No matter what your plans are for Valentine’s Day this year, pouring a drink or two might be on the menu for the evening. Popping open some bubbles or a bottle of wine is always a safe bet, but if you’re looking to shake up something a little extra-special, consider a cocktail.
From festive martinis to berry-hued sips that nod to the holiday’s signature shade—here are 9 of our favorite Valentine’s Day cocktails, including a few non-alcoholic options, that look and taste impressive.
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The martini of the moment pairs especially perfectly with chocolatey treats, like these fuss-free chocolate truffles, or just as easily doubles as dessert all on its own. This version by chef Elena Besser gets a little flavor upgrade courtesy of a vanilla bean-infused simple syrup.
Rum stands in for the traditional gin in this elegant riff on the Martinez from bartender and writer Harper Fendler. For a garnish that’s near-guaranteed to impress, top the finished drink with a fresh sprig of lightly torched rosemary.
A splash of pink coconut water, which gets its signature shade from oxidation, gives this simple yet stunning take on the classic cosmo an extra refreshing factor. Serve with a citrus twist in your prettiest coupe glass (like these hand-crafted beauties) for bonus presentation points.
Meet your bar cart’s new BFF for Valentine’s Day and beyond: an absurdly easy, one-ingredient pomegranate syrup that couples up nicely with sparkling white wine or Prosecco. Another fizzy pairing (that isn’t a Mimosa) to consider: Champagne and strawberry juice.
The original Clover Club formula gets a booze-free update thanks to Seedlip Garden 108, an herbal non-alcoholic spirit, plus an extra dash of brightness (and showstopping ruby hue) from homemade raspberry syrup.
With a few ingredient tweaks (in this case, a combination of tequila and mezcal, pear juice, and ginger), one of summer’s go-to cocktails becomes cool weather-friendly—and the perfect plus-one to a Valentine’s Day meal.
Further proof that cocktails and coffee go hand in hand, this caffeinated spin on the Negroni from Chloë Callow’s Cold Brew Coffee strikes just the right flavor balance.
Tried and true, consider this your guide to making the perfect Martini for you—complete with tips for modifying the recipe to your tastes and handy tools to help you pull it off for date night at home.
Fresh herbs, citrus, and blackberry jam (yep, jam) team up for an effervescent mocktail that doesn’t miss the alcohol one bit. That being said, vodka or rum would complement the ingredients if you wanted to swap out the Seedlip for a boozy version.
Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Brand Partnerships at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.