It’s almost February, and those of you who haven’t made plans for the 14th may be in for a bit of a scramble. Here’s an alternate idea put forward by a friend or two: have a party.
But what makes for an elegant evening of Valentine cocktails? There are really just four essential ingredients to ensure an evening to remember.
1) A Dress Code. Ask that people come in cocktail attire. And by that I mean a blue blazer and grey flannels, at the very least, for the men (although a dark suit wouldn’t be out of place!) and a cocktail length dress for the women.
2) Champagne. Or another suitable sparkler. Pink is very dry and a fine choice as it pairs nicely with:
3) Chocolate. Platters of dark and milk chocolate treats or a chocolate fondue complete with strawberries and sweet biscuits.
4) Candlelight. Lots of candles scattered about create the ambience that we all hope for and rarely find in a crowded restaurant.
And for those of you who would like to do a bit more to add to the evening’s festivities, send a vintage Valentine’s Day card as an invitation, have plenty of carnations and roses on hand and serve something more than chocolate and champagne.
The Fresa Cocktail as Mixed at San Francisco’s Clock Bar (recipe via “Town and Country” magazine February 2009)
Fresh Lime Juice
Fresh Strawberry Purée
Wet the rim of the glass and coat it with a mixture of cinnamon, cayenne and sugar.
A simple appetizer of smoked salmon, cream cheese, fresh dill (and a dash of roe?) on a cracker would be an elegant accompaniment. And don’t forget the bowls of nuts… because you’ve got to be a little crazy about the whole idea.