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Valentine’s Bellini photo courtesy K.K. Law

We all love a bit of bubbly to celebrate a special occasion, but it’s hard to resist a carefully crafted cocktail anytime. For your Valentine’s Day toasts to one another, we rounded up four fabulously romantic sippers, including recipes from three of Vancouver’s hottest bartenders. P.S. Any of these concoctions would make for a delicious signature cocktail at your wedding reception, too. Cheers!

Valentine’s Bellini

1/2 oz. Beefeater Gin

1/2 oz. Giffard Peach Liqueur

1 oz. peach purée (recipe below)*

3 oz. Jaume Serra Cava

Shake gin, liqueur and peach purée in a cocktail mixer. Pour into a large glass. Top with Jaume Serra Cava. Served at Boulevard with a house-made ‘Violette ice cube.’

*Peach Purée: Peel, pit and purée peaches in a food processor, then strain through a fine sieve. Refrigerate until cool.

– courtesy Justin Taylor, Bar Manager, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

 

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Basil & Raspberry Smash 

1-1/2 oz. Luksusowa Vodka

1/2 oz. simple syrup

5 basil leaves

10 fresh raspberries

1/2 oz. cranberry juice

2 fresh raspberries and 1 basil leaf (for garnish)

Muddle basil and raspberries gently in a short glass. Add all other ingredients and fill glass 2/3 with crushed ice. Mix well using a bar spoon and top up with ice.

– courtesy Luksusowa Vodka

 

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La Vie en Rose

2/3 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. raspberry coulis

1 oz. Kirsch cherry eau de vie

1/2 oz. Calvados

2 dashes rose water (available at gourmet food stores or Persian groceries)

Top with rosé Champagne

Add all ingredients, except Champagne, to a shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon zest and a dried rose head.

– courtesy Justin Darnes, Bar Manager, Taco Bar

 

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Instant Crush

1 oz. Reposado Tequila

1/2 oz. Espadin Mezcal

1/2 oz. Fernet Branca

1/2 oz. cassis blackcurrant liqueur

3/4 oz. Cocchi Americano White Vermouth

2 dashes Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled and diluted – about 15-20 seconds. Using a julep strainer, pour over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a long peel of orange, pinched into a heart shape at the top of the glass.

– courtesy Lauren Mote, Co-Proprietor, Bittered Sling Extracts, and Bar Manager, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar