A favorite sweet treat: the Cosmopolitan. Here’s the recipe (photo courtesy Kitchen Swagger).
 For savory palates, the Bloody Mary is spot on. Here are recipes (photo courtesy Bonefish Grill).
 Pink sparkling: affordable and delicious (photo courtesy Martini & Rossi).
A couple of years ago, we proposed a Valentine’s Day dinner/buffet with all pink and red foods.
This year, we’re taking things easy: just cocktails and light appetizers. And we’re going one step easier:
Make pitchers of Cosmopolitans and Bloody Marys in advance
Break out the bubbly: bottles of affordable rosé sparkling wines
Red liqueurs: crème de cassis, passionfruit (Alizé), raspberry (Chambord), red apple schnapps
Fruity red wines (Beaujolais, Pinot Noir)
White wine and creme de cassis (which makes a rose-colored Kir, or Kir Royale (with sparkling wine))
You can also offer:
Club soda/mineral water
Red/pink juices: blackberry, blood orange, cherry, cranberry, grapefruit, pink lemonade, pomegranate, prickly pear
For the alcohol averse:
We’ve omitted organic rose petals in favor of garnishes that everyone likes to eat.
Blood orange wedges
Don’t forget the ice!
If you’re inviting a cohort of friends who ask “What can I bring,” assign them a pink or red appetizer. Here are some ideas:
Bruschetta with strawberry-basil or tomato topping
Crudités: red bell peppers, radishes, cherry tomatoes, red Belgian endive, etc., with red pepper dip (you can include some celery, fennel or other pale vegetables for variety
Goat cheese log rolled in pink peppercorns
Hot dogs in jelly-mustard dip
Pink deviled eggs (soak peeled whole eggs in beet juice or food color)
Poached shrimp with cocktail sauce
Salmon sushi rolls (maki)
Shrimp spread with crackers Shrimp tea sandwiches
Smoked salmon or gravlax platter
Smoked salmon pinwheels or tea sandwiches
Smoked salmon rillettes
Strawberry bruschetta (recipe)
Taramasalata (Greek caviar dip) with crackers or party breads
Tuna sushi and spicy tuna rolls
You can also assign a Valentine soundtrack to the group’s musicologist.
Next step: Send out a brief invite.
THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food