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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 on 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 2 at 8pm 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 too 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 poop. 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 1 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

40ml JOHNNIE WALKER™ RED LABEL®

15ml 1:1 Bergamot syrup

5ml Italian herbal liqueur

5ml Yellow French liqueur

METHOD: To make the bergamot syrup - mix 250ml of bergamot juice with 250g of caster sugar until dissolved.

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

(2 standard drinks*- 1.6 units per serve)

THIS MIGHT BE A LONG SHOT

40ml SMIRNOFF™ VODKA

10ml Lemon juice

5ml Dark red liqueur

15ml Red pepper syrup

Top with soda

Grapefruit slice

Mint sprig

METHOD: First make the red pepper syrup – grill 2 chopped red bell peppers for 20 minutes and then blend with 150ml 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!

(1.6 standard drinks*- 1.3 units per serve)

COME IN FOR A COFFEE

35ml BAILEYS™ IRISH LIQUEUR

15ml CAPTAIN MORGAN™ SPICED

10ml Condensed milk

25ml Espresso

7 Ice cubes

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

(0.9 standard drinks*- 1.6 units per serve)

ISLAY DOWN BEFORE YOU

25ml GORDONS™ GIN

5ml Kamm & Sons Islay Cask

5ml Sugar

Top with champagne

Slice of pineapple

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

(0.8 standard drinks*- 0.9 units per serve)

(*One standard drink contains 8g of alcohol)

Visit Ali and his team at Hawksmoor Spitalfields, 157a Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ, like on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

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