Going Out or Staying In: Four Delicious Drinks Perfect for Valentine’s Day

A.J. Rathbun
drinks to make for valentines day seattle magazine boka seattle
The BOKA No. 9 cocktail creation

Last week, we told you about some fantastic first date bars, in preparation for possible first dates happening around the big romantic day. But for many, Valentine’s Day isn’t when first dates happen. Instead, it’s a time to select the ideal drink to celebrate a long-term relationship—either a drink made with care by one of our fine local bartenders, or one made with care at home. So, here are four cocktail options to help ensure a perfect Valentine’s Day whether you’re staying in or going out.

If You’re Out on the Town:

BOKA No. 9 Cocktail at BOKA in downtown Seattle: Created by bar manager Cory Duffy specifically for the romantic season, this love potion of a drink is highlighted by a tincture created by the restaurant’s in-house naturopath. A combination of herbs, spices, roots, leaves and berries, the tincture (also called BOKA No. 9) stimulates and energizes. In the cocktail, it’s combined with the delicious, made-in-Ballard, Barrel-Aged Big Gin, Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur from Austria, Carpano Antica vermouth from Italy and a sour mix made at the bar containing apple cider, lemon juice and pure cane simple syrup.

Fiore Di Amore at Bin on the Lake in Kirkland: Located in the Woodmark Hotel and Spa in Kirkland, the Bin on the Lake is a pretty special Valentine’s Day spot already. Adding to its existing love spell in the bar is its drink called the Fiore Di Amore that’s lovely in its simplicity and ideal for the romantic day. It mixes the for-a-long-time-unavailable Crème de Violette, a violet-flavored liqueur that has a color as fine as the taste, with sparkling wine for an elegant treat.

If You’re Cozying Up on the Sofa:

Kiss in the Dark
This first Valentine’s cocktail to make at home is just a touch coy in name and flavor, much as a kiss should be (at least the first kiss in the evening). It has a bit of a kick, too, underlying the coy-ness, which is also much like a kiss. Both of the two make-at-home drinks are scaled for two, and both are from Good Spirits: Recipes, Revelations, Refreshments, and Romance, Shaken and Served with a Twist.

Makes 2

Ice cubes
2 ounces Copperworks gin
2 ounces Ballard Liquor Company’s Cherry Bounce liqueur
2 ounces dry vermouth
2 cherries, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass half way with ice cubes. Add the gin, liqueur and vermouth. Stir well, but tenderly.

2. Strain the mix equally into two cocktail glasses. Garnish each with a cherry.

Her Sarong Slipped
In the realm of drinks with slightly off-color names, there may not be a drink as pleasantly flirtatious in name as Her Sarong Slipped. It’s the hint, combined with the allure of the slightly exotic and loosely attached garment that makes it unforgettable. Which is funny, since it’s an older drink that is now mostly forgotten. The name matches the actual mix, too, since it boasts a little sparkle, a little sugar and a little kick that flutters the senses just enough.

Ice cubes
1 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 ounces brandy
1 ounce grenadine
Chilled Champagne
Strawberry slices for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice cubes. Add the lemon juice, brandy and grenadine (in that order, to make certain a happy mixing). Shake briefly.

2. Strain the mix equally into two white wine glasses. Top each with chilled Champagne, and garnish each with a strawberry slice or with a whole strawberry if you’re feeling generous.