Happy St. Valentine’s Day! In the spirit of the holiday, here’s a drink that’s a little cheezy, a little pink (well, red), and lots of fun to enjoy with someone else: the First Kiss. – Andrew
Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper
The First Kiss
2 oz Hibiscus Gin
3/4 oz St-Germain
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Limoncello
Combine the gin, lemon juice, and liqueurs with lots of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe or a flute. Top with champagne and enjoy with someone you love.
Last year, we showcased our first Valentine’s cocktail, the Love Letter, which also used hibiscus gin. It’s very easy to make – just steep some hibiscus tea bags in English Dry gin for at least a few hours and a day or two for best results – and adds a tremendously botanical flavor to the gin. Hibiscus can be a bit astringent, though, so I paired it with St-Germain and Limoncello (Cointreau would work in its place too) to add plenty of sweetness and fruity, floral notes for balance. And champagne seems to perfect not to include on Valentine’s Day, though it makes for a pretty good drink even without it.
It’s enormously easy to make all sorts of personalized infusions like this. Ethyl alcohol – the stuff that makes booze boozy – is also a fantastic solvent. It will pick up tons of flavor from anything it touches, like gin’s juniper berries or whiskey’s caramel and vanilla notes from the wood barrels in which it’s aged. Herbal teas like hibiscus are perfect for this: easy to drop in a bottle and pull out when you’re done, with a huge variety of possible flavors. So consider spicing up your bar and impressing your friends with some rum, gin, or Tequila infusions. And let us know when you do!
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper