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Valentine Cocktails

Special Drinks For Your Valentine

What is the most romantic day of the year? Besides your wedding anniversary, if you're married, it would have to be February 14th. Yes, St. Valentine's Day. But what is this day all about, and what makes millions of people buy cards, dine out, give chocolates and cute little cuddle bears for their loved ones? No, a magic love potion is not secretly sprayed into the air. It has to do with tradition and for a closer look at that we need to go back a gazillion years.

The time was 269 A.D. The place was somewhere between marble pillars in legendary Rome. On the throne was an ogre of a ruler who called himself Emperor Claudius the II. Noted for his authoritarian rule and iron fist, Claudius was as unromantic as they come.

He was only concerned about a couple of things. The first was military strength. This was Rome's building time and Claudius was concerned about getting his military up to strength to start conquering the rest of the world. There was only one problem. The young men of the lands were not rushing in droves to sign-up.

Claudius believed that the young men preferred to stay in the warm embraces of their wives rather then in the skin chaffing leather armor of his military. The answer to his dilemma seemingly was simple enough: outlaw all marriages by young men.

A young priest known for his criticism of the Emperor heard about the new decree. He went by the name of none other than: Valentine. The young priest thought that the decree was unjust and continued to marry young couples in secret. Eventually, the Emperor found-out about Valentine's scheme and threw him into a dark prison dungeon. On that fateful day, February 14th, Valentine was executed and ever since he's remembered for putting the power of love above all else.

In keeping with that theme, we thought it would be appropriate to present some Valentine's day cocktail recipes cocktail recipes for you to try out. The first is made with a lovely liqueur from the romantic Italian corner. It is known as Disaronno Amaretto. It is thought that a young Renaissance artist name Bernadino Luini, was commissioned paint a fresco of the Madonna. Bernadino needed a person to pose for the painting and asked a beautiful young widow to be the model. They worked together for many months and grew deeply in love with each other. The widow created a sweet almond tasting liquor called Disaronno and presented it to Bernadino as a sign of her devotion. The recipe for the delectable liquor has remained unchanged since she first made it in 1525. Disaronno literally means: "of" or "from Saronno." His fresco painting can still be viewed in the chapel of Sante Maria Delle Grazie in Saronno.

Disaronno Mimosa


Disaronno Amaretto 0.5 Cup
Champagne 750 ml
Orange Juice 3 Cups

Liquid volume = 1625ml*
Alcohol by volume (ABV) = 7.7%*
* Please note: Volume and ABV values are approximations only.

Please note: The above quantities are sufficient for approximately 12 drinks.
In a pitcher stir together the orange juice and Disaronno Amaretto. Half fill each of 6 Champagne flutes with the Disaronno and orange juice blend. Top up with Champagne. Garnish with thinly sliced zest if desired.

Strawberry Kiss


White Rum1 Shot
Disaronno Amaretto 1 Shot
Double Cream1 Shot

Liquid volume = 75ml*
Alcohol by volume (ABV) = 22.7%*
* Please note: Volume and ABV values are approximations only.

Blend all ingredients together with ice until smooth. Then pour into a hurricane/wine glass which has a garnish of fresh strawberry on the rim.

Additional notes:
If you can't get fresh strawberries - substitute 2 scoops of strawberry ice cream instead. Garnish with fresh strawberry if desired.

San Domenico Cocktail


freshly squeezed orange juice2 ounces
Campari1/2 ounce
Cointreau or other orange liqueur 4 dashes
Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)

Pour orange juice, Campari and Cointreau in a champagne flutes in that order. Top with Prosecco and serve.

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