Bartenders Share Their Favorite Ways To Drown Valentine’s Day Sorrows

Sometimes being alone on this fake holiday is the best way to go.

Valentine’s Day
Photos by Erin James

Sometimes, love hurts. But it hurts less when you have a drink to soothe the aching, numb the pain and mend a broken heart — if only for the night. Three bartenders offer up their remedy to Valentine’s Day with three lip-smacking cocktails, plus their suggestions on what to eat and watch, cocktail in hand. Here’s to love!

Midnight In Paris

Photos by Erin James

Recipe by Amanda Reed, Heartwood Provisions, Seattle, WA

  • 1 ½ oz bourbon
  • ½ oz Meletti 1870 Bitter
  • ½ oz cranberry liqueur
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ¼ oz honey syrup*
  • 3 drops rosewater
  • 1 red rose petal, for garnish

Directions: Combine all ingredients. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with rose petal. *For the honey syrup, combine equal parts clover honey and hot water. Shake or stir to mix.

Meet Cute Q&A with Amanda

Drinking and Eating: “This drink would be great with a fall/winter dish. [On the menu] we currently have a honey roasted duck breast with butternut squash, parsnip, huckleberry and Szechuan pepper jus. I think this combination would be epic.”

Movie Match: “The drink was named after the Woody Allen film. It’s a great film, and fitting a choice.”

Fantasy Patron to Drink With: “Thom York — I’m a huge Radiohead fan. Thom is an emotional and sentimental dude, I think he could appreciate the masculine/feminine nature of this drink.”

Lettre Écarlate

Photos by Erin James

Recipe by Paul Neuenschwander, Firehouse Hostel & Lounge, Austin, TX

  • 1 ½ oz gin
  • 1 ½ oz Roi Rene Rouge
  • ½ oz Licor 43
  • 1 lemon twist, for garnish

Directions: Combine ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain and serve up with a lemon twist.

Meet Cute Q&A with Paul

Drinking and Eating: “I’d eat this with bloody red meat – you’ll note a colored theme here — or sushi.”

Movie Match: “I’ll just jump to Rom-Coms. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is the best one ever made, so…”

Fantasy Patron to Drink With: “I’d make one for Audrey Hepburn and myself, and we’d drink it with a fine cigar before/during/after the above food pairings, and then we’d make love and fall asleep.”

The Heartbeet

Photos by Erin James

By Graham Hogan, Maria’s, Chicago, IL

  • 2 oz beet-infused vodka*
  • ¾ oz Raspberry-cilantro syrup**
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Cilantro leaf, for garnish

Directions: Combine in a mixing glass, add ice and shake to mix. Strain and serve up in a coupe with a cilantro leaf garnish.

*For the vodka, wash and peel about 1.5 pounds of beets. Cut into cubes and put in a large sealable container. Add a bottle of vodka, and give it a shake. Put the container somewhere cool and dark for 3 days. Strain out the beets and re-bottle. The vodka should now be bright red and super earthy tasting.

**For the raspberry-cilantro syrup, you’ll need 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1.5 cups of raspberries (fresh or frozen) and a handful of cilantro. Bring the sugar and water to a boil and add the raspberries. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add cilantro. Allow to cool, then strain through a fine mesh strainer without pressing berries and cilantro through.

Meet Cute Q&A with Graham

Drinking and Eating: “I would love to sip on this with a bangin’ New York strip, black and blue. “

Movie Match: “I don’t really care for romantic movies. I’d probably watch Total Recall.”

Fantasy Patron to Drink With: “Oscar Wilde. I think he’d be fun to have a drink with.”

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