12 Valentine’s Day Cocktails

So many of us like to celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday with our loved ones and a special cocktail or two. The holiday is a great time to try out something new. Here are a few fun new ones to try out.

Martini Inspired Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Whether it’s actually a martini or a drink that is served in a  martini glass, all of these vodka-based cocktails are fruity and flavorful and of course properly colored for your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Love Potion Number 9 Martini – Love berries? The Cookie Rookie has a Triple Berry Martini made from Chambord (black raspberry liqueur), strawberry vodka, and pomegranate juice. Garnish with heart-shaped strawberries. She even tells you how to safely use dry ice, to give it that truly smoky potion appearance.

White Chocolate Cranberry Pink Martinis – The name of the game is pink on Valentine’s Day, and I do love white chocolate. I have never tried it with cranberries, but am sure the two would balance each other nicely. 3 Yummy Tummies makes it with whipped cream vodka, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and cranberry juice with a touch of grenadine.

Tickled Pink Valentine’s Day Cocktail – Use sugar-free raspberry preserves mixed with vodka and poured over Prosecco for this cocktail by Style Estate.

French Kiss Martini – The name is perfect for Valentine’s Day. This is simply vodka, raspberry liqueur, and pineapple juice. I would likely make it stronger than Confessions of a Cooking Diva makes it, but I like stronger drinks. She also said that she has tried it with gin, which I think would also be interesting.

Champagne Based Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Raspberry Pink Champagne Floats – I love champagne. I love all of the different flavors and creations you can make with it. Serve some up as a dessert this Valentine’s Day. The Cookie Rookie pours pink champagne over raspberry sorbet.

Sparkling Strawberry Float – A similar idea comes from Five Heart Home, with prosecco poured over strawberry sorbet. You can also make it as a mocktail.

Strawberry-Peach Moscato Mimosa– Try mixing up flavored sparkling wines with your orange juice and garnish with a heart-shaped strawberry, like my mimosa recipe. I also have collections of grapefruit mimosasvariations on orange juice mimosas, or even a pomegranate mimosa, which can be used to kick off any romantic day.

Bailey’s Valentine’s Day Cocktails

If you know me at all, you know that I have a serious thing for Bailey’s and all cocktails made with it. Here are a couple of gems for Valentine’s Day.

Bailey’s Cool Raspberry – Take your simple Bailey’s over ice, but pour it over middle raspberries, instead, for a lovely flavor, as shared on the Bailey’s website.

Chocolate Pomegranate Martini– Make your Bailey’s into a martini by pouring it over pomegranate juice in a glass dipped in chocolate. I am drooling.

Strawberry Blow Job Shot – I’m not even going to explain to you how this particular tasty shot could be a lot of fun to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. I will tell you that it is layers of grenadine, Kahlua, and then Bailey’s, topped with whipped cream. You can read the list on the Facebook page for Tipsy Bartender or watch the video on YouTube.

Valentine’s Mudslide – Oh how I love the mudslide, though I must admit in my “old age,” I can’t handle always including the ice cream. (According to my bartenders, you can still call it a mudslide even without the ice cream in it.) Amanda’s Cookin’ gives it a holiday twist by blending fresh strawberries with the Bailey’s before topping with the Kahlua and vodka.

Creamy Kiss – This one from Drinks Mixer layers amaretto, Bailey’s, peach schnapps, and cream before gently stirring.

Want even more Valentine’s Day Cocktails to try? I have a collection of 10 recipes from last year. You can also check out this dozen over on the parent site at My Crafty Life.

Nutty Irishman: Hot and Cold

Ah, the Nutty Irishman. It was a Wednesday night many years ago when my neighbors and I walked the block down the street to the neighborhood Irish pub to enjoy some midweek music and fun. I was in the mood to try something new, because we had been enjoying chocolate martinis for a few weeks. My bartender looked at me and said, “I have something I know you will love,” and handed me a small rocks glass with creamy goodness inside. A new favorite was born.

It’s pretty simple to make, with just two ingredients:


Bailey’s, of course, is Irish cream. Frangelico is a hazelnut-flavored liqueur. And together they are magical.

I have seen varying “recipes” for how much of each to use. Some people like it half and half. I usually do about 3/4 Bailey’s and 1/4 Frangelico floating on top. Some people like to mix it, but I just pour them and let them mix as it goes down. Some people like to cut it with milk and/or cream, but to me that ruins the fun. Plus, with lactose intolerance, I don’t need any added milk in my life! Most people also like to serve it over ice, but I don’t mind it as a room temperature shot. Or, I will make it a bigger drink to sip on over a longer period of time. That is the advantage of making it at home. Give me a big glass and a straw any time. 🙂

I have also found that this tastes really good in coffee or in hot cocoa. For coffee it just gives it that extra adult flavor. For hot cocoa, you end up with an even richer and creamier flavor. Anything nutty with chocolate is usually a good combination for me! In fact, you could probably even put in some chocolate syrup to your coffee before adding this, making it a sort of Nutty Irishman Mocha. All kinds of possibilities exist! And I am willing to try them all.

Now, buying Bailey’s and Frangelico can quickly add up. A good bottle of Bailey’s can run you anywhere from $35-45 dollars or more. And Frangelico costs around $20. Not to sound like an alcoholic or anything, but I can go through these pretty quickly, especially in the winter when having a hot cocktail is a great way to unwind when freezing. A few years ago, with the guidance of some very kind souls at local liquor stores, I found a cheaper and easier way to make my favorite beverage.

Francesca is a generic Frangelico that usually goes for about $10. Brady’s is a generic Bailey’s that actually tastes really close to the real thing. I can get a 1.75 liter jug of this around here anywhere from $15-20. Those savings can really add up! So don’t be afraid to reach for those lower shelves.

You can also try to mix in other tastes with your Nutty Irishman, even if that means it is likely to be a different name. Sometimes I make a version with Amaretto instead of Frangelico. (I have looked and this doesn’t have a special name that I can find.) Sometimes I may add vodka or Kahlua. As always, you can experiment and discover all kinds of new flavor combinations that you never tried before. And I always like to also try them in my coffee and/or hot cocoa when I’m looking for something warmer to drink.

How do you like your Nutty Irishman? What other combinations have you tried?

Coffee Nip Coffee Cocktail with Black Button Bourbon Cream

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When I was a kid, my mom would occasionally let us have one of her candies as a special treat. She was really fond of those hard candies, like the butterscotch discs, hot cinnamon, and Coffee Nips. I was always a chocoholic, but it was special when Mom slipped me one of those wrapped treasures. I was torn between the sweetness of the butterscotch and the coffee-flavored ones as my favorite.

Nips Hard Candy Coffee 4 OZ

Every once in a while in life, you accidentally come across something that reminds you of those good ol’ days. Last year, a friend took me with her to a fundraiser for her daughter’s school. A lot of local vendors were providing samples of their wares. Our favorite stop was the Black Button Distilling Company. I loved their bourbon whiskey and actually enjoyed the gin, which is not one of my usual beverages. Moonshine was spectacular But the ultimate winner of that sampling was their new Bespoke Bourbon Cream.

I am always giving it the side eye when I pop into the local liquor stores for an adult beverage. The other day, I popped into one that is known for having all kinds of smaller bottles and samples on hand, because I was looking to try out different kinds of cocktails made with coffee. They had the little shot bottles of bourbon cream for a mere 99 cents, so I had to pick up a couple.

I poured it over ice to sample the flavor, because it has been a year since I last had it. It’s nice and creamy, just like Bailey’s, which is one of my weaknesses. I could also distinguish lots of spices, almost a clove or a cinnamon kind of flavor? The description says vanilla and caramel undertones, but there was definitely more than that going on. It was a little reminiscent of Captain Morgan rum, but even spicier. I really liked it over ice.

So then I put it into my coffee. Even though I knew better, I was still expecting it to taste more like a simple Bailey’s in my coffee. But this was so much more. With that very first sip, I was immediately transported back in time to being a kid and Mom slipping me one of her Coffee Nip candies. Only this was better in many ways, because it was hot and coffee and gave me that other buzz of happiness.

That being said, what would make it even better would be sipping on one of these Coffee Nip Coffees while enjoying the candies with my mother in person, but I will take the memories for now.

I have never had any other kind of bourbon cream, so I am not sure what other brands to recommend to make this coffee. The nice thing is, Black Button is expanding their distribution and you can find it in other states. Visit their website to look for your state. Plus, how much fun will it be to keep on sampling to find other excellent combinations?

Let me know what you find!

Strawberry and Peach Moscato Mimosas

I think we have already established that I love mimosas. I am always eager to try out something new in that category. I am also kind of cheap, especially right now when money is a little tight. A couple of weeks ago, my friends asked me to housesit and petsit for them while they took the kids away on Spring Break. When Sunday rolled around, I was craving my mimosas, but wasn’t in my neighborhood for my usual brunch stop. I decided to treat myself while I was there and discovered the joys of moscato mimosas.

I was inspired to make mimosas because they had left me a brand new jug of orange juice. Plus, it has become a Sunday tradition. I went about my business, picking up a few groceries for the week and then stopped in at one of the liquor stores.

While I was perusing the wine and champagne selections, I noticed my old standby, Andre champagnes. Yes, it is a cheaper sparkling wine. I flashed back to my college days, because we thought we were oh so fancy drinking it. Plus, at around $5 a bottle, how can you go wrong? It fits in my current budget! And, I figured, even if it didn’t have the greatest taste in the world, it doesn’t matter, because it is getting mixed into orange juice. I’m not drinking it straight.

Somewhere along the line, since my college days, Andre has come up with a couple of flavored options. I saw they had a peach moscato sparkling wine and a strawberry moscato sparkling wine. If you know anything about moscatos, those are very sweet. Drier wines usually appeal to my palate more, but something sweet could work with the orange juice. I got one bottle of each and went back to the house.

strawberry peach moscato ingredients

Strawberry Moscato Mimosas

Sampling started with the strawberry sparkling wine. It definitely had that strong, sweet strawberry flavor. When I mixed it into the orange juice and took a sip, it was fantastic. Great flavor, not overly sweet, just the right amount of fizz. And how easy with just two ingredients?

Strawberry Moscato Mimosa

Now, I am not a fancy person, either. I am not going to go all out with the garnishes, etc., like so many others do, especially not when it is just me. However, if I wanted to dress this up when presenting it to friends at some kind of a get-together, I would definitely consider impaling whole strawberries on the side of the glass. I also think this combination would be really good with a mix of pureed strawberries mixed in with the juice. That is on my list to try sometime in the future, as well.

Strawberry and Peach Moscato Mimosas

As the end of the bottle of strawberry moscato approached, I decided to sample a mix of the strawberry and the peach moscato mimosas. It made such a pretty orange color and again was fantastic in the orange juice. The blend of strawberry and peach made me feel so summery, despite the cold weather and snow outside. This one would also probably taste really good with some strawberry and/or peach puree and would look good with a strawberry garnish.

strawberry peach moscato mimosa

Peach Moscato Mimosas

After consuming the mixture, I sampled the peach sparkling wine. Just like the label said, there were definite hints of watermelon in it. It really tasted just like summer. So, I can definitely say that I will be getting these two flavors of Andre again as the weather gets warmer.

When I made the peach moscato mimosa, it was, again, a light, summery feeling that made me happy. I promise it wasn’t just that contented bubbly champagne feeling.

peach moscato mimosa

Moral of the story? Moscato mimosas are a lovely way to pass a Sunday afternoon. They are not too sweet. They remind you of a warm summer day. They would also be good if you added in some puree. I would even be tempted to try some other add-ins, like Chambord or even tequila, like I saw in my round-ups. I think there may even be a couple of other flavors of sparkling wine to try. Trust that I will do so and then will report back.

Want more mimosas? Check out these round-ups I did:

20 Variations on Orange Juice Mimosas

20 Grapefruit Mimosas

Interested in other kinds of cocktails? Follow my Drinks Pinterest board for even more inspiration. Let me know what you try and what you like!

10 Purple Rain Cocktails – RIP Prince


purple rain cocktails

2016 has seriously sucked when it comes to losing cornerstones of my childhood. I took a break from working to hop onto Facebook and was greeted with the news that Prince had suddenly passed away. Seriously? I was just singing along to his songs in the car the other day and had a hankering to watch Purple Rain (affiliate link) for the millionth time. Now I am sad, but also felt the need to look up some Prince cocktails, in case anyone feels the need to raise a special glass to this musical legend. So, I started with the most obvious choice, Purple Rain cocktails. A quick glance on Wikipedia showed only two verisons, but when I kept digging, I found even more.

Purple Rain Cocktails

Kelsey’s Restaurant has one that looks like it could be quite dangerous, as it is described as tasting just like grape Kool-Aid. (And how appropriate would that be, to be acting like you were drinking the Kool-Aid that you were likely drinking when you first heard his music?) Vodka, raspberry liqueur, blue caracao, and then a bit of lime cordial and cranberry juice to top it off. Plus, the color is simply amazing and stunning.

The one on DrinksMixer uses a gin base, sour mix, soda water, and then enough blue caracao to make it that gorgeous purple color.

Sourz hides the alcohol identity under their brand names in this recipe, but Sourz Cherry is a cherry-flavored sour liqueur and Bols Blue is blue caracao. Take one shot of each of these and top it off with lemonade for a sweet and sour purple delight.

This one on MyBestCocktails is probably my favorite, and the easiest one for me to make. It uses half vodka and half blue caracao, topped with a bit of grenadine to help make the purple color, and then is topped off with lemon-lime soda.

The 30 Purple Rain cocktail recipe from Complete Cocktails also looks right up my alley. It starts with grape vodka, then adds a bit of cranberry juice and sour mix with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a lime slice. Yum.

Cocktail Times uses a pomegranate-infused sake with some pineapple juice and Chambord in what they call the Purple Rain Martini. That one will pack a punch, for sure!

This video on About’s Cocktail site will show you how to layer vodka, wild berry martini mix, and cherry juice for a beautiful purple glow of yumminess.

Wayne at Free Recipe Hub has another fun and easy one that adds flavor in the form of peach schnapps with the blue caracao and vodka. Top it off with grenadine and lemonade. This would be perfect for the warmer weather.

And then there is this version that I found over at iDrink that is very similar to a Long Island Iced Tea. This knock-you-on-your-arse beverage just may be the way to numb the pain of Prince’s passing. You need gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and Chambord. Midnight Mixologist uses Triple Sec instead of gin and then tops it off with sour mix.

3 Yummy Tummies made one out of blueberry vodka, blue caracao, and fruit juices for a Blueberry Purple Rain Martini that was a hit even with her husband. She throws in some blueberries for a little antioxidants. Hey, that makes this one healthy, right?

If you want to let your kids participate in the mourning as you imbibe in Purple Rain cocktails and dance around the house, you can make them this mocktail from Rasoi Menu that mixes grape juice, lemon juice, strawberry crush, and Coke with a bit of vanilla ice cream. This one actually makes me reminisce about the concoctions that my elementary school best friend and I used to come up with while listening to albums such as the Purple Rain soundtrack (affiliate link).

In a way, I guess you can take any kind of purple drink or grape-flavored drink, and dedicate it to the man, even if it isn’t really Purple Rain cocktails. Whatever you want to consume, raise a glass to the man and his legacy and let me know your favorite memories (and drinks) in the comments.

Want more fun adult beverages? Follow my Drinks board on Pinterest! You can also check out the Cocktails category right here on the site, for even more cocktail ideas and round-ups.