Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM ET
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, head Thirsty Girl Leslie Sbrocco treats Kathie Lee and Hoda to retro-chic drinks ideas packed with romance. From the classic glamour of a sparkling cocktail to hearty red wines to pair with chocolate fondue, these ideas will take you from cocktail hour through dinner to end-of-the-night gift giving in style.
Cocktails to kick off the evening
This is my modern take on the classic champagne cocktail, which pairs bubbly with brandy and sugar. Instead, I use rose cava from Spain and infuse it with a dash of lightly sweet, elegant Chamomile liqueur:
Ruby G&T (gin & tonic)
Taking one of the standards of the cocktail world, the gin and tonic, I've turned it into a Valentine’s night sip. Use top quality tonic and gin then add pomegranate seeds frozen in ice cube trays to add the ruby color:
Made by the first female master gin distiller in the world, triple distilled Bloom is an aromatic and refreshingly smooth gin. Using chamomile, honeysuckle and pomelo as botanicals, this gin captures the essence of nature in a bottle.
This artisan tonic is made from hand-picked quinine from the Peruvian Andes and is sweetened with organic agave making it less caloric and sweet-tasting than other tonics.
Moving from drinks to dinner is easy if you head back to the 70’s and warm up with fondue.
Fondue brings back memories for many of us of Friday nights at home dipping frozen fruit draped in chocolate. Well folks, fondue is back. I recommend a dark chocolate called BRIX, made to pair with wine. Instead of using only sweet bites to dip in chocolate, add savory tidbits to your offering. Skewer sliced figs and bacon chunks then pair with dry-styled red wine.
Cupid would enjoy sipping this sultry red. Wines made from Malbec are perfect paired with dark chocolate, and this complex version is an affordable luxury.
End the night with a little vino and gift giving. These fun, holiday-appropriate wines are affordable allowing you or your mate to spend more money on flowers, lingerie, chocolates or other gifts…whatever your heart desires.
Leslie Sbrocco is the author of "The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide" and founder of ThirstyGirl.com.
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