21 Valentine’s Day Cocktails and Mocktails

Love is in the air! <3

21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails | CaliGirlCooking.com

Since today is the last Friday before Valentine’s Day, I thought it most appropriate to put together a fun roundup of Valentine’s-themed cocktails for you.  Whether you’re planning on going out to eat, or cooking a romantic meal for two at home, I’m confident you’ll be able to find something you like here (there are even mocktails for those of you who choose to abstain from alcohol.)

The hubs and I haven’t yet decided what we’re going to do on our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple but, not to sound cliche, I’d really be happy doing anything just a little extra-special with him!

I don’t know about you, but putting together this list only made we wish that this holiday was a week long event so we would have time to try more of these delicious drinks. So, without further ado, here it is!

1. Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch
Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here.
2. Strawberry Old-Fashioned
Strawberry Old-Fashioned | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Wooden Skillet
3. Chambord Citrus Tonic
Chambord Citrus Tonic | 21 Valentines Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Berly’s Kitchen
4. Aperol Punch
Aperol Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Taste and See
5. Rosemary, Fig and Date Tequila Smash
Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirl Cooking
Recipe here.
6. The Bourbon Sweetheart
Bourbon Sweetheart | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Gastronom
7. Pomegranate Rose Gin Fizz
Pomegranate Rose Gin Fizz | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Ahu Eats
8. Whiskey Champagne Cocktail
Whiskey Champagne Cocktail | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Ann’s Entitled Life
9. Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Lime Cooler) with Coconut Water
Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Lime Cooler) with Coconut Water | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Worktop
10. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Martini
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Martini | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Just a Little Bit of Bacon
11. Cranberry Lime Mocktails
Cranberry Lime Mocktails | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on My Wife Can Cook
12. Pink Champagne Cocktail – Two Ways
Pink Champagne Cocktails - Two Ways! | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here
13. Grapefruit, Thyme and Elderflower Cocktail
Grapefruit Thyme Elderflower Cocktail | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Girl on Bloor
14. The Best Bloody Mary
The Best Bloody Mary | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Domestic Dietitian
15. Amortentia – Harry Potter Love Potion Punch
Amortentia - Harry Potter Love Potion Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Cookilicious
16. Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail
Blueberry Lemon Drop | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Platings and Pairings
17. Sparkling Elderflower Pomegranate Spritzers
Sparkling Elderflower Pomegranate Spritzers | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Home and Plate
18. Berry Mint Iced Tea
Berry Mint Iced Tea | 21 Valentine's Day Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Purple Ladle
19. Rose Sangria
Rose Sangria | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Grey is the New Black
20. Blue Q Margarita
Blue Q Margarita | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Pass Me Some Tasty
21. Raspberry Mint Gin Smash
Raspberry Mint Gin Smash | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here

A Valentine’s Day Wine and Food Pairing for Two

I’m so excited to be partnering with Hana-Lee from Wander & Wine to bring you today’s post!

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

We got together recently to create the perfect Valentine’s Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two, and let’s just say it’s so ridiculously tasty that you won’t even think twice about trying to make a reservation out somewhere to celebrate this year.

We’re talking Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade and Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction over Creamy Polenta, both paired with the most delicious wines. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect Valentine’s Day meal, I don’t know what does.

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

One of the greatest things about this blogging life is the huge network of other bloggers and entrepreneurs I’ve gotten to connect and eventually become good friends with. I feel especially lucky to have found a great group of gals living here in Santa Barbara that are in the same (or very similar) lines of work.

Hana-Lee and I first became “Insta-friends,” and it only took us oh, about six months, to actually meet IRL. Ever since, we’ve become blogging partners in crime, taking “research” trips to Napa and working up some fun collabs just like this one! Stay tuned for another simple fun collab coming in March, but until then, let’s chat about this delicious Valentine’s Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two.

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

The menu is perfect for next week’s big event for multiple reasons:

  • It looks elegant and decadent, but comes together seamlessly.
  • It has lots of red, purple and pink hues going on.
  • It is INCREDIBLY tasty and is guaranteed to wow your significant other.
  • Finally, and most importantly, it is paired with TWO delicious wines.

Does it get any better than that? I think not.

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

We start with an appetizer course of Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade. From the creamy cheese filling laced with sautéed shallots and thyme to the fruity, citrusy marmalade gracing the top, once you taste these tartlets you MIGHT not be able to go back to just any old sweet or savory tartlet. Even better, the tartlet shells, filling and marmalade can all be made up to three days in advance, which means all you need to do before serving is compose and pop in the oven for five minutes or less. See, I told you this wouldn’t be too difficult.

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

These Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade are mouth-watering on their own, but they only get better when paired with Domaine Chandon’s fruity, refreshing sparkling Rose. Click here for Hana-Lee’s in-depth wine pairing notes!

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

For the main dish, we created these Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction and Creamy Polenta that, although not difficult to prepare, are far from your average weeknight dinner. You’ll want to start by making the polenta because, although it’s incredibly easy to make from scratch, it does take about 45 minutes to come together (most of that just sitting simmering away on the stove.) If you’re really in a pinch, you could use pre-made polenta, but seriously, once you try making it yourself once, you’ll realize it’s not any more difficult. We also graced our homemade polenta with a hearty handful of aged gouda cheese, which lends the perfect salty, savory kick to the entire dish.

Next, you’ll want to get the Blackberry Reduction simmering away on the stove. Sweet, tart and savory all at once, I’m very confident that once you master the basics of a reduction like this, you’ll feel liberated with all of the different ingredient combinations you can use to make the perfect topping for any meal.

The lamb lollipops are going to be the last step, as they’re both the quickest and the easiest to put together. We simply take a garlic and rosemary concoction and rub it all over the chops, then sear them off in a cast iron skillet (although you could use any nonstick skillet or even the grill if you’re so inclined.)

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

Once you have all of these components made, these Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction and Creamy Polenta come together quickly and painlessly. Scoop a heaping pile of the creamy polenta onto whatever serving dish you choose (the individual gratin dishes we used worked perfectly, you can find similar ones here,) top with a lamp lollipop, and then drizzle on the thick, glossy blackberry reduction.

We paired this entrée dish with Tablas Creek Vineyard’s 2014 Patelin de Tablas, a Rhone-style blend made up of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Counoise. Click here for Hana-Lee’s notes on this delicious pairing.

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

With two delicious courses and two just-as-delicious wine pairings, we’re guessing you won’t have too much room for dessert. But, just in case you have a little sweet tooth that needs tending to, here are some options for a third and final course:

A Valentine's Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

And there you have it! The perfect Valentine’s Day Wine and Food Pairing for Two. So cancel your reservations, put on some slow tunes and light some candles for a romantic night in. Your significant other deserves it, and you do too. XO

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

These savory tartlets are creamy and decadent and topped with a brilliant red marmalade. The perfect appetizer to pair with a sparkling rose!

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 4 tartlets
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice water, as needed
  • Special Equipment: Four 4-inch nonstick tartlet pans
For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 5 ounces triple cream soft cheese (We used Delice de Bourgogne)
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Pinch of pepper
For the marmalade:
  • 6 blood oranges
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cointreau
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions
To make the crust:
  1. Combine all crust ingredients (except ice water) in a food processor. Pulse until crumbly. Add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms. Remove from food processer and shape into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to ¼-inch thickness (you may need to let the dough warm up slightly before trying to roll it.) Cut dough into fourths and shape into tartlet pans, crimping the edges as needed.

  3. Place tartlet pans on a small rimmed baking sheet and bake in 400-degree oven for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove and let cool completely. If you’re not composing the tartlets that day, wrap the pans in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to use.

To make the filling:
  1. In a small saute pan, melt the butter. Once butter is melted, add the minced shallots and thyme and saute until fragrant and translucent. Transfer mixture to a small mixing bowl. 

  2. Add your triple cream cheese, crème fraiche and pepper to the mixing bowl and use a spatula to combine all of the ingredients. If you’re not composing the tartlets right away, transfer filling to a resealable container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. 

To make the marmalade (you will have extra marmalade left over, but that means all the more to put on your toast in the morning!):
  1. Using a microplane, gather 1 cup grated blood orange zest (being careful not to scrape the bitter white pith.) 

  2. Once you have the zest, peel the blood oranges and gather 2 cups of pulp, squeezing it out of the translucent white membrane that’s segments the orange into slices. 

  3. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the zest, pulp, Cointreau, lemon juice and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer until mixture is thick and reduced, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. If not composing the tartlets right away, transfer to a resealable container and keep refrigerated for up to three days. 

To compose the tartlets:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Use a spatula to put the filling into a piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag (no piping tip needed) and pipe it into each of the tart shells. Use a small spatula to spread it and make it even. 

  3. Place tartlets on a small rimmed baking sheet and place in oven for just 5 minutes (you might not even need this much time, you just want the cheese to get melty so keep an eye on it!)

  4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Top with a scoop of the blood orange marmalade and serve immediately.

 

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta
Prep Time
55 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
 

Rosemary and garlic crusted lamb lollipops are placed over a bed of creamy, cheesy homemade polenta and topped with a perfectly balanced blackberry reduction.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the polenta:
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup shredded aged Gouda cheese
  • Salt and pepper
For the reduction:
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup red wine (it would be best to use the Tablas Creek here)
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
For the lamb lollipops:
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bone-in lamb chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
To make the polenta:
  1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, slowly pour in the cornmeal, whisking as you pour to avoid clumps. 

  2. Turn down heat to a low simmer and let cook for about 40 minutes, whisking every 10 minutes. If polenta gets too thick at the end of this, simply add a bit more water. 

  3. Whisk in butter in two parts, then stir in Gouda cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Keep polenta over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.

To make the reduction:
  1. Combine all ingredients (except butter) in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a heavy simmer. Turn down heat slightly and let simmer until mixture is reduced by at least half. 

  2. Remove thyme sprigs from sauce and remove sauce from heat. Whisk in butter continuously until it is completely melted, or your sauce will break. Return to very low heat until ready to serve.

To make the lamb lollipops:
  1. In a small bowl, form the herb rub by combining the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place the lamb lollipops on a plate and rub the herb mixture all over both sides. Let lamb sit with the herb rub on it for 20 minutes if possible. 

  2. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot, add the lamb lollipops (you should hear a big sizzle when you put them on.) Cook the lamb lollipops for about 5 minutes each side, or until they get a nice dark golden crust. Remove from heat and let rest for about 10 minutes before plating.

To plate the dish:
  1. Scoop a large spoonful of polenta into two individual gratin dishes. Place a lamb lollipop on top of each dish, then spoon the blackberry reduction over top. Serve immediately.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

Scallop Sundae

Love is in the air!

Scallop Sundae | CaliGirl Cooking

I have to apologize that I have not hopped on the Valentine’s Day recipe bandwagon sooner. I got a little bit excited about all of the fun Super Bowl recipes I had to share with you! But now that is behind us and we are ready to move on with life. (For the record, yay for the Broncos win, but what an uneventful game, don’t ya think?)

Now I have basically the rest of this week to share a couple of delicious new recipes with you that will be great for Valentine’s Day, but also really for any other night of the week when you want a little something special for the dinner table. I’ll also do you a favor and direct you to some other CaliGirl Cooking creations that would be just splendid food stuffs to serve for this Hallmark holiday…

If you’re more into breakfast in bed, you could try these sweet Baked Whiskey-Soaked Apple Fritters with Maple Whiskey Glaze or the more savory Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi.

Or, if you’ll be celebrating “Gal-entine’s Day” instead (which I think is a great idea BTW) then you can pair these Lychee Lightnings with Crab Zucchini Stuffing Cakes or this Tropical Rum Runner with Mango Salsa.

If you want to impress your man and don’t like the idea of a Scallop Sundae (but how dare you, because it’s delicious), you could always start off the evening with a Blackberry Bourbon “Jammer” paired with Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates, segue into a second course of Caramelized Leek & Parsnip Soup, and finish with the ultra-chocolatey, mouthwatering Chocolate Brie Dessert Pizza. So many options!

Scallop Sundae | CaliGirl Cooking

But enough about the recipes that I’m not featuring today, let’s talk Scallop Sundae! This was another fun dish that my dad and I created together (the trouble we get into sometimes) and I make it every time there’s a special occasion (and Valentine’s Day definitely counts as a special occasion, I’ll take any reason to celebrate, even if it’s a Hallmark holiday.) I like it as a “special occasion” dish because it’s just as easy to make for two people as it is to make for four or more.

For the recipe I’m sharing with you today (and because of this couple-centric holiday) I’ve included the ingredients for just two servings, but you can certainly double or triple it to feed however many people you’d like.

Scallop Sundae | CaliGirl Cooking

Our Scallop Sundae goes like this: We start with a base of cinnamon whipped sweet potatoes, and then pile some creamy garlic mashed potatoes on top of those. We grace the top of the taters with some beautiful, perfectly cooked, perfectly seared curry-crusted jumbo sea scallops and finally, drizzle an elderflower-grape-white wine sauce all over the top. Has your mouth started watering yet?

Scallop Sundae | CaliGirl Cooking

Scallop Sundae | CaliGirl Cooking

 

Scallop Sundae | CaliGirl Cooking

How about now??

Not only does the Scallop Sundae taste delicious, but with a little bit of finesse (and some of these) you can really make the plate presentation just as good as something you’d order at a restaurant (because who wants to brave the craziness of a romantic restaurant on Valentine’s Day?) This dish is bursting with spices and flavor and is finished off with just the right amount of sweet creaminess from the sauce.  You definitely want to do yourself a favor and start sourcing the juiciest, freshest jumbo sea scallops you can find so you’re stocked and ready to make this come Sunday. Who’s with me?

Scallop Sundae | CaliGirl Cooking

Scallop Sundae

Yield: Serves 2

Delicious, mouthwatering, curry-crusted scallops served on top of a medley of mashed potatoes and finished with a delicious elderflower-grape-white wine sauce.

Ingredients

    To make the cinnamon-whipped sweet potatoes:
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Salt & pepper
    To make the garlic mashed potatoes:
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Salt & pepper
    To make the scallops:
  • 6-8 jumbo sea scallops (fresh is best)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    To make the elderflower-grape-white wine sauce:
  • ½ cup elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain)
  • ½ cup green grapes, sliced and quartered
  • ½ cup sparkling wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
    Additional ingredients:
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil

Instructions

  1. Begin by boiling both types of potatoes. Since you’re only using one of each type, you can certainly use the same saucepan. Place potatoes in saucepan and fill with water so that there’s ½ - 1 inch above the potatoes themselves. Place on a burner over high heat. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down (but still simmering) and cook potatoes until you can easily stab a fork through them. Once potatoes are done, strain them and separate the sweet potato from the baking potato into two separate bowls.
  2. In the bowl with the sweet potato, add the cinnamon, butter and milk. Mash by hand or using a hand mixer until all ingredients are combined. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl with the baking potato, add the garlic, butter and milk. Follow the same process as above.
  4. Begin cooking the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the elderflower liqueur, grapes and sparkling wine. Do not add the butter yet. If sauce begins bubbling too much, lower the heat. You want the sauce at a constant gentle simmer.
  5. Prep the scallops: Combine curry powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place scallops on a plate and coat them in the curry mixture, covering all sides.
  6. Add 1-2 tablespoons butter and 1-2 tablespoons canola oil (these are your “additional ingredients”) to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Heat pan until it sizzles when you splash some water on it. This means it’s hot enough to give the scallops a good sear. Carefully add scallops to the hot pan, being sure not to overcrowd. If you need to, sear the scallops in two batches.
  7. Sear the scallops on the first side for 3-5 minutes, or until they are opaque about two-thirds of the way up. Flip over for 2-3 minutes to finish cooking. It’s important that you do not overcook the scallops. They will continue to cook for a bit after you remove them from the heat, so keep that in mind.
  8. Finish off the sauce by adding the two tablespoons of butter. Stir to melt and incorporate.
  9. Now it’s time to plate! Start with a base of the cinnamon whipped sweet potatoes. You can either just plop a scoop onto the plate, or use one of these culinary rings if you want to be fancy. Top the cinnamon whipped sweet potatoes with the garlic mashed potatoes. Top with 3-4 scallops, then drizzle the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Notes

Wine Pairing Note: Because there is sparkling wine in the sauce, some of the same would be the perfect pairing for this dish. It would also be great with a Chardonnay that has a perfect balance of acidity and creaminess.

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Scallop Sundae | CaliGirl Cooking

Sundaes on Sunday? I’m all about it.