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An unofficial guide to Valentine’s Day cocktails

Madeleine Jackman/Collegian

The season of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and heavily armed flying cherubs is upon us. Whether you’re already planning how to wow your sweetheart, searching last-minute for a romantic surprise, or simply passing time until Feb. 15, these Valentine’s Day-inspired cocktails offer something for everyone. For you, the starry-eyed lovebirds, the single and proud and those who would rather this holiday not exist at all, we present our unofficial Valentine’s Day cocktail recipe guide.

Pining for Someone to Cherrysh

This drink is for those couples out there who have never seemed to stop pining after one another. Whether this is your first Valentine’s Day together or your 10th, your relationship has never lost its effervescence. With the light, playful flavor of sparkling Moscato paired with the refreshing fruity touches of pineapple juice and grenadine, you’ll be giggling across the table all night.

This drink fits nicely with the typical Valentine’s Day aesthetic. Before stirring, the soft shades of yellow blend down into the brighter pink at the bottom of the glass, reminiscent of sunsets spent sitting with your love. Set next to candlelight, this cocktail is sure to impress any date, no matter how many dinners you’ve already shared together. It’s relatively low alcohol content may bring out some blushing cheeks but will leave you at your a-game to enjoy each other’s company. Top off the drink with the toss of a cherry and end the night trying to tie the stem.

Recipe:

2/3 part sparkling Moscato (plain or flavored with peach or strawberry)

1/3 part pineapple juice

Splash of grenadine

Maraschino cherry

Slowly add the grenadine in last for a soft, layered effect to the drink that will surely impress your date. Gently stir before enjoying.

Madeleine Jackman/Collegian

Vanilla Experimentation

This drink is for the fiery singles out there to enjoy this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re going out, staying in or throwing a Galentine’s Day celebration, it will be sure to hit the spot. Take to the dance floor with a drink that’s as strong as you are.

Turn the night into a simple drinking game between friends, creating one rule that represents your softer vanilla side and another rule for your wilder whiskey side. For example, take a sip every time you overhear a cheesy pick-up line (whether you’re out at a bar or having a movie marathon). Take another sip for every time you see or engage in some over-the-top PDA. With the daring, confident spice of Fireball and the sweet, charming flavor of vanilla, this drink will fit whatever mood you’re making this Valentine’s Day.

Recipe:

1 part cinnamon whiskey

1 part vanilla liqueur

Stir together. Because both liqueurs have a fairly high alcoholic content, start off slowly with this drink and serve it in small proportions, such as one shot per part.

Madeleine Jackman/Collegian

Cure for the Blues

For those of you who lost your rose-tinted glasses somewhere along the way, Valentine’s Day may present itself more in shades of blue. Toss out the cliché pinks and reds and embrace the cool end of the color spectrum with this Blue Curacao beverage.

Vodka and lemonade complete this drink. Our approach to this recipe is simple: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then add vodka because life doesn’t get to decide that you can only have lemons. Still feeling a little bit salty about this holiday? Take a stand against the sweetness in the air and in this drink and add a hint of pickle juice to cut through the sugar and sap.

Recipe:

1 part vodka

1/2 part Blue Curacao

Fill with lemonade

1 teaspoon of pickle juice

Start by mixing your vodka and Blue Curacao in your glass or mixer. Add the lemonade to taste. Be careful when adding the pickle juice. Just the right amount balances the drink nicely, but add too much and you’ll end up even saltier than when the night began.

No matter what your plans are this Valentine’s Day, you’ll find something in these drinks to love.

Madeleine Jackman can be reached at mjackman@umass.edu. Chad Stoughton can be reached at cstoughton@umass.edu.

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