CLEVELAND — Crafting the perfect cocktail for your Valentine is a simple and sweet way to show how much you'd like to drink in the spirt of the holiday with your lover.
To help with choosing the perfect adult beverage for an evening with your amore, I enlisted the aid of Cleveland's premier beverage curators: Sixth City Sailors Club and Society Lounge owner Joseph Fredrickson and beverage director Cassaundra Hallaway, and Thyme x Table beverage director Eric Scott.
Their top three flirty cocktails really set the stage for romance. Not only do they look amazing and taste great, but the recipes are simple enough that even the most novice mixologist will look like a seasoned pro pouring these out of a shaker.
Once you try the at-home version with your sweetheart, take advantage of the perfect opportunity to plan a follow-up date to sip on the upgrade made by the creators, themselves.
Joseph Fredrickson's pick: Madame's Rose
- 2oz Ron Zacapa 23 Centenario Rum
- 1 oz Orgeat syrup (this can be found online)
- 2.5 oz Madame Rose Ale
- Garnish with a quality cherry
For the follow-up date: Madame's Rose Flip available at Sixth City Sailors Club in the heart of Downtown Cleveland
Using homemade Marcona Almond Orgeat, adding a full egg and garnishing this cocktail with a Marcona Almond Stuffed Luxardo Cherry really takes it to the next level.
"The whole egg adds a frothy texture and a malty tone that gives this drink dessert-like complexity that will remind you of malt milkshakes as a child," Joseph told 3News. "At the same time it will deliver a very adult complexity between the sour cherry soaked barrel aged ale, balanced with the almond syrup, with the hints of caramel, vanilla and cocoa from the rum."
To try the Madame's Rose Flip right now, pick up can be planned in advance by emailing Sixth City Sailors Club at email@example.com.
Cassaundra Hallaway's pick: Blue Valentine
- 2 oz White Rum
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- .25 oz Blue Curacao
- .75 oz Orgeat
- Muddled Fresh Ginger
- Garnish with a lemon peel
For the follow-up date: Blue Valentine available at Society Lounge on East 4th Street in Downtown Cleveland
Using the white rum house blend and the house passion fruit orgeat, plus adding house spiced ginger simple syrup, serrano extract and an egg white takes this already delicious drink to the next level. At Society Lounge, it comes garnished with and edible flower and glitter.
To try the Blue Valentine from Society Lounge right now, pick up can be planned in advance by emailing Sixth City Sailors Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Society Lounge is currently closed for in-person guests, and will reevaluate its hours in April, so keep an eye on the lounge's Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates on when you can taste the creators' version, direct from the source.
Eric Scott's pick: Thief of Roses
- 1.5oz Dry Gin
- .5oz Italicus
- .25 fresh lemon
- 1.5 oz Prosecco
- Garnish with Lemon Peel
For the follow-up date: Thief of Roses available at Thyme x Table in Bay Village
Using Plymouth Gin is a start to kicking this up a notch. But it's just a start. At Thyme x Table, this drink comes with butterfly pea flower extract, added tableside, that transforms this lemon-colored cocktail into a lovely pinkish-purple hue right before your eyes, as it reacts with the citrus in the drink.
"The cocktail is based on a a gin French 75 but uses Italicus, a new spirit in Ohio, in place of simple syrup. Only lightly sweet, it adds a layer of florals, bergamot and spice to the cocktail," Eric told 3News.
This cocktail is refreshing and aromatic, and this signature version is only available at Thyme x Table.