Stir up a couple cocktails of love

Stir up some love this Valentine's Day. PHOTO: Commons

February is the month of “amour”, culminating on the 14th with Valentine’s Day.

There are endless ways to show that special someone you care, from romantic dinners and getaways to heartfelt gifts of jewelry and flowers. Smaller demonstrations of affection, in addition to the above, are mixed drinks that tweak romance and help stir the heart.

Here’s a tried and true list of some good ones for you to try:

A classic that dates back to the roaring 1920s is the “Hanky Panky”. Stir – do not shake – gin, sweet vermouth and a couple dashes of bitters in a glass with ice for a sipper that has stood the test of time.

Check out “Romance” for a tasty winner. This addictive, little gem combines Bailey’s, Creme de Cacao, Kaluha and cream, garnished with shaved chocolate. So good you’ll be tempted to lick the glass!

If shooters are your passion, then you gotta try this one. Enter the “Love Bite”. This baby is layered utilizing orange and cherry liqueurs and a bit of cream. It’s fruity, tart, not too sweet and has a little “bite”.

Fruit lovers are really gonna dig this concoction. It’s called “Soft Love” and it’s yummy delicious. Shake and strain crème de bananas, cherry vodka, grenadine syrup and whipping cream into a cordial glass and enjoy. Works equally well as an aperitif or dessert drink!

One of many folks’ all-time favourite movies is “Gone With the Wind” and this sipper captures the spirit (pardon the pun) of its main female character. Yes, “Scarlet O’Hara” is certainly a drink to be reckoned with. Blending Southern Comfort, cranberry juice and lime, it’s tart and wonderful.

The next tasty treat is often served on cruises. Behold “The Kiss on the Lips”. Relatively easy and simple, it meshes peach schnapps, frozen mango mix, grenadine and crushed ice, topped with a cherry or pineapple slice. Fruity and sweet, you can’t go wrong.

Here’s a little something to set the mood. Try a “Lovers Paradise”. The marriage of chocolate liqueur, Frangelico and white rum is romance in a glass.

Are chocolate-covered cherries your downfall? If so, you’re gonna go crazy over a “Chocolate Cherry Cha Cha”. A beautiful vibrant red colour, cherry liqueur, chocolate vodka, coconut rum and sparkling water come together as a liquid version of the famed bob bon.

Your hair doesn’t have to be any shade of gold to really enjoy sipping a “Strawberry Blonde”. Several versions exist, but the one I like utilizes sparkling wine, strawberry vodka, pineapple juice and strawberry daiquiri mix. Shake, strain and garnish with a strawberry.

A fruity, refreshing treat is “The Lady Killer”. This drink is all about, gin, Cointreau, apricot brandy, pineapple juice and especially passion fruit juice, which makes it unique. Shake and strain over crushed ice, topped with a cherry. Quite tantalizing!

Like the old song from 1963 by the Searchers, “Love Potion No. 9” is a liquid testament to obtaining love and this little number will not disappoint. It’s a delightful blend of Prosecco, passion fruit nectar, pineapple juice and ice in a champagne flute.

Finally, the little, winged fella with the bow and arrow will do his magic when a “Cupid’s Call” is served up. Combine rosé bubbly, clementine vodka, Chambord raspberry liqueur, pomegranate juice and ice. Topped with pomegranate seeds, it’s tugs at the heartstrings as well as the palate.

Full recipes for all of these can be found online and you can substitute straight up fruit juices for fruit liqueurs where applicable for lighter or non-alcoholic versions.

Edward Finstein is a wine writer, author, TV and radio host, educator, judge.

Connect with him on Twitter at @DrWineKnow, or on Facebook

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