Valentine’s Day Cocktails


February 8, 2024

Words by: Marcia J. Hamm

Gifts of love served in a glass

February might be cold in Alberta, but Valentine’s Day inspires lovebirds to think of creative ways to keep those home fires burning. If your love language is acts of service or gift-giving, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Pink bubbles, whether they are Prosecco, Champagne or any other rosy-coloured sparkling wine, are perfect for this occasion. Presented with a set of special crystal glasses, even better. However, if you’re looking to step up your cocktail game, try one of the recipes below because Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate and roses. 

Dark Chocolate Old Fashioned
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Poli Ciok, a unique cocoa liqueur, made by famous Italian grappa distiller, Jacopo Poli, takes the classic Old Fashioned to delicious new heights. This creamy chocolate spirit is a treat on its own, too, or served over ice cream, cakes, or fresh strawberries. It is thick and rich and (almost) needs to be spooned out of the glass. No cocoa (or chocolate) liqueur will taste the same after the Poli Ciok has made it past discerning taste buds. Find it at select stores for around $50.

2 oz Old Forester Kentucky straight bourbon

0.5 oz Poli Ciok cocoa liqueur

5 dashes Angostura bitters


3 x 1-inch piece of orange peel

Dark chocolate shavings

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass and pour over one or two large ice cubes in a rocks glass. Garnish with the orange peel and shaved dark chocolate.

La Vie en Rose
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Instead of roses or any mixed florals, why not surprise your sweetie with a cocktail that is a bouquet in a glass? The beautiful pink colour and heady aroma of rose and elderflower in this drink are sure to delight the senses. 

1.5 oz Hendrick’s gin

0.5 oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur

0.5 oz rose syrup (see note)

0.5 oz lemon juice


1 mint leaf or rose petal

Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until well combined, then strain into a stemmed wine glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a mint leaf or rose petal, floating it on the surface. 

Note: Many gourmet syrup flavours are available at grocery stores. Check the Italian Centre Shops for a 5-pack floral mix of rose, lavender, violet, hibiscus, and elderflower syrups in 50 ml bottles; ideal for creating cocktails that serve one or two people.

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