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A Toast to Valentine’s Day - With a Twist

No matter what you're planning to do this Valentine's Day, cocktails should be a part of that plan. While a bottle of bubbly is standard, what's more romantic than mixing an elegant cocktail for you and your sweetheart on Valentine's Day?

Cocktails have a lot going on for them: they are fun, allow you to get creative, can acquaint you with different spirits that you might not be familiar with, and you can make them Champagne/Sparkling wine based as well!We have three elegant Champagne/Sparkling wine based cocktails and three romantic red colored cocktails to try.So, mix up one of these easy to create cocktails to toast this Valentine's Day with, it's a change that is sure to impress your sweetheart.

* Note each recipe makes one cocktail

Elegant Sparklers

Chambord Kir Royale

* 1/2 ounces Chambord

* Brut Champagne / Sparkling Wine

Add Chambord to a flute and top with Brut Champagne or Sparkling Wine. Garnish with a raspberry and lemon twist.

Grapefruit-Elderflower Sparkler

* 1.5 ounces grapefruit juice

* 1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur

* Brut Rosé Champagne or Sparkling Wine

* 1 grapefruit twist

Pour grapefruit juice and elderflower liqueur into a flute. Top with Champagne/Sparkling Wine. Garnish grapefruit twist.

Champagne Dream

* 1 ounce pomegranate liqueur

* 1 ounce Cointreau

* 1 ounce orange juice

* 3 ounces Champagne or Sparkling Wine

* Orange zest

Shake the first three ingredients with ice. Gently stir in the Champagne or Sparkling Wine. Strain into a flute and add garnish.

Romantic Reds

Cranberry Crush

* 2 ounces cranberry juice

* 2 ounces spiced rum

* 3 ounces ginger beer

In a rocks glass filled with ice, combine cranberry juice and rum. Top with ginger beer.

Strawberry-Lillet Crush

* 6 mint leaves

* 3 strawberries, hulled, plus more for garnish

* 1/2 ounce simple syrup

* 2 ounces gin

* 1 ounce Lillet Blanc

* Crushed ice

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint, strawberries and simple syrup. Fill shaker with ice and add gin and Lillet; shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with strawberries.

Venetian Cup

* 1 ounce Campari

* 1/2 ounce Pimm's Cup No. 1

* 3 ounces ginger beer

Pour Campari and Pimm's into a shaker filled with ice and shake well; top with ginger beer. Serve over ice in a rocks glass.



About the Author: Matt Rice

Matt Rice

Matt Rice is Oliver's intrepid blogger on all topics related to wine, beer, cider, spirits, and other gourmet products.


Where "Local" Means Sonoma County

To us Local means Sonoma County -- period. Not Marin, not Napa, and definitely not the state of California, as some of our competitors define it.

From the day we opened our doors in 1988, we’ve built our business on the simple premise that the best food and wine in the world are produced here, in Sonoma County. We didn’t feel like we were pioneers at the time, but as people have come to understand and embrace the value of locally grown and made food and the value of shopping locally, we realize we were part of the early days of the movement.

As a Sonoma County business, we’ve built enduring relationships with local growers, makers, and manufacturers, because they make the foods and wines we love. Many of them were getting started when we were. Now they are nationally known, but for us, they are still old friends who often delivered products to our Cotati store in their cars back in the late 1980s.

Along with local products being excellent choices for taste and quality reasons, buying locally also improves our local economy. The dollars you spend at local retailers buying local products support other local businesses and our tax base, too!

Tasting Notes

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