Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and I am not sharing a single chocolate creation with you. Crazy, right? I must be coming down with something.
I am totally not prepared for this rosy pink, heart-filled holiday. Normally, by the end of January, I have already bought and assembled my children’s valentines for their school parties. [Notice that I did not say, hand-crafted the kids' valentines. I'm not that good. Never have been.] I have a long to-do list this weekend, and prime on that list is buying whatever remnants of valentines are left at Target. Poor Oliver may be stuck giving out Dora valentines, but I’m okay with that. And if there’s a lollipop attached to each valentine, then he will be too. I also plan to pick up a heart-shaped box of chocolates for each child – something my parents did for me every Valentine’s Day as I was growing up, and a tradition that I’ve carried on with Madeline and Oliver.
In celebration of this Friday before Valentine’s Day – and in celebration of the fact that tonight is date night! – let’s have a cocktail, shall we?
As a cook and a scientist, it’s incredibly fun to play around with flavors and see what works. It’s less fun to find something that doesn’t work, but that’s part of the process, so I accept it. I have no delusions that I know anything about cocktails. I do know what I like, though, and I think that is important. St~Germain elderflower liqueur has quickly risen to my list of favorite ingredients for cocktails. This cocktail is one of my favorites to make, either with vodka or gin.
For this drink, I used my beloved St~Germain and a combination of grapefruit juice and cranberry juice. The St~Germain adds a wonderful floral, sweet note that contrasts yet complements the acidic and slight bitterness of the juices. Here in Florida, we’re overrun with grapefruit this time of year, so there are certainly no shortages of the beautiful Ruby Reds to make this drink with.
St Germain & Ruby Red Cocktail
Yield: 1 drink
1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
lemon peel for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the St. Germain, gin, and juices. Shake well. Strain the drink into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with lemon peel. Serve.