Move over, Champagne. You’re not the only Valentine’s Day-appropriate sipper anymore. For those seeking to plan the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever, we suggest mixing up any of the following cocktails, which range in color from delicate blush to blood red.
But color isn’t the only thing that makes a drink a Valentine’s Day cocktail. These drinks have romance written all over them thanks to complex flavor profiles (because what relationship isn’t complex?) and attractive presentations (no further explanation required).
Ready to start pouring? We’ve got you covered.
The Best Cocktails for Valentine’s Day
The Midnight Sun Dance
Photo by Heami Lee
This blood-red cocktail, dreamed up by cocktail maven Fanny Chu, was inspired by the few weeks of summer when the sun never sets above the Arctic Circle. A marriage of vermouth, Sherry, aged rum and dry sparkling wine, this festive drink gets a sweet and acidic lift from strawberry preserves.
Get the Recipe: The Midnight Sun Dance
Forget those slushy, overly sweet strawberry daiquiris of yore. This rose-hued, grown-up version gets a lift from bitter Fernet and earthy mezcal.
Get the Recipe: A Modern Take on the Strawberry Daiquiri
The Mad About You Cocktail
Opposites attract in this unlikely drink, which throws together bourbon and Madeira wine syrup to excellent effect. Its bright red color makes this moody delight perfect for sipping with a special someone.
Get the Recipe: Bourbon and Madeira Make the Ultimate Whiskey Sour
The Classic Pink Lady
Grenadine is what makes the Pink Lady its iconic shade of pink, but gin and applejack deliver the drink’s one-two punch. The addition of one egg white delivers its characteristic foam.
Get the Recipe: The Classic Pink Lady Cocktail Recipe
Rosé French 75
This pretty-in-pink rosé-based cocktail is bubbly, refreshing and perfect for a Valentine’s Day brunch.
Get the Recipe: A French 75 Cocktail with a Rosé Twist
Bartender Sam Ng is responsible for this ruby-hued sipper, which balances the bite of its bitter Campari and lemon juice with Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, an Australian dry gin distilled with juice from Shiraz grapes.
Get the Recipe: Bloody Jasmine Cocktail
Mulled Rosé with Ginger and Grapefruit
Feeling chilled this V-Day? Warm up with this steaming treat, which recruits a plethora of pink ingredients, including dry rosé wine, pink peppercorns and grapefruit.
Get the Recipe: Mulled Rosé with Ginger and Grapefruit
This vibrantly-colored drink, already red from two bottles’ worth of red wine, gets an additional colorful boost from flor de Jamaica, a species of hibiscus used to make a strikingly red infusion with a rich citrus flavor. Meanwhile, blanco tequila and triple sec ensure this sangria delivers a solid kick.
Get the Recipe: Hibiscus Sangria (Sangria de Jamaica)
A Cosmopolitan Cocktail Perfect for Wine Lovers
Photo by Penny De Los Santos
The addition of off-dry Riesling puts a romantic spin on the classic Cosmo. Aperol lends a bitter undercurrent, while elderflower liqueur offers a lifting floral note.
Get the Recipe: A Cosmopolitan Cocktail Perfect for Wine Lovers
Aged tequila and red wine mix with maraschino liqueur to produce this sweet, booze-forward drink. A deep shade of red, it’s bound to make even the stoniest among us blush.
Get the Recipe: Reposado Martinez
St. Charles Punch
Ruby Port and Cognac make for a hearty base in this versatile sipper, which can be served either ice cold or warm like mulled wine.
Get the Recipe: A St. Charles Punch with a Port Wine Twist
Mississippi Bourbon Punch
Throwing a V-Day shindig for a crowd this year? This colorful bourbon-spiked punch will do the trick. This recipe—which also features two bottles of dry white wine, grenadine, and cranberry, orange and lime juices—serves 12 to 14 thirty souls.
Get the Recipe: Mississippi Bourbon Punch Recipe
Berry Revenge Cocktail
Some hearts can’t be mended. For them, there’s the Berry Revenge Cocktail, which calls on fiery green chile-infused vodka to produce a spicy Valentine’s Day sipper.
Get the Recipe: Berry Revenge Cocktail
Non-Alcoholic Apertif Spritz
Looking for a booze-free treat to sip this V-Day? This blush-colored number, which gets its hue from Willred’s Bittersweet Aperitif—a Campari-adjacent, zero-proof offering—delivers effervescence from sparkling water and a floral aroma from elderflower syrup.
Get the Recipe: Non-Alcoholic Apertif Spritz
The Mezcal-Port Negroni
Robust mezcal, tawny Port and coffee-infused Campari give the classic Negroni a zippy update.
Get the Recipe: A New Take On an Old Favorite: The Mezcal-Port Negroni
What Liquor Is Best for Valentine’s Day?
That very much depends on the cocktail. Many Valentine’s Day cocktails are red and get their hue from alcoholic ingredients like bittersweet Campari, tawny Port and red wine. But non-booze ingredients also convey that desired red color, including strawberries and grenadine. These ingredients can complement everything from gin to Champagne.
What Is the Most Romantic Alcoholic Drink?
That depends. What’s your sweetheart’s favorite drink? We’re partial to red-hued sippers on Valentine’s Day. See above!
What Do People Drink on Valentine’s Day?
Champagne or Prosecco have historically been associated with the holiday, but there’s no reason why other drinks can’t be romantic. We think that pink and red-colored cocktails of all stripes are suitable for Valentine’s Day.