5 Sexy Valentine’s Day Cocktails for Setting the Mood

For a truly special evening, whip up these delicious aphrodisiac cocktails. Trust me: she’ll thank you.

5 Sexy Valentine’s Day Cocktails for Setting the Mood

For a truly special evening, whip up these delicious aphrodisiac cocktails. Trust me: she’ll thank you.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means you're probably deep into special date-night preparations. No doubt you’ve booked the best table at a gorgeous restaurant, scooped up some fresh roses and Swiss-made chocolates, and even nestled away your finest bottle of bubbly. (If you haven’t yet, we’re here to help!)

To elevate your evening, I’m going to offer you some advice that may sound like Valentine’s Day heresy: ditch the traditional Champagne and craft a cocktail for your sweetie instead. Specifically: an aphrodisiac cocktail.

Yes, these are proven, libido-boosting drinks filled with things like pomegranates, watermelon, cherries, and other potent ingredients that contain all of the right vitamins and nutrients for stimulating blood flow, lowering stress, and positively affecting the right neurotransmitters. These are special drinks that could very well mean the difference between a typical night out and an evening she will truly remember.

So why not channel Aphrodite herself and whip up some mood-setters that will stimulate your senses and have you feeling extra-amorous? You’ll thank me later. And once you've mastered these romantic concoctions, really boost your bar-man skills with these 20 Cocktails Every Man Needs to Know.

The KISStini

Ah, the pomegranate. Just looking at one will make you feel sexy—that voluptuous rose husk, those plump, juicy seeds. Well, it turns out that those seeds, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research and performed at the Male Clinic in Beverly Hills, are also an explosion of antioxidants that support blood flow and help with erectile dysfunction. Need I say more?

Ingredients:

1 ½ oz good quality Vodka (For the record: I prefer Tito's for this cocktail)
2 oz Pomegranate Juice
1 tsp Pomegranate Seeds
1 Lime
1 tsp Cointreau (or orange liquor of choice)
Powdered Sugar
Whole Fresh Cranberries (1 needed per cocktail)
1 Mint Sprig
1 toothpick

How to Make It:

—Chill your martini glass for at least 5 minutes prior to making.

—While chilling, cut your lime into four wedges. Slit one wedge horizontally in the center so that you can rim the glass neatly. Pour powdered sugar onto a small plate. Use enough so that you will be able to dip your glass into it. Snip an end off of your mint sprig. Poke a hole into a cranberry in the center with a toothpick so that your mint sprig will go into it easily without breaking. Place the base of the mint sprig into the cranberry to make your mint floater garnish.

—Pour the Cointreau into the chilled glass over the sink. Roll it around so that it coats the entire inside of the glass, then pour out the excess. Slide the slit lime wedge around the entire rim of the glass then discard. Place the martini glass upside down into the powdered sugar to rim it. Spoon a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds into the bottom of the glass. (This is always a fun surprise when you get to the bottom!)

—Fill your cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour the Vodka and pomegranate juice in and shake it up. Pour into the glass and then float the mint-cranberry garnish on top.

Watermelon Crush

According to a study by Texas A&M University, watermelon may deliver “Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels” and speed up circulation. Meanwhile, honey—also in this cocktail—contains boron, which helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels, which can increase both male and female desire. After all, there’s a reason why honey is time-honored symbol of procreation. Fun fact: the word “honeymoon” got its name from mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey given to the happy new bride and groom.

Ingredients:

2 oz Silver Tequila
4 chunks of Watermelon (Muddled)
1 Watermelon wedge for garnish
½ oz Honey Syrup (see below)
½ oz fresh Lime Juice
1 Basil Leaf (Chopped in a Chiffonade)

How to Make it:

—For the Honey Syrup: Put two parts of honey and one part water in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir until the honey is completely dissolved.

—In a small bowl, muddle the watermelon. Place the tequila, honey syrup and lime into a *shaker filled half-way with ice and shake well.

—Fill a glass with ice and pour the muddled watermelon into the glass. Pour tequila mixture from shaker into the glass.

—Sprinkle the chopped basil inside. Garnish with a watermelon wedge. Cheers!

Rum Cherry

Cherries are packed with feel-good vitamins A, C, and E, as well as potassium, magnesium, folate, and iron—all great things for circulation. Plus, cherries are downright sexy. Don’t they conjure thoughts of red lips—or of someone tying the stem into a knot with his or her tongue? (OK, maybe that’s just me.)

Ingredients:

1 ½ oz White Rum
5 Cherries (with one separated out for garnish). Since fresh cherries are not in season in February, use frozen cherries, thawed.
½ oz Honey Syrup (see below)
½ oz fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Luxardo Maraschino Liquor (Available at the Chelsea Wine Vault in NYC.)
1 Rosemary Sprig

How to Make it:

—Again, for honey syrup: Put two parts of honey and one part water in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir until the honey is completely dissolved.

—In a small bowl, muddle 4 cherries. Pour the rum, Maraschino liquor, honey syrup & lemon juice into a shaker over ice. Shake well.

—Place ice into a glass and pour the muddled cherries into the glass. Pour the rum mixture into the glass. Garnish with rosemary sprig and one cherry. (Note: You may also garnish with a maraschino cherry.)

Aviation

The aviation is an old-school classic that was invented in the early 20th century but fell out of favor until a few years ago because it was next-to-impossible to find one of its key ingredients, Crème de Violette. Thankfully, Austrian liqueur maker Rothman & Winter has brought Crème de Violette back just in time for us to “smell the flowers” for Valentine’s Day. This drink also contains cherries, and the liqueur will provide plenty of sexy, floral scents, which is guaranteed to heighten the mood.

Ingredients:

1 ½ oz Gin
¼ Marachino Liquor
¼ oz Crème de Violette
½ oz fresh Lemon Juice
1 Marachino or Fresh Cherry for garnish

How to Make it:

—Pour the 1st 4 ingredients into a shaker filled half-way with ice, and shake well. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the cherry. Now get ready for take-off!

Champagne and Roses

Valentine’s Day and roses go hand-in-hand, don’t they? Well, why not double down on the romance factor by bringing your girl a cocktail that actually combines the two? Trust me—you will definitely score major points here.

Ingredients:

Note: For your bubbles here, choose a dry-style wine to offset the touch of sweetness that comes from the Rose Liquor. Franciacorta is the “Champagne” of Italy, and Cava is the “Champagne” of Spain. I love these options as they are both made in the Methode Champenoise (the same method as is used to make Champagne), so these are high quality bubbles at a friendlier price point! Franciacorta can be found at specialty shops, such as Eataly Wine Shop in New York City, while most wine shops carry Cava.

*Ca’del Bosco Franciacorta (or a dry Champagne or Cava)
1 oz Rose Liquor

Fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or thinly sliced apples for garnish

How to Make It:

—Pour chilled Champagne into flute. Take a small spoon and tilt it into the side of the glass. Slowly pour the Rose liquor down the side of the glass. It will sink to the bottom creating a beautiful “Sunset Like” cocktail.

—Garnish with fresh fruit.

—Don’t forget to smell the roses before you taste them! Cheers!

Shana Wall is a New York City-based certified sommelier and chef. Follow her on Instagram @ShanaWall for more info.