If you don’t have romantic plans for Valentine’s Day, how about inviting friends for cocktails?

You can set up a bar buffet with pitchers of three or four red or rosy cocktails:

  • Bloody Mary
  • Cranberry Mimosa
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Crantini
  •  
    Other options:

  • Mulled wine, perfect for February.
  • Kir, white wine poured atop crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur).
  •  
     
    THE BUBBLY OPTION

    Sparkling wine is perhaps the most festive way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In fact, to keep things simple, you can simply serve sparkling wine.

    You don’t have to spring for champagne. Here are much more affordable sparkling wines.
     
    HAVE A KIR PARTY

    Want a theme? Have a Kir party.

    The drink was named after Félix Kir, a mayor of the city of Dijon in Burgundy (the same city of mustard fame).

    As an apéritif, he added a splash of crème de cassis, a liqueur specialty of Burgundy, to aligote, a local still white wine.

    The “Kir,” as it was known, became very popular and led to a the Kir Royale, substituting Champagne for the still wine*.

    Your menu can include:

  • Kir for those who don’t like bubbly.
  • Kir Royale, sparkling wine with crème de cassis.
  • Poinsettia, sparkling wine with cranberry liqueur.
  • Other liqueur: Chambord, framboise, or any other pink, red or purple liqueur you may have.
  • Straight sparkling or still wine for those who don’t want any sweetness.
  •  
    For an easy party, set out still white wine, sparkling wine, and two or more liqueurs.

    Add your favorite nibbles, including some Valentine chocolate.

    It’s a DIY Kir Valentine Party!
     
     
    RECIPE: KIR OR KIR ROYALE

    Ingredients

  • Sparkling or still white wine
  • Crème de cassis
  • Optional garnish: blackberries or raspberries or on a pick.
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ADD 1 tablespoon or more of liqueur to each wine glass or champagne flute. The less liqueur, the drier the drink; the more liqueur, the sweeter and fruitier the drink.

    2. FILL up each glass with wine or champagne. You can stir the wine to blend the two ingredients, but give champagne only one delicate swirl with a swizzle stick. Otherwise, you break some of the bubbles.
     
     
    ________________

    *There are many variations of Kir and Kir Royale using different liqueurs. Take a look.

     


    [1] Kir: dry white wine with crème de cassis, blackcurrant liqueur (photo © Stuart Webster | Wikipedia).

    Cranberry Kir Royale
    [2] For a Kir Royale, switch still wine for bubbly (photo © Ocean Spray).


    [3] Creme de cassis, a liqueur made of blackcurrants (photo © DeKuyper).


    [4] Blackcurrants (photo © Currant C).

     

      


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