Planning a romantic stay-at-home evening for the big weekend? Hoping to turn that Valentine's Day first date into a second one? Sure, you can pop the standby bottle of Champagne or open your favorite red, but this snappy cocktail will help you shake things up a little. Surprise your new lover or your tried and true significant other with a sexy, sweet drink from Jason Foust, bar manager for The North End BBQ. You'll need ice, a jigger (or shotglass), a cocktail shaker, and coupe or martini glasses.
Get ready to fall in love with this deep magenta cocktail regardless of your favorite spirit. Foust designed the cocktail to be versatile with any spirit. "I think it's best with a floral gin like Indiana's Starlight Gin, but most gins will do. It will also work with vodka, light rum or 100% agave tequila," he says.
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• 1.5 oz floral gin, vodka, light rum or 100% agave tequila
• 1 oz Hibiscus tea or Hibiscus flowers, brewed and cooled
• .5 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
• .5 oz fresh lemon juice
• 1 oz fresh red grapefruit juice
• .75 oz orange blossom honey
• Brut Champagne
• Thyme sprig
• Combine liquor, tea, simple syrup, lemon juice, grapefruit juice and honey in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.
• Strain into chilled coupe glasses or champagne flutes.
• Top with Champagne and, in that Valentine's Day spirit, a love- slapped sprig of thyme to release the aroma.