Bright bouquets, heart shaped chocolates and teddy bears — Valentine's day is, for better or for worse, upon us.
To celebrate, a few friends and I made and tested four of the internet’s most prominent Valentine's day cocktails — French 75, sex on the beach, strawberry mimosa and an adaptable cosmopolitan — so you can pick what’s right for you.
Whether celebrating with your loved ones, friends or all by your lonesome, these four drinks are great options for the holiday.
The New York Times Cooking French 75 is composed of gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, champagne and a lemon twist.
One commenter described it as “get(ting) the job done in a hurry.” And that they did.
I am no mixologist, so I can’t speak to the anatomy of the cocktail, but even with the cheapest possible ingredients, the French 75 came together in such a way that it was not too strong, sour or sweet.
It was light and easy to drink. The only problem was how quickly it burned through champagne.
For those that make their own simple syrup, it takes a little planning beforehand, but other than that it’s the perfect quick, fun and profound-looking drink for those celebrating Valentine's Day.
It was easily my favorite cocktail out of the four.
The recipe I followed calls for vodka, orange juice, cranberry juice and peach schnapps.
Unfortunately, the St. John’s Liquor Store was out of peach schnapps, so we improvised using raspberry liqueur, making the cocktail a murky maroon.
In spite of the off-putting color, out of the four, this was the most popular among the group. It’s tartness masked the taste of the vodka and it wasn’t too sweet.
It also yielded the most liquid, which I suspect, along with its refreshing taste, was what made my thirsty friends enjoy it so much.
The cosmo’s a classic: vodka, cranberry juice and lime juice. The adaptable cosmopolitan spruces it up by adding orange liqueur — I used triple sec — and a lemon twist, making it more pink than the typical red.
No cocktail polarized the testing group more than this one.
The more seasoned drinkers and those who self-identify as “non-tasters” — I fall into both groups — valued the combination of sweet and sour and the underlying, but non-overpowering taste of the vodka.
Others in the group said that it was “missing something,” wishing it wasn’t so strong and had a greater depth of flavor than the vodka-tartness combo.
For college students like myself, this requires the unusual ingredient of orange liqueur, but once acquired it’s easy to make and it's pink shade perfectly reflects the holliday’s color.
Calling for only three ingredients — orange juice, strawberries and champagne — the strawberry mimosa was the easiest of the four cocktails to make.
It’s a fun and refreshing drink, but there’s one key problem: you have to blend it.
Any conversation you are trying to have is immediately killed by the loud, annoying grinding and squeaking of the blender.
I suppose a smarter ameuter bartender might have blended it beforehand.
Personally, I think this one is more trouble than it’s worth, but if you have the desire to end your conversation and ruin the mood then by all means, this is the cocktail for you.
No one at my pseudo-cocktail party was clambering for more of these and it was quickly overshadowed by more exciting drinks.
William Seekamp is the News and Managing Editor of The Beacon. He can be reached at Seekamp22@up.edu.