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02.07 Liquid Romance


By Leslie Marin

Here’s the perfect pretty-in-pink cocktail to go along with an evening of romance and passion…The Valentini. This recipe yields 12 drink servings.

Gather Valentini cocktail martini ingredients:

Currant-flavored vodka (try Absolut Kurant Vodka, Kremly Black Currant, Cristall Black Currant, Georgieskaya Black Currant Vodka, or Danzka Currant Vodka) champagne, raspberry schnapps, lime juice.

Add 2 1/4 cups of currant-flavored vodka into a martini shaker filled with chipped ice.
Add 1 1/4 cups of champagne (If you like things on the sweet side, substitute an Asti sparkling wine.)
Pour in 3/4 of a cup of raspberry Schnapps (try DeKuyper, Hiram Walker, Tambourine Mountain, Teichenne, or Phillips)
Add 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed limes.
Shake vigorously and strain ingredients.
Pour Valentini cocktail into martini glasses.
Garnish Valentini with a lime sliver or edible rose petal.
Toast one another, and take a sip of the drink.

Repeat steps 10 and 11…and then make up your own step 13…as in LUCKY 13!

Want to celebrate with a bottle of bubbly but can’t spend big bucks? Here are our Top 5 Inexpensive Champagnes for Valentine’s Day

1) Ballatore Gran Spumante

Champagne doesn’t have to be expensive to be delicious, and Ballatore Gran Spumante proved it by winning a Double Gold Medal at the 2005 California State Fair Wine Competition it. This sweet and super-cheap sparkling wine is made from Muscat grapes grown around Asti, a town in Italy.

2) Freixenet Carta Nevada Brut

Less sweet than the Ballatore Gran Spumante, Freixenet Carta Nevada Brut is a varietal champagne from Spain that combines the macebeo, xarel-lo, and parellada grapes. It is produced by the méthode champenoise method, which requires double fermentation.

3) Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry

Still less sweet than the Freixenet Brut, this cheap méthode champenoise champagne has a clean, sparkling taste with just a hint of fruit flavor.

4) Mumm Cuvee Napa Brut Prestige

If you prefer to get your champagne from California, you can’t do much better than the award-winning and extremely bubbly Mumm Cuvee Napa Brut Prestige.

5) Dom Ste Michelle Blanc de Blanc

A cheap champagne with a lot of personality, Washington State’s Dom Ste Michelle Blanc de Blanc was named a best buy by Wine Spectator magazine. Discriminating palates will detect spice and pear flavors.

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