Recipe for a ‘bittersweet’ Valentine’s Day at home

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I don’t like Valentine’s Day.

And it’s not just because I select the “single” box on important documents. I know plenty of people in relationships who don’t like Valentine’s Day either.

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There’s an enormous amount of pressure to get your sweetheart something thoughtful (read: expensive) to show how much you care. You know when you should do that? Well, every day, but specifically on your anniversary, and birthdays, and Christmas. There are plenty of other times to tell someone you love them throughout the year, but instead, everyone feels the pressure to make a dinner reservation somewhere fancy, squeeze into a booth and overpay for a plate of surf and turf.

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You know what I think is a more appropriate, cost-effective and fun way to spend Valentine’s Day? Have some delicious cocktails in the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re drinking with your sweetie, your fellow single friends, or if you’re drowning your singledom sorrows alone, Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to stay in your PJs and whip up something festive in a glass.

Festive for me is a stiff drink that’s slightly bitter. Not because I am bitter, per se, but I’m trying it on and I think it fits.

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I’m whipping up two cocktails, a “his” and a “hers” with one common component: Campari. Campari is an Italian liqueur. It is an infusion of herbs and citrus fruit that’s a deep red color and is extremely bitter. But when mixed with the right ingredients, it can create a beautifully balanced drink. So now for the good part, the cocktails:


1 oz. Campari

1 oz. rye whiskey

½ oz. sweet vermouth

Splash of grapefruit soda

Served on the rocks and garnished with kumquat


1 oz. tequila

1 oz. Campari

½ oz. grapefruit juice

¼ oz. lemon juice

¼ oz. simple syrup

1 egg white

Shake ingredients vigorously in a cocktail tin, strain into a martini glass and garnish with Angostura bitters.

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