The price of a dozen long-stemmed red roses skyrockets around Valentine’s Day. But romantic as they may be, roses are also as fleeting as the holiday itself. For a fresh twist on an expensive cliché, treat your beloved to a cocktail inspired by those classic red petals. Although sipping your roses may not last as long as displaying them in a vase, it’s certainly more delicious. And you don’t have to change the water or worry about those pesky thorns.
For a modern take on “flowers and chocolate” this Valentine’s Day, mix up the suggestively named Naked Chocolate Martini, garnished with edible rose petals and chocolate shavings. Washington, D.C.’s Hank’s Oyster Bar knows all about the aphrodisiac, and Managing Partner Sandy Lewis created this sexy libation to help use up the chocolate remnants left over from chunks given to diners at the end of their meal. Lewis prefers German Schokinag, but any high-quality bittersweet chocolate can be substituted. The cocktail is flavorful without being too sweet, and the rose petals add a dramatic splash of color to the clear concoction. Sipping it after a romantic dinner at home may even persuade you to don the suggested attire.
Hank’s Naked Chocolate Martini
Courtesy of Hank’s Oyster Bar, Washington, D.C.
2 ounces Stoli Vanilla Vodka
1/4 ounce White Cream de Cacao
Bittersweet chocolate shavings (Hank’s prefers Schokinag, but any high-quality Bittersweet chocolate may be substituted)
Edible red rose petals*
Sprinkle bittersweet chocolate shavings onto a flat saucer. Invert a chilled martini glass onto the plate, and turn the glass to coat the rim with the chocolate. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the Stoli Vanilla Vodka and White Crème de Cacao. Shake until well chilled. Strain into rimmed martini glass, and garnish with a few edible rose petals.
*Edible rose petals are available at Whole Foods Market and other organic markets.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply as you pick up the Prickly Pear Margarita with Rose Water Air at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, and you’ll swear you are holding a fresh bouquet. This aromatic version of the margarita is topped with rose water and soy lecithin, blended to create a fragrant foam garnish. Chef Joe Raffa thought it would be fun to work with the often-overlooked prickly pear, whose bright pink color is perfect for the February holiday. The drink is floral yet approachable, with a nice acidic finish that complements the Tequila and keeps the drink balanced. If you can’t find prickly pear purée, Raffa suggests using the same amount of pomegranate juice, which will result in a deeper red color and tarter flavor.
Prickly Pear Margarita with Rose Water Air
Courtesy of Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Washington, D.C.
1 ounce Herradura Silver Tequila
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
2 ounces prickly pear purée* (may substitute pomegranate juice)
Rose water air (recipe follows)
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add first four ingredients, and shake vigorously until it is almost too cold to hold. Strain the margarita into a stemless martini glass.
Spoon rose air foam (not the liquid) gently onto the top of the margarita.
*Prickly pear purée can be found in organic, Asian or Latin markets.
Rose Water Air
3 ounces rose water*
9 ounces distilled water
1 teaspoon soy lecithin powder**
Combine all ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until a thick layer of foam appears.
*Rose water is available at drugstores. Oyamel uses Cortes brand, but any available brand may be used.
**Soy lecithin powder is available at health food stores.
Kelly Magyarics is a wine educator and freelance writer in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her Web site, www.trywine.net.