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NO DOUBLE STRAIN ON THIS RELATIONSHIP

Set the atmosphere with these love potions shaken up by World Class GB Winner Ali Reynolds, perfect for playing Cupid with your customers this Valentine’s Day.

Let me be very clear before I begin to pretend I know what I’m talking about when it comes to love and the ridiculous event that is Valentine’s Day. I hate Valentine’s Day. I know, everyone says it "Let’s not do anything", "it’s tacky", ‘what a waste of money’ and then they find themselves stressing 2 days before, because like every other pretender, the one actually wearing the trousers wants a table for two at 8.00 p.m. in central London, or East London, or anywhere for that matter. Cue tears and a world of misery until you repeat this sequence every year.

Anyway, it’s not to say I’m a hater of love and relationships, as I’ve had my fair share. I’ve been in love, had my heart broken, broken hearts and it is just that my past record reads a little like a poem I once knew about Henry VIII, minus the occasional removal of heads. I always gave Valentine’s Day a chance and it was always terrible . However and more importantly it did offer the chance to explore; explore new restaurants, new food and new drinks. But who honestly needs to set one date a year aside to go and enjoy good food and drink?

I’ve created some tasty drinks to see you in as the Valentine’s Day celebration begins and hopefully as it romantically ends with the awkward asking: "Would you like to come up for a coffee?"

Good luck!

Love, Ali Reynolds

Try Ali’s top Valentine’s Day cocktails.

WHISKY IS RED LABEL, BLOOD ORANGES 2

1.25 oz. JOHNNIE WALKER Red label

.5 oz. bergamot syrup (1:1)

.25 oz. Italian herbal liqueur

.25 oz. yellow French liqueur

METHOD: To make the bergamot syrup: mix 8.5 oz. ml of bergamot juice with .5 lb of sugar until dissolved.

Stir all ingredients with ice and garnish with 2 dried blood orange wheels.

THIS MIGHT BE A LONG SHOT

125 oz. SMIRNOFF™ Vodka

.25 oz. lemon juice

.25 oz dark red liqueur

.5 oz.l red pepper syrup

Soda to top

Grapefruit slice

Mint sprig

METHOD: To make the red pepper syrup: grill 2 chopped red bell peppers for 20 minutes and then blend with 5 oz. water. Strain off liquid and mix with equal parts of caster sugar.

To make the cocktail, shake all ingredients except soda. Strain over ice in a collins glass. Garnish with grapefruit slice and mint sprig.

Try serving this with 20ml of Mexican agave liqueur on the side!

COME IN FOR A COFFEE

1.25 oz. BAILEYS™ Cream Liqueur

.5 oz. CAPTAIN MORGAN Spiced Rum

.25 oz. condensed milk

.75 oz. espresso

7 Ice cubes

METHOD:

Blend all ingredients in a blender and pour into a vessel of your choice.

ISLAY DOWN BEFORE YOU

.75 oz. GORDONS™ Gin

.25 oz. Kamm & Sons Islay Cask

.25 oz. simple syrup

Champagne to top pineapple slice.

METHOD: Stir the first 3 ingredients over ice. Strain into a coupe glass and top with Champagne. Garnish with a thin slice of pineapple.

(*One standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol)