Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Winter

11 Essential Cocktails for Your February Parties

Because we all need something to get us through Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Red Hook cocktail / Tim Nusog

Valentine’s Day gets all the glory in February, but there’s more to the month than just the 14th. Whether you’re celebrating the holiday of love with your significant other or taking solo time for some midwinter self-care, you’ll want cocktails that make everything more enjoyable. Fortunately, we have plenty of recipes for everything from coffee concoctions to Manhattan variations that are just perfect for enjoying this month.

  • Jack Rose

    Jack Rose / Tim Nusog

    It’s not hard to see where this classic drink from the 1920s got its name once you realize it features applejack and rosy-hued grenadine. The two are shaken with ice and lime or lemon juice until well-chilled, then strained into a coupe and topped with a citrus twist. The drink’s ruby hue is perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the flavors will make you want to drink it any time. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Remember the Maine

    Remember the Maine / Tim Nusog

    If you like a good rye Manhattan, then you’ll love this sophisticated tipple from Charles H. Baker Jr.’s “The Gentleman’s Companion.” There’s a reason this cocktail has stuck around since its recipe was first published in 1939. The mix of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry Heering and an unexpected splash of absinthe is deliciously divergent from a traditional Manhattan while still staying true to the spirit of the original.

    Get the recipe.

  • Beauty Elixir

    Beauty Elixir

    Beauty & Essex

    If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air and sunshine in a glass to pull you out of those midwinter blues, turn to this cocktail. Featuring gin, brut cava, strawberry purée and cucumber water, it’s refreshing enough to drink year-round and light enough that you can drink it guilt-free during a post-Dry January reintroduction. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Crimson King

    Crimson King

    Everyone in the court will be pleased with this king. Taking the flavors of a classic Boulevardier and adding cherry and coffee, this mix of rye, Campari, Punt e Mes, cherry Heering and coffee liqueur is the perfect balanced and complex drink for unwinding at the end of a long day. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Forest Sprite

    Forest Sprite / Tim Nusog

    The big winter holidays are over, but you can still enjoy pine’s freshness thanks to this inventive winter cocktail. Gin’s herbal qualities are enhanced with a dash of homemade pine syrup and Cocktailpunk Alpino cocktail bitters. All it needs is a squeeze of lemon and some seltzer to top to make a drink that’s at once refreshing, herbal and warming. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Trinidad Sour

    Trinidad Sour / Tim Nusog

    Angostura bitters often play a supporting role in cocktails, but they rarely get a chance to star. This sour changes that. A full ounce and a half of the bitters are used as a base along with rye whiskey, then brightened with lemon juice and orgeat. The resulting cocktail is intense and rich yet surprisingly balanced.

    Get the recipe.

  • Black Russian

    Black Russian / Tim Nusog

    Sometimes you’re in the mood for a drink but just can’t bring yourself to do more than throw two ingredients into a glass and call it good. For those times, this is what you need. Simply combine two parts vodka and one part Kahlúa with ice, stir and strain over fresh ice. That’s all you need to do—really. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Clover Club

    Clover Club / Tim Nusog

    This most classic of pre-Prohibition cocktails is beloved by bartenders and drinkers the world over. It combines gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup (or you can use fresh raspberries if you like) and an egg white to produce the most elegant and delicious pink cocktail you’ll ever drink.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Reverse Manhattan

    Reverse Manhattan
    Eric Medsker

    This Manhattan twist brings all of the flavor with less alcohol, due to its reversed proportions of rye whiskey and sweet vermouth. Add the usual couple dashes of Angostura bitters and garnish with a cocktail cherry, and you’ll have the perfect drink for beginning or ending your evening. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Abbey Toddy

    Abbey Toddy / Tim Nusog

    Benedictine, an herbal liqueur, makes an unexpected addition to the otherwise-standard ingredients of bourbon, lemon juice, honey syrup, Angostura bitters and hot water in this delightfully warming toddy.

    Get the recipe.

  • Red Hook

    Red Hook cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Named for the Brooklyn neighborhood, this contemporary classic is a twist on the Manhattan that’s gaining plenty of fame itself. The mix of rye, maraschino liqueur and Punt e Mes was first brought together in 2003 at the New York City bar Milk & Honey, and it has become a staple in the cocktail world since.

    Get the recipe.