Put A Little Love in Your Libation!

Acadia bartender Michael Simon puts a unique spin on classic cocktails that are perfect for a romantic night out. (Photo: Acadia)

It’s so, so predictable to pop bottles of bubbly to try to impress a significant other, but how about doing things differently this Valentine’s Day? A number of restaurants are featuring specialty cocktails on the menu for the special occasion, specifically to get you in the mood for amore.

You’ll first want to get your night heated up at home with a quick make-out cocktail before you head out. The Twinkle is easy to whip up by simply shaking then pouring 2 oz Belvedere vodka and 1/4 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur in a chilled martini glass. Finally, top off with Moet, garnish with a lemon twist and toast to the night that’s ahead . . .

At Barrio Urban Taqueria, the Valentine’s Day celebration is known in Mexico as El Día del Amor y la Amistad, or the "day of love and friendship." The Latin-focused restaurant is doing a four-course menu that’s $60 for two people and also offering a few cocktails created by mixologist Adam Seger. His Bubbly Sangria el Amor is built in a wine glass with Hum, simple syrup and lime juice, then topped with Prosecco. It’s garnished with chopped strawberries and pineapples, which Seger says are both aphrodisiacs.

A cocktail that may also be substituted for a decadent dessert is Lover's Lane, created by Blackbird’s Lynn House. The lovely libation should appeal to ladies, particularly because its main ingredients are fresh raspberries and Godiva Chocolate raspberry vodka.

Here’s the recipe, to make at home as a nightcap:

2 oz Godiva Chocolate raspberry vodka
1/4 oz orange liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Raspberries for garnish

Combine Godiva Chocolate raspberry vodka, orange liqueur and fresh lime juice into a martini glass and stir. Garnish with raspberries.

North Center’s Tiny Lounge offers an ideal setting for sipping sexy sippers with a significant other.

A rendezvous with a view can be had at C-View, which is perched high above on the 29th floor of the Affinia Hotel in Streeterville. They’re doing three cocktails for the occasion: Ain't She Sweet (made with Veev Acai Spirit, Prosecco, fresh raspberries and garnished with a mint leaf), Never Bitter (Belvedere vodka, grapefruit, St. Germain, Campari) and Some Like It Hot (Cruzan strawberry rum, lime juice, strawberries and jalapeño). Those are only available Feb. 10-11 and Feb. 17-18.

One of the most romantic restaurants in the city, North Pond features A Tempting Offer on the menu as its seasonal cocktail. It’s made with North Shore Distiller's Gin No. 11, St. Germain, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and garnished with a grapefruit wheel.

Prasino, in Wicker Park, gets a little passionate with two offerings from mixologist Todd Ekis. He’s using mostly natural and organic ingredients with Cupid's Cloud made with blackberry mint-infused vodka, pomegranate, lemon gastrique and hibiscus blood orange foam. And Unforgettable Kiss is crafted with Hangar 1 raspberry vodka, Godiva Chocolate liqueur, Chambord, Kahlua and cream.

And the always date-friendly Tiny Lounge features two tempting drinks on its regular menu certain to catch your eye. Bittersweet (Campari, Finlandia grapefruit, Luxardo Maraschino liquor, grapefruit juice, orange juice, cava) and naked (Tito's Handmade Vodka, dry vermouth, hand-stuffed blue cheese olives) certainly caught ours . . .



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