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Five Must-Have Valentine's Date Night Essentials To Spice Up Your Love Life

valentine's day essentials

Celebrate Valentine's Day with a cosy date night that makes the occasion feel intimate and special. We are thinking decadent chocolates, lots of candles, bouquets of roses everywhere and delicious drinks made with ingredients that underline the theme of love—wine, candies, strawberries, chocolate and more! Check out the recipes below.

1. Pink Squirrel

This retro after-dinner cocktail is a rich concoction that tastes like melted ice cream. It gets a delicate pink colour from the creme de noyaux liqueur, a speciality splurge as it is not a commonly used ingredient in cocktails. It is made using kernels of apricots/peaches or cherry pits that give the liqueur an almond flavour.

Ingredients

30 ml Creme De Noyaux
30 ml White Creme De Cacao
30 ml Heavy cream
Grated nutmeg, for garnish
Maraschino Cherry, for garnish

Method

Take a cocktail shaker and add creme de noyau,  white creme de cacao and heavy cream to it. Take a handful of ice. Add it to the shaker and shake until the contents are cold. Then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg and cocktail cherry.

2. Love Potion No 9

This drink is aptly blood-red in colour and has a delicious berry flavour! This vodka-based cocktail has a sweet and tarty flavour and a fruity berry finish.

Ingredients

45 ml Smirnoff Vodka (choose any berry-flavoured spirit)
30 ml Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
15 ml 100% Unsweetened cranberry juice 
15 ml Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
15 ml Grenadine
Granulated sugar, for rimming
Additional grenadine, for rimming
1 small Dry ice cube (optional)

Method

For the rim, take a plate and sugar to it. On another plate, add some grenadine. Dip the cocktail glass in the grenadine. Next, dip the glass in the plate with sugar to coat it with sugar crystals. Now, add vodka, Chambord, unsweetened cranberry juice, lemon juice and grenadine in a shaker. Shake well until the contents are cold. Strain the drink into the prepared glass. You can also choose to give a smoky effect to the cocktail with dry ice. Before serving, break the dry ice into 1-inch chunks. Wrap the chunks in a towel and place them in a cooler with the top off until you’re ready to serve the drinks. Dunk a 1/2-inch or 1-inch chunk to the bottom of the drink using tongs. It will immediately give a smoky effect and disappear in about 5 minutes. Instruct the drinker to consume the cocktail after the cube disappears entirely. 

3. Kir Royale

kir-royale

This is a classic cocktail, it is simple and sophisticated. Kir Royale is a famous French cocktail made with black currant liqueur and sparkling wine. The berry flavour and bubbly texture suit each other perfectly. 

Ingredients

30 ml Crème De Cassis 
120 ml Sparkling wine (Champagne or Prosecco)
Raspberries, for garnish

Method

Take a champagne glass and pour crème de cassis in it. Top it off with the sparkling wine. Garnish with raspberries. Serve immediately.

4. Cranberry Bourbon

This delicately balanced cocktail bursts with flavours of orange and cranberry. It has a complex flavour profile of sweet, tart and fruity with intriguing notes from sweet vermouth. 

Ingredients

45 ml Bulleit Bourbon 
30 ml Sweet red vermouth
60 ml Orange juice
30 ml 100% Unsweetened cranberry juice
45 ml Simple syrup
Ice, for serving 
Fresh or frozen Cranberries, for garnish 
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Method

Take a shaker and add bourbon, sweet vermouth, orange juice, unsweetened cranberry juice and simple syrup. Fill it with ice and shake until cold. Strain the drink into an ice-filled lowball glass. Garnish using fresh or frozen cranberries and rosemary sprigs.

5. Strawberry Sangria

This Spanish-styled sangria is full of nuance and flavour. It is made using rosé wine and berries.

Ingredients

150 gms Whole fresh strawberries
a pinch Granulated sugar
125 ml Dry rosé wine, chilled
20 ml Orange-flavoured liqueur
4-5 Mint leaves
2 slices Orange
2 rounds Lemon
Soda water, for serving 
Fresh mint, for garnish 

Method

Barring one strawberry, place the rest of the fruits in a blender. Add sugar and stir. Let the strawberry blend stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. Add 20 ml of wine to the blender and blend till you get a puree. Finely strain using a mesh strainer or sieve into a mixing glass. Discard the solids. Add the rest of the wine and orange-flavoured liqueur in it. Then add the fresh mint, orange and lemon rounds and the remaining strawberry. Chill the drink for 10 minutes. Serve by pouring it into an ice-filled cocktail glass, and top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with fresh mint.
 

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