“”Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.” So said Oliver Wendell Holmes, and we can’t think of a better toast for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re paired off or lavishing affection on a child, pet or favorite piece of art (hey, whatever floats your boat), take a moment to clink glasses in favor of adoration this year. When we act lovingly, we are, generally, better people. Here’s to that, and to the most romantic ruby-hued drinks we’ve got.
No matter who or what you’re toasting, Ina Garten’s Pomegranate Cosmopolitan will leave you feeling light on your feet for the meal and the rest of the evening’s festivities. Think: orange liqueur, lime juice, good vodka, and both pomegranate and cranberry juices. Make it in advance, pour it for your loved ones, and put your feet up. Your evening is off to a good start.
Yes, this Pomegranate Margarita is as good as it looks. Why? Because it’s a riff on the wondrous three-ingredient Tommy’s Margarita from San Francisco, is why. High-end tequila, fresh lime juice and agave nectar are truly all you need for an excellent margarita. This crimson version takes excellence one step up the ladder.
OK, drinks lovers who like a challenge, this Smoky Pomegranate Cocktail is for you. A bit sweet and a bit tart, this clever cocktail hails from our friends at Traeger. You smoke pomegranate seeds in their own juice (!), then freeze them into cubes you spin with a blend of vodka and lemonade. This is a mostly make-ahead drink that will knock your loved ones’ socks off.
A classic cocktail that dates to the earliest part of the 20th century, the Jack Rose is a three-ingredient stunner. It employs applejack, lime juice, and the best-quality grenadine you can get your paws on, such as the small-batch versions made by Small Hand Foods or Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.
Make a fennel-infused simple syrup in advance and refrigerate it for up to a month so you can get your hands on a Fennel and Apple Cocktail whether or not you’re in the mood for love. The rest is just gin, juice, bitters and soda. Add a fennel frond and your loved one will ask whether she owes you $17 for the drink. (The answer, if you love her, is “No.”)
Start making the Red Palms over the winter holidays, and by February your object of affection will associate it (lovingly) with you. It tastes like celebration: Becherovka is a Czech herbal liqueur redolent of cinnamon, cloves and winter at its tastiest. Mingle it with ginger beer, green apple and black currant juice, and you have a heart-red cocktail that is simply divine.
Sure, you could just do a Kir Royale, shimmering and seductive, but there’s something about this Raspberry Champagne Cocktail we just love. It’s still got that glorious crème de cassis, but we marinate raspberries in it. Tastier than a plain strawberry garnish and more festive than a Kir Royale, it’s just fabulous.
As is this day, when you do it right. As Victor Hugo said, “”Life is a flower of which love is the honey.”