The Lovers’ Quarrel is the official Valentine’s Day cocktail from Eau Claire Distillery, Alberta’s only true craft spirits maker, located in Turner Valley. They are responsible for the amazing Parlour Gin, a London Dry-style gin made with local botanicals including rose hips and Saskatoon berries.
This cocktail takes the winning combo of gin, lemon juice and Cointreau (think White Lady) and puts a Feb. 14 twist on it with grenadine for colour and bubbles for romance. Really, there’s no way you’ll be fighting with your lover after this drink, unless there are only enough ingredients to make one, in which case you may exchange words.
This Valentine’s Day-hued drink includes two of my favourite spirits: Parlour Gin and Cointreau. Image courtesy Eau Claire Distillery.
The Lovers’ Quarrel
- 2 oz Parlour Gin
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz house grenadine (make your own pomegranate syrup)
- 1/4 oz Cointreau
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Top with champagne
- Garnish: lemon twist
Method: Add all ingredients except champagne into a shaker. Add ice and shake. Double strain into a flute glass. Top with 1 oz brut champagne (such as Piper Heidsieck). Garnish with a lemon twist.
— Recipe courtesy Eau Claire Distillery
It’s Valentine’s Day — time to toast love! Now, before you uncork a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck to make a champagne cocktail, or shake up a ruby-red High Stick Cosmo, let me win you over with a bitter Heart Day tipple: the Campari Orange Passion.
Off-putting at first sip, this bitter-sweet number grows on you after several hearty swallows — kind of like a bad date after three drinks. Image courtesy Campari.
If you’re thinking, “Why on Earth would I make a bitter, lip-puckering cocktail on February 14th?” please hear me out. For starters, lip puckering usually leads to kissing. Second, the drink’s Campari — a bitter, orange-flavoured Italian aperitif — being somewhat palate-contrary, will have you sipping the drink slowly. This leads to my third point: the cocktail will endear itself to you as the crushed ice melts and dilutes all that bitterness (see photo caption for more). (Confession: as soon as my drink reached the right dilution, I chugalugged it. Oops.) Finally, note the lovely heart-warming hue.
Perhaps sensing that the majority of cocktail drinkers aren’t exactly sure what to mix with their Campari, the brand has come out with a cocktail calendar with Campari drink suggestions for every month of the year. The Campari Orange Passion is for February, natch.
Campari Orange Passion
- 1 part Campari
- 2 slices orange
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 parts freshly squeezed orange juice
- Crushed ice
- Cherry garnish
Prepare the drink in a tall glass. Place orange slices and brown sugar in the glass and crush to a pulp. Add crushed ice. Add the Campari and orange juice and gently stir. Garnish with a red cherry.
— Recipe courtesy Campari
The Cherry Sour from Candela Lounge is bold, slightly sweet and, most importantly for Feb. 14, red.
With Valentine’s Day taking place next week, some couples will be looking to get into the spirit with something strong and celabratory. May I recommend painting the town red with these valentine-hued cocktails at Calgary lounges:
The Cherry Sour from Candela Lounge is so strong you’ll feel a flush of heat after the first sip. The Maker’s Mark bourbon is offset with a hint of sour morello cherries and a couple dashes of black walnut bitters. Trust me: you’ll want to take things slowly.
Bar C, the city’s latest eat- and drink-ery from Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, has a fantastic cocktail menu that includes one of the best tequila cocktails I’ve chugged in awhile: the Cherry Blanco. Made with smoked cherry juice, two ounces of tequila and topped with Steam Whistle, this drink will quench your desire for something tall and strong.
Much like a nervous date, here is a drink that will turn you off at first but then grow on you as the evening progresses and the booze enters your bloodstream. A Negroni (equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth) is bitter from the Campari, an Italian liqueur, but as the ice melts and mellows it you’ll be screaming for a-more (sorry). Try one at Teatro.
Couples looking for something bubbly should head to the Raw Bar at Hotel Arts and order a Courtly Love. This featured Feb. 14 cocktail combines champagne with gin and is topped with lemon-raspberry foam.
If you’d rather DIY your drinks on heart day, check out my Spirited Calgary cocktail column in the Calgary Herald on Feb. 9. Happy cupid cocktailing!