What’s better for Valentine’s Day than a battle of the sexes? I’m not much for the cheesy hoopla anyway- it can end up being a worse night than New Year’s Eve to go out.
In one corner,
Heather Mojer (Hungry Mother) vs. Evan Harrison (Highland Kitchen)
in the other.
This is quite a battle of not only the sexes but, without a doubt, two of Boston’s best bartenders who just happen to be my favorite couple.
Valentino Cocktail by Heather Mojer
1.5oz Tequila Por Mi Amante*
.75oz Espinheira Ginja (brandy-based fruit liqueur from Portugal)
.75oz Lemon juice
topped with 1.5oz sparkling wine
Build the first three ingredients in a tin, shake with ice, and strain in to a coupe or flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist or ginja cherry. Get housed.
*Tequila Por Mi Amante: Wash, hull, and slice in half 3 pints of fresh strawberries and place them in a clean, sealable container. Add 750ml of 100% agave blanco tequila (reposado works well too). Seal the container and let steep in cool dark place for 2-3 weeks. After steeping, strain out solids and pour tequila into a clean sealable container (perhaps the original tequila bottle or mason jars). Keep refrigerated. Adapted from Charles H. Baker Jr's The Gentleman's Companion.
Heather: "While thinking about a Valentine's Day cocktail, and after tossing around a few ideas, I opened my fridge and saw jars of tequila por mi amante from last June. Though usually Evan and I carry it with us in a flask to enjoy amongst ourselves or share with friends at weddings and other special occasions, the name "tequila por mi amante" lends itself quite nicely as a base for a Valentine's themed drink. Citrus and Ginja round out the spirit, and bubbles always pair well with romantic celebration."
Basilica Cocktail by Evan Harrison
1oz Cocchi Americano (aperitif wine from Asti- like Kina Lillet)
1oz Cinzano Rosso
.5oz Suze (a French aperitif bitters)
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Build all ingredients in an old fashioned glass. Add one large ice cube (or a few small ones) and stir. Express orange oil over the drink. Cheers.
Evan: "For my Valentine's Day drink I decided to go with something inspired by the Old Hickory, a vermouth based old-fashioned variant. Over the past couple of years I've found myself drinking Old Hickory cocktails on date night because it tastes like a real drink, but it's relatively low in alcohol content. The Basilica fits the same description, but it has a slightly more bitter, more herbal character, and a blood red hue that fits our Valentine's day scheme. I imagine an ideal Valentine's Day cocktail to be something delicious and sophisticated that you can drink all night without slurring your sweet nothings.
The name refers to the Basilica di San Valentino in Terni, Italy, which actually has nothing to do with Saint Valentine. I just thought it sounded cool."
Tough to pick a winner here (although Heather is much, much cuter- well, Evan is kind of dreamy too), but I do have Valentine’s Day advice. Go have a surprise romantic dinner on another night (this will impress your sweetheart more), instead find a bar and have a cocktail-
or maybe two.
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