One theory I have about romance is that, for special occasions, keep doing what you really like doing, just take the game up a notch. Champagne drinker? Go deep into Special Club offerings. Tequila drinker? Try something new and surprising.
You get it.
So we’ve gathered a few recipes from here and there, for rum drinkers to whiskeyphiles and beyond. Have fun with it. Make them together. Give an extravagant toast. You know—stir things up.
This cocktail is a classic holiday sort of thing, so over the top you’ll probably have it just once or twice a year. But it’s easy and fun. The good folks at Santa Theresa 1796 point out that white chocolate is an aphrodisiac, and suggest a sprinkle of dehydrated raspberry powder; a whiff of powdered sugar will suffice, in a pinch.
1.5 oz Santa Teresa 1796
0.5 oz White Crème de Cacao
0.75 oz Raspberry Syrup
0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz egg white
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake without ice. Add ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with dehydrated raspberry powder.
The classic Glenmorangie house is known for its unusual limited edition releases, especially during the holidays. This winter’s single-malt offering was especially quirky—A Tale of Cake, available alongside its own dessert pairings created by acclaimed pastry chef Dominque Ansel. If you like scotch but want something sweet for your celebration, try this Old Fashioned variation. They made a video.
Cake Old Fashioned
1 ½ oz. Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake
¼ oz. Coconut Water
¼ oz. Pineapple Syrup
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
1 pinch Black Pepper
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass over block/cubed ice. Garnish with a twist of orange zest and a walnut.
So many different ways to go here, of course. As with nearly all other vodka concoctions, we lean toward simplicity. And thus comes this simple gem—a rare sweet martini that we love.
Mozart Dark Martini
2.5 oz Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur
1.5 oz Vodka
Combine Dark Chocolate Mozart Liqueur and vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled. Strain drink into prepared Martini glass and enjoy. A garnish of shaved chocolate, or even a cherry, seals the deal.
For those wanting to stay in a more classic vein, Four Roses offers up essentially a whiskey sour with a sweet touch. We suggest one person makes the honey simple syrup while the other squeezes the lemon. And by “squeezes the lemon,” we mean… you know, squeezing the lemon.
2 fl oz Four Roses Small Batch
1 ½ fl oz Honey Simple Syrup
½ fl oz Lemon Juice
5 drops Angostura Bitters
Mix all ingredients. Serve over rocks and enjoy.
For a while there, it looked like wine was going to be come a more regular player on the cocltail scene. We haven’t seen it much in the past couple of years—but it can be an intriguing addition. In this rich and intriguing concoction, dreamed up at The Cape, a Thompson Hotel property in Los Cabos, pinot noir provides the finishing, balancing touch. Go big on the decorations and it’ll feel like a beachfront getaway.
50ml Tennessee whiskey (they use Jack at The Cape)
20 ml Damiana Liqueur
20 ml Pinot Noir
25 ml Cinnamon Syrup
25ml Lemon Juice
20 ml Apple Puree
20 ml Pumpkin Puree
1 Star Anise
Pour all ingredients, except for the Pinot Noir, into a shaker over ice and shake everything very well. Pour into coupe and gently float the Pinot Noir. Garnish boldly.
We’ve gotten over our initial shock at the mixing of single malts into cocktails. It can really be intriguing—and this is a special occasion, after all. Aberfeldy came up with some clever variations that enhance the spirit’s numerous layers. A little sweet, a little herbal, a little fruity—just the thing to start your evening.
Takes Two to Mango
1 ½ oz ABERFELDY 12 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
¼ oz Italicus
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz honey syrup (honey syrup = 1 part honey, 1 part water)
1 oz mango puree
Float Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients apart from the Angostura bitters in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over block ice. Float the Angostura bitters and garnish with a mango spear.