me this as a suggested cocktail name: ‘F*ck you all, I hope you die while holding hands’. The recipe for this  is: 1 bottle of blended scotch. Unscrew cap. Drink until you pass out. )

Pucker up

Pucker Up cocktail

Pucker Up cocktail

75 ml bourbon  (I used Four Roses Small Batch)
2 each of lime and lemon wedges
1-2 tsp sugar to taste
2 dashes  lemon bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Grapefruit twist

Muddle lime and lemon wedges with sugar in a shaker. Add bourbon, bitters, ice and shake. Pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Squeeze grapefruit twist over glass and add to drink.


VD cocktail

VD cocktail

1 Vermouth (50:50 dry:sweet)
2 Dry Sherry
Dash lemon bitters
Orange peel

Stir all ingredients with ice, strain contents into a cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel over drink, then rub the edge of glass and drop in drink.

Valentine’s Day Massacre

Valentine's day massacre

Valentine's day massacre

Referencing Italy, bootleggers and , umm, blood, this is a fresh tasting twist on a Negroni – the Rhubarb bitters work really well but feel free to omit if they’re hard to track down.

1 blood orange juice
1 Gin
1 Campari
Few dashes of Rhubarb bitters

Build the first three ingredients in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir gently, add a few dashes bitters and garnish with an orange twist.

NB: The ice ball in the picture is made with filtered, double-boiled, double frozen bottled water.  As you see it’s still opaque – I’m beginning to think life’s too short for clear ice…

Old Maid

Old Maid cocktail

Old Maid cocktail

1.5 Old Tom Gin
1.5 Lavender cordial
1 Lemon juice
Egg white
Dash or two of orange bitters

Shake the first four ingredients once with ice and pour into a cocktail glass. Add a few dashes bitters and a twist of orange.

Tip:  To make lavender cordial add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a pan with a generous handful of dried lavender heads. Simmer for about 15 minutes until syrup has reduced slightly. Remove from heat and cool before using. I had many other ingredients lined up for this drink but the cordial was so lovely I ended up just letting its floral/menthol flavours shine through. It’s gorgeous just served with champagne.

NB: I don’t have the requisite cream whipper but for those who do, I can’t help thinking a Creme de Violette Foam would finish this drink beautifully  (omitting the egg white in the shaker). I’d rename it a Blue Rinse.

Stupid Cupid

I thought this was a great name for a drink but by this point was a bit stumped as to what it should consist.  So I put it up to Twitter and this is what they came up with:

InWithBacchus: Maraschino liqueur in a pint of J. Wray & Nephew Overproof  (IWb says: “To me, that’s the representation of Valentine’s Day. Massive quantities of sh*t we really don’t need. In red..” )
cowfish:  White Lightning, Special Brew and a dash of eternal suffering.
Di9it8: A chilled empty glass….. (is anyone else  overwhelmed by the fathoms of heartbreak this answer evokes?)
But the winning answer was a combination of suggestions from jezmd , QuadrilleDaily and  agladman:
Baileys, Glace cherry, and Rohypnol – this final ingredient was proposed by agladman as  “forced romance is hard to translate into alcohol.
(For real suggestions as to how to spend Valentine’s Day see this post from Gin Monkey)

5 thoughts on “(Un)Happy Valentine’s Day

  1. Pingback: Valentines – The Good, Bad & Ugly | YetAnotherGin

  2. Me and all my friends are having a girls night in for Valentines day. We are all bringing appetizers and a cocktail to share. Mine is TY KU’s Asian Sensation
    1.5 oz TY KU Sake
    1 oz. Champagne
    1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
    Each glass is also only 80 calories so those of us trying to watch our figure can still live it up! Valentines day is for single people too 🙂

  3. Pingback: Summer sips « The London Cocktail Guide

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