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Cocktails

Valentine's Day cocktails to enjoy this week

These six drinks are sure to add some sparkle to your celebration.

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Valentine's Day is fast approaching and love is in the air.

If you're planning to impress your love with a homemade meal, perfect the experience with a cocktail. We spoke to some of the country's top bartenders to help find the best drinks for you to enjoy this V-Day. Try them out below and let us know what you think. Happy Valentine's Day!

Solas Na Greine

By Rose O'Toole, bar manager at Aimsir

  • Two strawberries
  • Three lavender flower heads
  • A handul of mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • 37.5ml Bertha's Revenge sloe gin
  • 25ml dried strawberry tincture
  • 37.5ml fresh gooseberry juice
  • 12.5ml blackcurrant juice
  • 37.5ml pickled strawberry juice
  • 2 dashes meadowsweet bitters
  • Watermint kombucha

Method:

  1. Start with a Boston glass. Add two big strawberries, three lavender flower heads and a small handful of mint. Add the first measure of alcohol and muddle.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the kombucha, and top up with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a glass. 
  3. Top up the glass with the kombucha and garnish with a sprig of mint.

TIPS: 

  • Instead of dried strawberry tincture, you can muddle some strawberries with Bertha's Revenge gin and a small dash of light soy sauce until boozy, berry and slightly salty.
  • Aimsir use pickled strawberries from last August, but at home, they can be substituted for 12.5ml lime juice.
  • The meadowsweet bitters at Aimsir are foraged, but you can use Angostura or citrus bitters instead, or omit the bitters entirely.
  • The watermint kombucha can be swapped for tonic water. Poachers Classic Tonic is the brand of choice at Aimsir. 

READ MORE: The Valentine's Day weekly round-up

Caught In The Rain

By Rose O'Toole, bar manager at Aimsir

  • 18.75ml Gunpowder Gin
  • 18.75ml Killahora Orchards Rare Apple Ice Wine 2017
  • 25ml pineapple weed tincture
  • 18.75ml gooseberry or lime juice
  • 18.75ml rosemary tea
  • 6.25ml wild rosehip syrup or a teaspoon of orange blossom or lavender honey
  • 4 dashes Off The Cuffe citrus marmalade bitters
  • 1 egg white

Method:

  1. Shake the egg white to froth then shake all the ingredients together and strain into a martini glass.

TIPS:

  • The pineapple weed tincture is foraged, so to replicate it at home, brew a strong cup of chamomile tea, add a dash of tinned pineapple juice and blend with Gunpowder gin.
  • To make the rosemary tea, add a handful of rosemary to boiled water and leave to infuse.

READ MORE: Our 20 best romantic restaurant recommendations

The Cure Club

A modern take on The Clover Club cocktail from Waldemar Oleksy of The River Club at The River Lee in Cork. It's perfect for the morning after!

  • 15ml egg white
  • 40ml Hendricks Gin
  • 15ml grapefruit juice
  • 15ml honey or ginger syrup 
  • 10ml fresh lemon juice
  • Dried hibiscus flower to garnish

Method: 

  1. Place the egg white into a cocktail shaker and shake first with no ice to whip into a nice foam.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and some ice to a cocktails shaker and shake.
  3. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a dried hibiscus flower.

TIP:

At The River Club, the team infuses Hendricks Gin with dry hibiscus flowers from Cork's English Market. It's worth the effort, but you can skip it if you're short on time.

READ MORE: Grace O'Malley Valentine's Day cocktails

Adare Manor's pink cocktail

By Ariel Sanecki, head mixologist at Adare Manor

  • 30ml Grey Goose vodka
  • 20ml Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 10ml Chateau du Breuil Calvados
  • 15ml rhubarb purée
  • 5ml agave
  • Pink peppercorns
  • Champagne, to top up
  • Orange peel and apple slices, to garnish

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients, except Champagne, in a cocktail shaker with ice. 
  2. Shake and double strain into a glass. Top up with Champagne, garnish and serve.

TIP:

At Adare Manor, this cocktail is served in a stylish swan glass, but it will taste just as good from whatever glass you have on hand.

READ MORE: Double chocolate pannacotta recipe

The ultimate espresso martini

Perfect to enjoy after dinner with someone special. By Mary Donnelly, bar manager at The Hardiman in Galway. 

  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 50ml cold water
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 50ml Fonte espresso coffee
  • 50ml Jameson Irish whiskey
  • 50ml Kahlua

Method: 

  1. Make the sugar syrup by placing the caster sugar and cold water in a small pan over a medium heat. Stir and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow the mix to cool.
  2. Place the chocolate chips and sugar on a saucer and mix well. Wipe the lemon wedge on the rim of a martini glass, then dip the rim into the chocolate mix to coat.
  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and once the sugar syrup is cool, add a tablespoon to the shaker with the Kahlua, whiskey and coffee.
  4. Shake well for at least 10 seconds to create a foam. Strain into the martini glass and serve.

Photo by Julia Dunin.
Photo by Julia Dunin.

Pink Gin Fizz

Finn Tyrell at The Carriage House at Carton House in Kildare

  • 1 egg white
  • 50ml Beefeater pink gin
  • 20ml grenadine
  • 20ml fresh lime juice
  • Approximately 50ml Prosecco, to top up the glass 
  • Raspberry dust, to garnish

Method:

  1. Dry shake the egg white in a cocktail shaker to create a foam.
  2. Add the pink gin, lime juice, grenadine and some ice cubes. Shake together and strain into a Champagne glass.
  3. Garnish with raspberry dust and serve to someone special. 

READ MORE: Valentine’s Day cooking tips from Il Vicolo's Megan Nolan