While we will be serving a red wine for dinner that is paired with the artichoke pasta and prime rib, I decided to have a pre-dinner cocktail. You will notice there were several glasses on my tablescape for this reason.
For a small dinner party, I do not create as many cocktails as I do for a large party. I also always make sure to use minimal ingredients, that can be used for all cocktail options. I decided to really think about my guests and chose cocktails they would each enjoy. I have six guests, three who enjoy a whisky based cocktail, and three who enjoy a tequila based cocktail (myself being one of them).
I also wanted to focus on the color of the cocktail. All the cocktails for this party are blackberry cocktails. I loved the idea of the purple and plum colors from our decor and tablescape crossing over to the cocktail selection.
Blackberry “Tequila” Bramble
I chose to start with a classic cocktail as my base, the Bramble cocktail, with a few variations of my own, of course. The classic Bramble is a gin based cocktail created by Dick Bradsell in the 1980’s. This is a good option, because if you have gin on hand, you can always do the classic version for a guest who may not like other base liqueurs. For my party, I have substituted the gin for tequila, and through a couple taste testing sessions, I found the perfect combination of the the other ingredients to balance with the tequila.
2 ounces Tequila
2/3 ounce fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 ounce Simple Syrup (if you prefer a cocktail that is not so sweet, just add a splash)
1/2 ounce Creme De Mure (blackberry liqueur)
Blackberries for garnish
Mix tequila, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake till mixed. Pour into a martini or rocks glass with small ice cube. Pour the creme de mure over the top so it bleeds down the ice. Garnish with three blackberries.
The “I Love Whisky” Cocktail
Ok, so I gave it a cheesy name, but this cocktail is no joke. I rarely drink whisky. It’s one of those stories, where the first liquor you abuse, becomes one you no longer drink. I won’t go into that, but suffice to say whisky is generally my achilles heel when it comes to alcohol. BUT, I now think I am in love. I, of course, must taste test all my creations, so I was hesitant to do a whisky cocktail, knowing I would have to drink it to perfect it. I was pleasantly surprised and happy with my creation. I will say it is on the feminine side (for lack of a better word), but that works perfectly for a Valentine’s cocktail. It’s sweet, light and delicious. The whisky is not overpowering, just the perfect note to accent the champagne.
1 ounce Rye Whiskey
1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
1/2 ounce Rose Champagne
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Blackberries for Garnish
Add the blackberries and simply syrup to your mixing glass. Muddle the blackberries gently, just enough to break them apart slightly, but not so much that it ruins “the look” of the cocktail. Add the Whisky and lemon juice and stir. Top off with rose champagne. Add 2 dashes angostura bitters on top. Garnish with Blackberries.
The Romantic Rose Cocktail
Since I have all the ingredients already for this party between my other two cocktails, I decided to have an additional tequila option available for my guests. My rule of thumb, never let any alcohol go to waste. While I doubt we will finish the rose champagne with the whisky cocktails, I like this option to help us finish the rose bottle. Waste not, want not. This cocktail surprised me as it was a last minute additional creation. It is strong, so be sure to serve this one sparingly.
1 1/2 ounce Tequila
1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Blackberry Preserves
Splash of Rose Champagne
Fresh Blackberries for Garnish
Add tequila, lemon juice and blackberry preserves to shaker. shake vigorously to mix well. Pour into a martini glass. Top off with the rose champagne. Garnish with blackberries.
These blackberry cocktails are very delicious. I am so proud of these creations, I hope you enjoy them at your party, or even as a pre-dinner cocktail before you and your sweetie go to dinner at a restaurant.
Is everything planned for your party or romantic dinner? I’ve worked hard, everything is planned, and I am excited to spend Valentine’s with my beau and close friends. We will post follow up pictures next week, for you to see how our Entertaining with Style- Valentine’s Dinner!