Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Washington in Love: Valentine Cocktails

Romantic dinners aren't just about wine. Cocktails, which have been making a resurgence over the last year or two in Washington, are also appropriate, and area restaurants have created special drinks for the holiday.

At Café Atlantico, Jill Zimorski has created a "Champagne and Caviar" Cocktail. The drink is garnished table side with tiny, caviar-like strawberries which float in the cocktail and burst in your mouth.

Mixologist Todd Thrasher has whipped up several cocktails, all of which will be served at Restaurant Eve, The Majestic and PX in Virginia. Look for the gingery "Pear of Desire," the chocolately "Love Me Tender" and the Passion fruity "Persuasion."

The Park Hyatt Washington is offering White Chocolate Seduction, which tempting libation combines sweet Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka, White Crème de Cacao, Crème de Cassis and cream. They are also offering a mulled cider and a Riesling rosemary mulled wine, which is available now through Feb. 28. Or, make the mulled wine at home, with the recipe below.

Riesling Rosemary Mulled Wine

2 bottles Riesling white wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 whole cloves
2 tbsp rosemary
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup honey
2 lemons, sliced

Simmer (but not boil) the water, sugar, rosemary, and honey for 10 minutes. Add in the wine. Peel the lemons and add in the peels. Allow to steep without boiling. Strain and serve warm.

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