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Valentine's Day 2014 Cocktails

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Each year, on February 14th, millions across the world present their loved ones with candy, flowers, chocolates and jewelry, as an expression of love.

According to the most popular account, the holiday originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis, a fertility celebration that was observed annually on February 15. With the rise of Christianity in Europe many pagan holidays were renamed for and dedicated to early Christian martyrs.

In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned the celebration of Lupercalia into a Christian feast day and set its observance a day earlier, on February 14. Gelasius proclaimed February 14 to be an honor to Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century. It is this St. Valentine whom the modern Valentine's Day honors.

Now that we know the white-washed history of Valentine’s Day, let us celebrate with some cocktail ideas to create for your partner. They will definitely be thankful.

Amore Vietato (Forbidden Love)

- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. blood orange juice
- Dash simple syrup, 2 strawberries
- 4 slices of cucumber

Muddle fruit with simple syrup, add gin and blood orange juice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with strawberry, cucumber spiral and orange peel hearts.

The Chocolate-Lovers Margarita

- 3 parts chocolate milk
- 1 part Sauza Silver Tequila
- 1 part strawberry puree or daiquiri mix
- Chocolate covered strawberry

Combine chilled chocolate milk, Sauza and strawberry puree in a tall glass. Stir vigorously to combine. Pour into a glass and garnish with a chocolate covered strawberry.

Cranberry Flower

- 2 oz. gin
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ¾ oz lemon simple
- 2 teaspoons cranberry simple syrup
- 6 cranberries (from compote)

Muddle cranberries, add cran simple, lemon simple, lemon juice, and gin. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with three cranberries.

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