Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Valentine's Day

18 Cocktails to Make for Valentine's Day

Toast to love with pretty pink drinks, chocolate-fueled liquid desserts, and more.

Very Sexy Martini cocktail
Very Sexy Martini Image: / Tim Nusog

Love is worth celebrating any day of the year, but February 14 is an especially good occasion to swap your usual Martini or Manhattan for something a little more special. Whether you’re looking to break out the bubbly, shake up a pretty pink drink, or consume the holiday’s ubiquitous chocolates in liquid form, you’ll find the perfect drink on this list.

  • Pink Lady

    Pink Lady cocktail / Tim Nusog

    A two-spirit punch of gin and applejack makes this cocktail more serious than it appears. The two are joined in the shaker by lemon juice and an egg white, with a touch of grenadine lending its tart, fruity sweetness and giving the Lady its classic good looks. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Chocolate Martini

    Chocolate Martini cocktail / Tim Nusog

    You could buy your loved ones a box of chocolates…or you can shake up this decadent concoction of vodka, chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, and half-and-half. A Martini in name (and glassware) only, it can double as drinkable dessert. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Rose-Colored Glass

    Rose Colored Glass cocktail garnished with rose petals / Tim Nusog

    Landing somewhere between a French 75 and a Champagne Cocktail, this festive yet low-ABV drink from bar pro Katie Stipe mixes lemon juice, simple syrup, and aromatic bitters. It swaps out the expensive classic bubbly for rosé sparkling wine, with a rose-petal garnish adding additional romance. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Rose

    Rose cocktail garnished with brandied cherry / Tim Nusog

    If your sweetheart would prefer a creative cocktail to a bouquet of roses, mix up this cocktail from drinks pro and distiller Allen Katz instead. Dry vermouth is the unexpected primary ingredient, accented by cherry brandy, while a homemade raspberry syrup lends a lovely hue. 

    Get the recipe.

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  • Toblerone

    Toblerone cocktail with chocolate syrup rim / Tim Nusog

    Try the classic candy in decadent liquid form with this rich, nutty, chocolatey combination of Baileys, Frangelico, Kahlúa, and heavy cream, all garnished with shavings of the Swiss chocolate treat that serves as the drink’s inspiration. The secret to replicating the chocolate’s almond-honey nougat: a homemade honey syrup

    Get the recipe.

  • Bitter Hearts Know Better

    Bitter Hearts Know Better cocktail with pink sugared rim / Tim Nusog

    This twist on a Gimlet gets a boost from flavorful gentian amaro, or Italian bitter liqueur, which also gives it its name. A hibiscus-infused gin pulls double duty, contributing floral notes while rendering the drink its gorgeous pink shade. A pink sugared rim keeps the amaro’s bitterness in check with a Valentine-appropriate touch.

    Get the recipe.

  • Pink Squirrel

    Pink Squirrel cocktail with freshly grated nutmeg / Tim Nusog

    A pink chocolate cocktail? You read right. This drink relies on white creme de cacao for deep cocoa notes and creme de noyeaux, a bitter almond liqueur with similarities to amaretto, for its pastel hue. The two liqueurs are joined by a hefty amount of heavy cream, ensuring this rich drink is elevated to dessert-drink status.

    Get the recipe.

  • Tootsie Roll

    Tootsie Roll cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This nostalgia-inspired cocktail is a surprisingly grown-up drink, essentially a twist on a Manhattan, employing rye whiskey, sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry, and chocolate bitters. As is the case with its namesake candy, it’s hard to limit yourself to just one. 

    Get the recipe.

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  • Between the Sheets

    Between the Sheets / Tim Nusog

    This Prohibition-era cousin of the Sidecar includes the same cognac, orange liqueur, and fresh lemon juice, plus a splash of rum adds intrigue. This version of the classic cocktail gets finished with the expressed oils from a flamed orange peel for extra fragrance and flair. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Sparkling Rose

    Sparkling Rose cocktail / Tim Nusog

    In the vein of a French 75 crossed with a Watermelon Margarita, this effervescent drink combines tequila, watermelon and lemon juices, and simple syrup, all topped with sparkling rosé. It’s bubbly, fruity, and refreshing all at once.

    Get the recipe.

  • Kiss

    Kiss cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and the aromatized wine Dubonnet rouge make this drink almost as satisfying as a smooch. Its ingredient list is similar to that of the classic Martinez, but the Dubonnet adds a certain bittersweet complexity to the drink, not unlike some kisses you may have shared. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Love & Murder

    Love & Murder Cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Like its name, the two liqueurs that comprise this cocktail, Campari and green Chartreuse, evoke passionate emotions. And they work surprisingly well together in this cocktail from Porchlight’s bar director, Nick Bennett, where the two are joined by lime juice, simple syrup, and a few drops of saline solution to highlight their complementary characters. 

    Get the recipe.

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  • Rumplesnuggler

    Rumplesnuggler cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Keep the warm and fuzzy feelings alive with a boozy take on hot chocolate. This one gets spiked with Baileys and Rumple Minze peppermint schnapps for the perfect après-ski (or après-dinner) treat. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Bit of Tongue

    Bit of Tongue cocktail garnished with orange twist
    Erin Trimble

    Topped with cava and garnished with an orange twist, this drink looks the part of a typical sparkling wine cocktail. But it also lives up to its cheeky name, owing to a split base of bitter liqueur Aperol and a surprisingly large splash of absinthe, plus a touch of vinegary grapefruit shrub.

    Get the recipe.

  • Guava Rose

    Guava Rose cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Wherever in the world you might currently be, evoke the tropics in the midst of February with this frozen blend of the Brazilian spirit cachaça, lime juice, and guava puree. Rose syrup adds an unexpected floral note, echoed by a lovely rose petal garnish. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Blinker

    Blinker cocktail / Tim Nusog

    As far as pink cocktails are concerned, gin and vodka seem to have all the fun. We raise you this rose-hued classic whiskey cocktail: Rye whiskey gets shaken with grapefruit juice and raspberry syrup (older versions of the Blinker call for grenadine, which lends an equally rosy hue) for a drink that’s as potent as it is pretty. 

    Get the recipe.

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  • La Violetta

    La Violetta cocktail


    If you can’t choose between cocktails and red wine for your special evening, allow this drink to make your decision easier. A mix of gin, crème de violette, and lemon juice gets topped with the Italian sparkling red wine lambrusco, creating a cocktail that’s floral, earthy, and elegant.

    Get the recipe.

  • Very Sexy Martini

    Very Sexy Martini cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Citrus-flavored vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup mean this vodka cocktail shares more in common with a Cosmopolitan or a Lemon Drop than a Martini, but setting that aside, its name is accurate. Calling for muddled raspberries and mint, and topped with rosé Champagne, it’s very pink and, yes, very sexy.

    Get the recipe.