If you’re thinking of celebrating Valentine’s Day next week with a lovely glass of something, then it would be wrong of me not to share a couple of ideas. From pink cocktails to rosé fizz to a simple glass of rosé wine … it’s about time we had a treat or two don’t you think?
Mermaid Pink Gin Me My Valentine
(Mermaid Pink Gin is RRP £38, Tescos, M&S, Waitrose)
The gin is crafted on the Isle of Wight, using strawberries and the award-winning original Mermaid Gin as its base.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the ‘kit’ to make a cocktail. When the recipe calls for a cocktail shaker, use a clean, glass jar; or even a flask, or water bottle.
Muddle three strawberries in the shaker of choice, add 20ml lemon juice; 5ml agave syrup and 25ml Mermaid Pink Gin.
Shake with ice, strain and pour into a glass. Top with strawberry kombucha. Garnish with strawberry and some basil.
Jaisalmer Indian Negroni
(Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin is RRP £34.95, Amazon, The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt)
If you’ve visited my drinks-laced world before, you’ll know that one of my ‘discoveries’ in recent months has been a negroni.
“No!” I’d cry for years, “I don’t like a negroni!”
But put me in lockdown for months with a cocktail-loving daughter and at the other end, I emerge butterfly-like, smitten. Last year we celebrated Galentines, not Valentines, and began with a negroni.
Jalsaimer has 11 botanicals, seven of which are sourced from India, including Darjeeling Green Tea.
For the deep pink-shaded negroni, take 25ml Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin, 25ml Sweet Vermouth and 25ml Campari and stir them all over ice until chilled. Then pour.
(RRP £34, Amazon and pinkstergin.com)
Ooo, la, la, I’m feeling a bit risqué adding this one, as it’s not pink, but it’s cheekily naked.
The guys at Pinkster Gin have released its juniper-rich base gin as Naked Pinkster.
All gin begins life as a vodka; and is then distilled with botanicals to create the flavoursome gins we all love. The Pinkster ‘pink’ is created from macerating the spirit with fresh raspberries.
Here Pinkster has left out the ‘pinkster’ process; and the gin shines in its own right. Do you dare to go naked at Valentine’s?
Calvet Crémant Bordeaux Brut Rosé
(Ocado, £10.50 if you order by Feb 15, saving £2.50)
Well, it just has to be fizz at Valentine’s.
A crémant is one of my favourite things.
It has a deep pink colour, from the grape varieties cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Aromas of strawberries and raspberries, with a hint of biscuit, burst out of the glass.
Roche Lacour Rosé 2019, Crémant Limoux AOC
And to another crémant; this one from the south of France where it is thought the monks of Saint Hilaire mastered sparkling wine methods in 1531, years ahead of Dom Pérignon of Champagne fame.
My favourite black grape, pinot noir, brings its delicate hue and red fruit characteristics to this dry, classic, sparkling wine.
Limited Edition Conte Priuli Oro Rosa Prosecco Rosé NV
(£10,Marks & Spencer)
This sparkler is delicious; one of the best pink proseccos I’ve ever tasted.
It is made exclusively for M&S and is packed with red fruit flavours of redcurrants, raspberries and strawberry last a long time on your palate after you’ve sipped. And sipped again.
After all, it is a celebration.
Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé
(RRP £36, Waitrose)
A beautiful English sparkling wine is a dream made in heaven.
Or, in this case, in the South Downs.
This wine has bubbles that are giddy to see you; and those feelings are very much reciprocated.
It is made like champagne, with the same grape varieties as champagne, and by golly it sips like champagne.
Red fruits are characterful and the chardonnay adds crispness and orchard fruits.
Spar Vine & Bloom Rosé
If you prefer a pink without the bubbles (there are a few of you out there) then this wine from Spar is not only good on the pennies, but also fragrant with brambly berries and floral notes.
The retailer’s own range is now very much ALL vegan.
If you’re settling into your love nest with a vegan meal, it might be right up your street.
More from One Foot in the Grapes: All you need to know about pink prosecco