Shhhh! Listen carefully – is that the sound of Cupid sharpening his arrow we hear? Yup, Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, and if you’re still undecided what to do with your amour, fret not. London’s best bars have got you covered, with all kinds of lovely libations to make even the most hardened hearts go all a-flutter.
But if you’d rather give the loved up couples a miss, opting for a quiet an evening in, either on your own or a deux, we’ve also picked out some delicious cocktail recipes that you can whip up at home, or to have as a night cap after your evening out. Enjoy!
Until Friday 15th, 34 Mayfair will be marking this romantic week with a pair of drinks inspired by two of history’s most famous lovers: Antony & Cleopatra. The ‘Antony’ cocktail (above right), is a powerful concoction like its namesake, while the ‘Cleopatra’ (above left), is a light and exotic tipple. If you fancy a little something sweet, for your sweet thing, they also have an indulgent dessert on the menu. And as an extra-special treat, on the evening of Thursday 14th, guests will be treated to live music by Florence Rawlings and her band.
Booking a table at this elegant David Collins Studio designed bar will definitely score you big on brownie points. Add in a specially created menu and you’ll be golden. The Artesian Moments menu has been put together with life defining moments in mind – taking in everything from learning to ride a bike to falling love for the first time, so there’ll be plenty to reminisce over as you drink.
Just around the corner from 34 Mayfair, is Sexy Fish. Throughout this week they’ll be serving their ‘Monkey Business’ cocktail. The drink features Monkey 47, peach, yuzu, oregano and chamomile. And if you’d prefer bubbles, Champagne is also on the menu.
The private member’s club and 5* boutique hotel, opens its doors to non-members from Friday evening throughout the weekend. On the menu? Two delicious love potions. Try the ‘Red Passion’ cocktail, combining gin, Lanique liqueur, lemon juice and Peychaud’s bitters topped with Verve Clicquot Champagne.
If the views aren’t enough to get your pulse racing, then the drinks list definitely will. From the 11th to 17th February, you can sample two specially crafted, ‘his’ and ‘hers’ Valentine’s cocktails named after the Chinese god of love, Yue Lao, who according to legend, binds lovers together with an invisible red string.
The ‘his’ cocktail blends Cocchi Americano, yuzu, mastiha, lavender bitters, and Talisker for a peaty punch, and ‘hers’ includes: ‘Peter in Florence’ gin, Noilly Prat, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, lapsang, cranberry, orange blossom and raspberry blanc de blancs foam.
Mix things up at home
Lanique Rose Royale:
‘My love is like a red, red rose…’ so said Robert Burns. What flower better symbolises love than the rose. With their 200-year heritage, Lanique Liqueur have designed their twist on the Kir Royale. It’s made with 25ml of the rose liqueur topped with your favourite bubbly – simple, subtle and delicious.
The Cherry Blossom:
50ml Tomatin Legacy
1 bar spoon of cherry jam
50ml coconut water
2ml orange blossom water
Combine all ingredients and shake over ice.
50ml Casamigos Blanco Tequila
25ml fresh lime juice
12.5ml sugar cane syrup
4 Basil leaves
2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Combine all ingredients into a tin shaker, muddle herbs and add ice. Shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds then fine strain into a Coupe glass. Garnish with a large basil leaf and 3 heart-shaped strawberry slices pierced through skewer.
Rose Petal Martini
40ml cranberry juice
15ml rose petal water
20ml sugar syrup
20ml lemon juice
Add all ingredients to your shaker, add cubed ice, shake and fine strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a rose petal.
One for the morning after the night before.
100g black forest purée
50ml coconut water
20ml runny honey
Blend all ingredients with four ice cubes for 30 seconds. Garnish with 1/2 strawberry, 1 blueberry, 1 blackberry, 1 raspberry and 1 seedless grape
Rose Petal Martini and Defibrillator recipes taken from JJ Goodman’s Kitchen Cocktails, Recipes of the London Cocktail Club
By Miles Watson