February is a short month, stuck right in the middle of the winter, which makes it the perfect choice for the official month of love. Valentine's Day provides an opportunity to indulge in a night on the town with your sweetie and add a little spark to what can otherwise be a forgettable month. For bars and restaurants, it is one of the busiest nights of the year with reservations being filled up weeks and months in advance. Popping a bottle of champagne is a traditional way to mark the occasion, but you can help guests truly make it a special night with these specialty Valentine's Day cocktails.
Not only does this drink take advantage of great winter flavors, but it also comes with that classic red color that also marks the holiday. This beautiful cocktail is tart and fruity and includes interesting floral hints that come from incorporating white rose tea. Keep in mind that there is some planning involved since you will need to let tea bags steep in the vodka for a few hours.
Once the tea infused vodka is ready, all you have to do is mix 1.5 ounces of pomegranate juice, 1.5 ounces of infused vodka, 0.5 ounce of sweet vermouth, and finish with a dash of bitters and some mint leaves. Shake, pour and you have a deep, red drink packed with flavor.
This drink incorporates champagne, but it plays second fiddle to tequila. The champagne is just there to create some bubbles that add to the celebratory mood of Valentine's Day. For busy bartenders who are hustling to keep up with orders, this is a quick and easy drink to add to the specials menu. It only includes three ingredients: tequila, grapefruit syrup, and Prosecco. You can make the syrup ahead of time so that it is ready to go. Guests will love the fruity taste and the classy presentation.
The Moradita, or "Little Death," uses beet puree to create a rich color that can most accurately be described as "blood red" - which is exactly where the name comes from. Combine jalapeno-infused tequila, beet puree, lime juice, and triple sec in a shaker. This drink provides the ideal balance of sweet and spicy, and is sure to turn heads just based on the color alone and heat things up.
For those who love a classic, boozy drink - and don't want to partake in the super-sweet and rich drinks usually served on Valentine's Day - the Vesper is sure to satisfy. It doesn't hurt that it is named after James Bond's lost love, making it both a sexy and romantic choice. To make the Vesper, pour 3 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of vodka, and 0.5 ounces of Lillet Blanc into an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain into a champagne saucer for the perfect presentation.
When you need to serve groups quickly, there is nothing better than sangria. You can choose the right combination of wines, liquors, and seasonal fruit juices to create a tasty and highly visual drink. For large groups, you can run a special on carafes and allow guests to refill their own glasses, leaving your employees free to tend to other customers.
Champagne is always a good go-to when it comes to romantic special occasions, but it doesn't hurt to take things up a notch with a thoughtful drink menu. Try to include a variety of sweet and boozy drinks to cater to different tastes and remember that anything red will be a big hit.