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Spirit-forward Valentine’s Day Dessert Cocktails

Struggling with the desire for something sweet, that doesn’t detract from the lovely liquor, we asked around for everyone’s favorite spirit-forward, Valentine-date-friendly libation.

Chocolate & Chili Cocktail

“It’s the perfect cocktail for Valentine’s day because it’s spicy AND sweet with a little kick from the Ancho Reyes Liqueur balanced with the smoky caramelly Azuñia Reposado and hot chocolate. It’s also so simple to make with only 4 ingredients.” – Jenn Barber

Chocolate & Chili Cocktail
Serves 1 drink


  • 1.5 oz. Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila
  • .5 oz. Ancho Reyes Liqueur
  • 4 oz. Rich Hot Chocolate
  • Whipped Cream


  1. Pour tequila, Ancho Reyes liqueur and hot chocolate into an Irish coffee glass or mug
  2. Stir
  3. Top with whipped cream and a dried chili pepper Garnish

Edgewood Negroni

If 99% of Valentine’s Day cocktails are too sweet, the Edgewood Negroni makes a welcome U-turn in the opposite direction. Negronis are an acquired taste, but once you’ve acquired it, there’s no going back. This version, from Mercedes O’Brien, cocktail director at Gunshow in Atlanta, GA, plays with the classic 1:1:1 proportions of gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth for an elegant twist.

Edgewood Negroni
Serves 1 drink


  • 1 1/4 oz Old Fourth Gin
  • 1 oz Italian Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Campari
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters


  1. Combine ingredients in mixing glass and fill with ice.
  2. Stir until well diluted and chilled.
  3. Strain over large rock or kold draft cube.
  4. Garnish with orange twist.

The Irish Chocolate Truffle Martini

Apparently, spirit-forward chocolate cocktails have a lot of Irish in them – or at least, Irish cream. Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day.

“I. Love. This. Drink. I can’t say it enough. The Irish Cream and chocolate vodka pair perfectly in the glass, with flavors of dark chocolate truffles and notes of butterscotch. It’s a perfect cocktail for Valentine’s Day because it’s decadent, but not overpoweringly sweet.” – Paige Lockhart, McCormick Distilling Company

Irish Chocolate Truffle Martini
Serves 1 drink


*or your favorite chocolate vodka


  1. In a shaker, add ice, Five Farms, and 360 Double Chocolate
  2. Shake until chilled and serve in a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Irish Eyes are Smiling

This recipe is created with the DIY chocolate liqueur recipe above.

Irish Eyes are Smiling was created by Ted Kilgore, the in-house mixologist for the Make it Your Ownblog.

Irish Eyes are Smiling
Serves 1 drink


  • 1 ½ oz. Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1 oz. The Quiet Man Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz. Heavy cream
  • Grated chocolate (optional)


  1. Build all ingredients in a rocks glass over ice.
  2. Stir until fully mixed.
  3. Garnish with grated chocolate.

Mocha Mint Julep

“Why do we love this cocktail? It’s a creative twist on a classic. Stiff enough for an aficionado. Just sweet enough to be a Valentine’s Day favorite. A hefty pour of oaky bourbon cuts through the sweetness of the Irish cream. Whole mint leaves add a bright, crisp and fresh taste to contrast the deeper flavors.” – Austin Alvarez, Building Our Rez recipe & DIY blog

Mocha Mint Julep
Serves 1 drink


  • 2.5 oz Wheated bourbon
  • 1-5 drops peppermint extract – depending on your love for mint
  • 1 oz Baileys Espresso Créme
  • 5-10 Mint leaves
  • 1 Mint sprigs (garnish)
  • Massive ice cube or ice sphere


  1. Pour Baileys into your cocktail shaker. If you don’t have a shaker, mix all ingredients in your whiskey glass.
  2. Add peppermint extract or schnapps per your version of choice.
  3. Add seltzer to the sweeter version, or skip to the next step.
  4. Gradually pour in bourbon while stirring to avoid curdling the cream in the Baileys.
  5. Add mint leaves to the whiskey glass and muddle to release the minty oils and flavors. No muddler? Substitute the end of a thick wooden spoon.
  6. Place your massive ice cube or ice sphere in the whiskey glass.
  7. Add standard freezer ice cubes to your shaker, secure the lid and shake vigorously for 5-10 seconds to cool the liquid.
  8. Get your Instagram ready and pour the shaker liquid over the ice and mint leaves in the whiskey glass.

Hot Chocolate Martini

Amy Reiley, author of Romancing the Stove: the unabridged guide to aphrodisiac foods, says “I wanted to see what would happen if I took the sophistication of a martini and the comfort of a childhood favorite and swirled it all together. I think the results not only draw on classic flavor memories, but leave a lasting impression that is elegant and most definitely adult.”

Hot Chocolate Martini
Serves 2 drinks


  • Cocoa powder for the rim
  • 1 c hot soymilk, (or regular milk)
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate, grated
  • 1 oz vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz chocolate vodka


  1. Put a small amount of cocoa powder on a plate or saucer. Wet the rim of two martini glasses with soymilk. Roll the rim in the cocoa to make an even coating around the whole rim.
  2. Add dark chocolate to the hot soymilk, stirring until melted. (You can use any candy counter chocolate but I recommend choosing a bar with a high percentage of cocoa, at least 65% or 70%, for a really rich, chocolate flavor.)
  3. Stir in vanilla and chocolate vodkas then pour into 2 martini glasses. Serve immediately.
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