My Valentine’s Day gift to you? I invited Lindsey of Café Johnsonia to come up with three gorgeous + fabulous + delicious mocktail options. So good!
They don’t need much planning or preparation, so if you haven’t made plans yet, but want to do something special for the holiday, these are perfect. Make them with the kids (and for the kids) to let them know how special they are to you.
Here’s what Lindsey says:
I’m kind of a sucker for Valentine’s Day. There are 364 other days during the year to show affection for loved ones, but that one day, February 14th, you can just go all out. I love it all. The hearts, the pink and red, the teddy bears, the roses, and of course, the chocolate! These days I’m more of a stay-at-home-for Valentine’s kind of gal, but I try to add little special things into the day. This year I came up with three festive Valentine’s Day Mocktails that are perfect to sip with your Valentine(s).
My mocktail trio has something for just about everyone (I think). There’s a Valentine’s Day twist on a classic egg cream, the Chocolate Strawberry Egg Cream topped with whipped cream. And there’s a sweet and fruity Raspberry Pomegranate Float that will make your heart go pitter-patter. Lastly, there’s a lightly tart Blood Orange Ginger Mojito with a little more sophisticated taste for those who prefer a drink that’s a little less sweet, but oh, so refreshing.
First, let me tell you a little about the Raspberry Pomegranate Float. Who doesn’t love floats? My kids always want to turn ice cream and soda into floats when we’ve got either one on hand. This one uses ruby-hued pomegranate juice and raspberry sorbet for a dairy-free float that feels a little lighter and more refreshing than an ice cream float. I add plenty of fresh raspberries too.
Then there’s the Chocolate Strawberry Egg Cream. Chocolate egg creams are an old soda fountain favorite. They have neither eggs nor cream in them and are comprised of milk, chocolate syrup, and fizzy water. My Valentine’s Day version uses strawberry milk (homemade is great!) and is topped with whipped cream from a can (a total splurge at my house!). Bonus points if you dip some strawberries to enjoy alongside. It’s a really fun drink for kids and grown-ups alike.
Or, you could go for a Blood Orange Ginger Mojito. Blood oranges are soooo pretty. Citrus season has become one of my favorites because it lasts so long. Peaches only last for a month or so, but oranges? I can enjoy them for months and months to get me through the cold weather! Ginger and mint are a great pair. I cut out the need for simple syrup by using ginger beer (or ale). My favorite is the Triple Ginger Brew from Trader Joe’s that I buy by the case at Christmastime and hoard all winter long. Any ginger soda will work great.
Let’s get to the recipes!
Pomegranate Raspberry Floats (to serve 4)
1 pint raspberry sorbet
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 liter lemon-lime soda, chilled
Fresh raspberries and pomegranate arils (seeds), for garnish
Fresh mint, for garnish
Scoop the raspberry sorbet into four tall glasses. (You may not use all of it.)
Add 1/4 cup pomegranate juice to each glass then top with lemon-lime soda.
Garnish with fresh raspberries and pomegranate arils and a sprig of mint. Enjoy immediately.
Strawberry Chocolate Egg Cream (to serve 4)
4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
16 ounces strawberry milk*
1 liter club soda or sparkling water, chilled
Whipped cream, for topping
Sliced strawberries, for garnish
Have ready four soda fountain glasses or other tall glasses.
Combine the chocolate syrup and strawberry milk in a glass measuring cup or individually in the glasses. (Each glass gets 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup and 1/2 cup strawberry milk.) Divide between the glasses. Fill each one almost to the top with club soda or sparkling water. Stir briefly to mix. If desired, top each drink with a little whipped cream and garnish with sliced strawberries. Drink immediately.
*To make your own strawberry milk: puree 3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries with 1 1/2 cups milk. Add 1-2 tablespoons sugar or your choice of sweetener, to taste. You can also add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, if desired.
Blood Orange Ginger Mojitos (to serve two)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
3 medium blood oranges
1 liter ginger ale or ginger beer, chilled
Scrub the outside of the blood oranges and pat dry. Cut two of the oranges into eight wedges. Cut 4 thin slices from the remaining orange and set aside to use as a garnish, if desired. Cut the remainder of the last orange into wedges. Place wedges in a quart jar along with the mint. Using a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, crush the oranges and mint to release their flavors and juices. Strain off the liquid using a fine mesh sieve pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Divide the mint-infused orange juice between two glasses, add ice, and fill with ginger ale or ginger beer. Garnish each with a blood orange slice and a sprig of fresh mint. Serve immediately.
There you have it. Three elegant, delicious, special mocktails that will help you celebrate this Valentine’s Day with the ones you love.
Credits: Photos and recipes by Lindsey Johnson.