Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Bollocks to Valentine's Day: Surviving the 14th February one (strong) cocktail at a time

Heart-shaped balloons, teddy bears, overpriced roses and chocolates all point to one, unavoidable fact: it’s Valentine's Day! If you're looking for something special to do with a loved one, see our previous posts, (Valentine's Wines, Bargain Spirits For Your Valentine or Alcoholic Tips To Make Valentine's Day Run Smoothly), but if you are one of the many who hate the mass-produced and (arguably) pointless nature of the V day, read on...

These are simple, last-minute cocktails perfect for toasting your alone-ness. You will either already have the ingredients, or they will be readily available in a local shop, so it won't be tricky to drown your sorrows or raise a glass to being a 'strong, independent human'.

Something Angry

Firstly, if you’re on the war path, and need something red and spicy, it has to be The Ultimate Bloody Mary (feel free to change the person's name to suit):

  • Vodka - a good glug of between 25-35ml (I prefer the crisper styles, like Chase)
  • Worcestershire sauce (a lot)
  • Tomato Juice (100ml ish)
  • Horseradish (a small teaspoon, but add more if you like it hot)
  • Tabasco (if you need a little more heat)
  • Half a lemon, and celery to finish
Shake it!

1. It’s best to mix the vodka, Worcestershire and horseradish together at the start, then top up with the tomato juice.
2. Make sure you give it a good shake or stir to combine everything, and then pop a little black pepper, a touch of lemon and celery to garnish. 
3. Add the Tabasco to taste, as the horseradish will already give it some warmth.

                           Something Bitter
Feeling bitter about it? Try this classic combination of gin with bitter lemon, for a delicious, easy twist on the classic G&T. The wonderful thing about this is you don’t need to use a great gin; any cupboard staple will do (although I personally try to go for the best quality I can afford). Make it nice and strong, and serve with ice.

Gin in first (as strong as you like), top up with Bitter Lemon (Schweppes do one, and Fever Tree do a bettter one). 
If you’re feeling particularly lonely/bored/have time, you could make your own Bitter Lemon, using this recipe.
Garnish with Lemon; not lime or cucumber. If you did want a little twist, try a lime or orange infused vodka. Tradition is that you drink it without a straw, either in a long glass or in a cheeky martini glass. Bottoms up.

The Ex-Boyfriend (or Girlfriend) cocktail recipe

  • 50ml Orange or Vanilla vodka (normal is fine if you don’t have this)
  • 40ml Orange juice
  • 40ml Pineapple juice
  • 40ml Cranberry Juice 
This is a pretty simple, pretty cheap, but delicious cocktail. The addition of vanilla is a perfect one; if you are unable to get this through the vodka, you can pop a teeny bit of food flavouring in. 

Serve over lots of ice. If you’re having a "Galentine's" get-together, or a party, this works perfectly for a fruity punch with a bold kick of Vodka for good measure.

How are you avoiding Valentine's this year?

Images taken from T Young, Mighty June, LUPEC Phoenix, and willrichard87's photostreams respectively, under the creative commons license.

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