Valentine’s Day, ah, what a magical time of year. Everything is pink and fluffy and full of gushy and bleh. It’s not really my thing. Sure, I’ll celebrate, but it’s more an at-home, make a good meal kinda thing. It’s not go out, have a big showoff be fancy deal. There’s no need to score internet points by being extremely extravagant in your grand gestures (especially if they’re reserved for only one day a year). Let’s all fill our hearts with love and joy by having a nice drink, like the Bitter Valentine.
We have an annual tradition in our house where we celebrate everything that’s great about American overindulgence on a single day — typically around some American football game. I think it’s the championship or something; I don’t really follow American football. The food is good though. This year, I decided we needed a special edition cocktail to go with it, introducing the Superb Owl Cocktail!
A friend of mine asked me to help her come up with a cocktail for a birthday party she’s putting together with the instructions of, “How about something in a coupe? Oh, I love gin. And champagne. It’s a ’30s era party.” I was set. Naturally, I figured ’20s era because the Roaring ’20s (fun fact: it’s almost time again for some Roaring ’20s). After a little fiddling, I came up with the Southside Fizz, Locke Edition.
Say one thing about me, say I love chocolate. I’ll happily take it in chip form, bars, hunks, milks, cookies, you get the idea. When I can get it in cocktail form, then I am quite the happy camper. There’s even a rumor — nay, a legend — that every time I go to Vegas (something I try to do at least twice a year), I like to start every day with a Chocolate Martini. What about the end of the night? What about when it’s time to settle down with something in the bourbon family? We have the Chocolate Maple Pecan Cocktail for that!
Whenever I get Mexican food (a favorite, but growing up in Southern California that almost goes without saying), I always, without fail, every single time order horchata. If you’re unfamiliar with horchata, it’s a magical elixir of tastiness — think of it as rice pudding, but in drink form and lighter. It’s refreshing. Knowing that, it was only a matter of time for me to tackle this most amazing of drinks in booze form, let’s get down with the Horchata Cocktail!
I’m a huge fan of champagne. I’ll admit that’s not the most outrageous of statements, but still, I stand by it. Oh, and cut the pedantic stuff out — sparkling wine from California and elsewhere is great too. While technically the wine should come from the Champagne region for people to consider it champagne “officially,” let’s not let the details derail us from a good story. If it’s quality, tasty and bubbly, I’m a fan. Now, if it’s good solo, it’s also good in a cocktail. Let’s do, shall we? On to the Death of the Champagne Cocktail!
And we’re back! In my mind, I imagined Jeremey Clarkson in old new Top Gear saying that after a long absence. Alice and I took a slight sabbatical after having our first child! Hooray for kids! Fun fact, nothing makes you appreciate a cocktail at the end of the night like a finally asleep child. True story. With that in mind, let’s return to the goodness with the Hazelnut Chocolate Matcha Cocktail!
Admittedly, I’m not the world’s foremost authority when it comes to music. Hell, my musical taste falls somewhere between “what now” and “uh, ok.” Alice, on the other hand, she knows music. That’s why back when we started working together and she told me that her officemate Doug had a band and that they were good, I knew they were gonna be good. That was my introduction to Lucid Fly and (drum roll) they’re finally releasing their first studio album! Doug asked if we could come up with a cocktail for their album, who was I to say no? Introducing the Lucid Fly Cocktail!
The resurgence of cocktail connoisseurs has also been a boon to the classic ingredient market. Not long ago, you could hardly find anything beyond iridescent grenadine or sweet and sour mix. Now, there’s artisanal everything, produced by some bearded fella who wears suspenders and probably rides a unicycle to and from his collective (I jest — but only a little). This is great when you’re feeling lazy. However, when you’re ambitious, you take up the mantle yourself and make your own mixers. Much like Homemade Orgeat!
As we’ve shown, tiki cocktails need not only be rum. They can be tequila (hello Tropical Paloma), they can be moonshine (hey there Tropical Prohibition Paradise), but can you make them extra fancy with Scotch? Oh yes you can. We figured for National Scotch Day, which happens to fall right at the end of Tiki Month, we’d have to do just that. Let’s get a little Scotchy with the Luau Smoked Pineapple!