The tastiest way to express your affection
A carefully selected and crafted drink can be just the ticket for delivering the perfect romantic evening for your partner. Sometimes, though, despite all the beverage options that are out there, it can be hard to get the creative juices flowing. Whether it's for Valentine's Day or your weekly date night, here are five drink options to leave your loved one swooning.
This is probably the most obvious option on our list, but we simply can't leave it out. Champagne has been associated with celebration since it was made famous by French royalty during the 17th century, and including Champagne in a romantic setting is a great way of showing your loved one what the occasion means to you. Consider opting for a rosé Champagne to turn the romance up another extra notch.
If you prefer a different type of sparkling wine, there are plenty of alternatives you can opt for instead, such as Cava or English Sparkling Wine. These drinks retain the same effervescence and crisp taste as Champagne, making them just as suitable for toasting special occasions.
How to serve it
The art of serving Champagne begins before you even open the bottle. To maximize your Champagne or sparkling wine's potential, it's crucial to enjoy it at the right temperature, which is between 6˚C and 9˚C / 43˚F and 48˚F. This is a couple of degrees warmer than the average fridge temperature, so we recommend getting your Champagne bottle out of the fridge or ice bucket approximately 30 minutes before you start drinking it. If your bottle is at room temperature and you want to get it down to its best temperature, you'll need to give it about 3 hours in the fridge or 30 minutes in an ice-filled Champagne bucket.
Now for the pouring stage. For Champagne and other sparkling wines, we recommend pouring enough so the glass is between one-half and two-thirds full. This will allow your wine to maintain its effervescence and temperature while allowing aromas to gather in the glass for nosing. To avoid wasting any of your wine, finish pouring a second earlier than you might instinctively want to; this allows the carbonation to subside, preventing your glass from overflowing.
Maybe it's mostly due to the range of deep red colors they can display, but red wine just oozes romance to us. For that ultimate warm and intimate atmosphere, we recommend fuller-bodied varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Merlot. These types of red wine typically possess more complex, bold flavors and a comforting, velvety texture that perfectly complements the desired mood of a Valentine's Day evening. Red wine is a particularly good pairing option if you're planning a rich, hearty meal for your evening, such as a lamb shank, a mushroom stroganoff, or a steak dish.
How to serve it
Due to their complex flavors and rich aromas, we advise pouring red wine to a fill level that allows it to aerate and develop. To achieve this, pour your wine until the glass is roughly one-third full. The increased aeration this achieves allows the nuances of the wine's powerful bouquet to develop while softening any harsh tannins. Only pouring enough to fill the glass to a third of its capacity also makes swirling your wine much easier, which will help to aerate your wine further as you sip it alongside dinner.
The Daquiri is cocktail royalty, and strawberries are often associated with love and romance. Together, they make for an irresistible drink choice on Valentine's Day and other romantic occasions. Plus, as one of the world's most popular fruit flavors, a strawberry-flavored drink is one of the safest bets you can make if you're unsure what type of cocktail your partner will enjoy.
Since cocktails are less commonly paired with dishes than wine, we recommend saving your Strawberry Daiquiri (or any other cocktail you opt for) for after you've finished eating, allowing you to fully focus on indulging in your liquid concoction.
How to serve it
A good Strawberry Daiquiri is fresh, fruity, and smooth. To make two servings for you and your partner on Valentine's Day, you'll need:
Pour all your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Unlike some cocktails, Daquiris are often enjoyed from a range of glass styles and sizes, but we think they look best served in a coupe glass, which has the added benefit of giving you a stem to hold so your hand doesn't get too cold or wet when drinking your Daiquiri!
Tip: If strawberries aren't to your liking, simply substitute them for another frozen fruit of your choosing for a Daiquiri more tailored to your palate.
Like the Strawberry Daiquiri, this beverage combines two classics to make an excellent Valentine's Day cocktail. Chocolate has long been associated with love and romance, while Martini cocktails are a global favorite, with numerous variations standing among some of the world's most popular cocktails. A Chocolate Martini, made with chocolate liqueur, vodka, Irish cream, and chocolate syrup, is the perfect option for those of you who have a partner with a bit of a sweet tooth. And, thanks to its irresistible chocolatey sweetness, if you're having a bit of trouble thinking of desserts for your romantic meal in, this cocktail can double up as your meal's dessert, saving you time and effort on your romantic evening.
How to serve it
Begin by drizzling chocolate syrup inside a Martini glass for garnish, then coat the rim of the glass by squirting the syrup into a bowl and dipping your Martini glass into it. Then, for each glass, combine 25ml Irish cream, 25ml chocolate liqueur, and 50ml vodka in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake thoroughly. Once chilled, strain your mix into your Spiegelau Martini glass and garnish with shaved chocolate.
The Mojito may be a bit of a wild card on this list, but we have our reasons for including it. They're easy and fun to make (no shakers or blenders required), only require fairly basic ingredients, and possess a clean, refreshing taste that is unlikely to be controversial. However, despite their simplicity, they still look the part and show a good deal of effort and thought on your part. Mojitos are also easy to modify, with various alternatives available, including the Frojito, the Watermelon Mojito, and the Raspberry Mojito.
How to serve it
Mojitos call for a tall glass, so you'll need a highball/long drink glass here. To make two (one for you, one for your lucky partner), muddle a handful of mint leaves, the juice of two limes, and 2 tsp granulated sugar in (use sugar syrup to taste if you'd prefer) in a mixing glass, then pour it all into your highball glasses along with a handful of ice for each. Add 50ml white rum to each glass, then top with soda water before garnishing with a mint sprig and a lime wedge.
We hope that gives you some of the beverage inspiration you need to put on a show for your partner on Valentine's Day, an anniversary meal, or any other date night when the pressure is on to produce the goods. Try out our suggestions, mix things up where necessary, and enjoy!