Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day
Google “Valentine’s Day cocktails” and you’ll see an avalanche of pink and red, complete with rose petal and candy garnishes. Nothing wrong with that — we like fun too! That said, sometimes a classic cocktail like a Martinez or Bee’s Knees (both pictured here) is all you need to round out the perfect evening with your favorite person.
Of course, the first thing Very Serious Cocktail People might point out is that a citrus peel garnish is so much more than looks. Proper garnish technique expels a fragrant cloud of essential citrus oils from the zest, adding a final touch of flavor and aroma that rounds out drinks and tickles the senses. Since we’re getting a little fussy with these drinks anyway, there’s no reason not to expel oils over the drink as usual, then, instead of dropping the twist into the drink, topping it off with a relentlessly Valentine’s-appropriate garnish instead. The best of both worlds never looked so good.
To Make a Heart-Shaped Cocktail Garnish:
- Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel a large strip of orange, lemon, or grapefruit peel.
- Trim the edges with a small sharp knife to make a long rectangle.
- Starting 1/2 an inch away from the edge, cut a long slit down the middle, all the way through the other edge.
- Shape into a heart — the intact end should be the point of the heart, and the loose ends should come together in the middle. You may need to trim the loose ends to get the shape and size you want.
- Use a cocktail pick to pierce through the sides and middle of your garnish, about 2/3 of the way down.
- Stir or shake up your beverage, expel oils with a standard twist if you’d like, and garnish away!
-Danguole Lekaviciute, Aviation Team Member
Happy Valentine’s Day, from the Aviation Team to You. Nothing works quite as well together as an Aviation & Tonic.
Aviation American Gin has so many rich and beautiful flavors, why limit yourself to only cocktailing with it. So feeling bold and brash, I used gin instead of vodka in my homemade pasta sauce and the results were amazing. It adds incredible subtle botanical flavors to the sauce. So this Valentines Day, purchase you favorite gin (Aviation American Gin of course!) and cook up a delicious pasta dish with extra little pizzazz!
Recipe by Nick Evans
- 1 pound Penne pasta, cooked al dente
- 1/2 Onion, diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- 1 28 ounce can Diced tomatoes
- 1 cup Aviation American Gin
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1/2 cup Cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup fresh Basil, minced
- Salt and pepper
- First, start by dicing up some onion and garlic. Add the olive oil to a medium pot with the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook this over medium heat until the onions and garlic start to soften and it smells very fragrant.
- You don’t want the onions to brown at all. They should just get soft over medium heat which will take around 5-6 minutes. Then add in your tomatoes and sugar. The small amount of sugar balances some of the acidity of the tomatoes.
- You’ll want the sauce to be pretty smooth so you can blend it up with a stick blender or use a normal blender. If you’d rather go with a more rustic version of the sauce, mash the tomatoes as they cook.
- At this point your sauce will be pretty standard, but it’s about to get a big flavor bump as you starting adding Aviation.
- Bring this sauce to a simmer and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. You’ll want to cook off most of the alcohol and mellow some of the gin flavors. You’ll know when it’s ready because the sauce won’t smell intensely of alcohol.
- As a final step stir in some cream which will even out some of the flavors and give the sauce a nice, rich texture. Any time I’m trying to make a really good tomato-based pasta sauce, there are two ingredients that I almost always include, real Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
- Add a good amount of these to the sauce and season the sauce with salt and pepper. I recommend finishing the sauce and then just keeping it warm while you work on the pasta. For the pasta itself, just cook it according to the package. While I guess you could use any pasta, I think penne works perfectly for this dish.
- As soon as the pasta is drained, toss it into the sauce and stir it all together. Even though it will look like a lot of sauce, as you stir in the pasta, all that sauce will get trapped in the penne pasta and your meal will be set!
For the final touch, pile it in a huge bowl and add some basil and cheese to the top and ENJOY!
-Richelle Thorpe, Aviation Team Member