Appetizers
January 26, 2011
Get in the mood for Valentine's Day with these cocktails

By Allen Pierleoni
apierleoni@sacbee.com

The folks at Russian Standard Vodka in St. Petersburg had a clever thought: Let's team our product - a top brand in the Russian market - with the concept of Valentine's Day. We can create cocktails with an "aphrodisiac twist."

The effectiveness of the drinks' "aphrodisiac" elements is debatable, but these recipes sound really tasty and they're all in fun:

Russian Aphrodite
"Honey is associated with the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite."

Ingredients:
1 ounce vodka
1.5 ounces honey from acacia flowers (or any floral-smelling, mild-tasting honey)
4 ounces chilled sparkling white wine, such as Prosecco
Dash of orange bitters
1 orange twist, for garnish

"Directions: Pour honey and vodka into a mixing glass and stir until honey has dissolved. Then pour into a champagne flute and carefully top off with sparkling white wine. Finish with a dash of orange bitters and garnish with an orange twist."

Latin Fling
"Some spices are known for their qualities as aphrodisiacs. This punch is perfect for couples to make at home."

Ingredients:
2 ounces top-quality aged rum
1.5 ounces fresh pineapple juice
1 ounce five-spice syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1 slice jalapeño pepper

"Directions: Combine ingredients and shake. Serve on rocks in Collins glass and float a splash of rum and club soda. Garnish with a pineapple leaf and floating whole star anise.
"To make five-spice syrup: Bring 2 cups water, 2.5 cups natural brown sugar (demerera) and 4 tablespoons five-spice powder to a boil. Cover, let cool and strain. Recipe can be multiplied to fill a traditional punch bowl."

Sexy Mary
"Absinthe is made from a unique recipe of herbs - including wormwood, fennel and anise. This recipe is rich in special compounds and oils."

Ingredients:
1.5 ounces absinthe
1 ounce vodka
4 ounces spicy Bloody Mary mix
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Horseradish, ground pepper, garlic salt, celery salt

"Directions: In a pint glass, add ice, absinthe, vodka, Bloody Mary mix, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Shake and serve with an olive, pepperoncini and lime wedge."

Standard Blue
"Think of this as a cocktail for him."

Ingredients:
2 ounces vodka
Splash of dry vermouth
Splash of olive brine

"Directions: Shake ingredients gently over ice. Strain and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with blue cheese-stuffed olives."


Russian Romance
"And think of this cocktail as especially for her."

Ingredients:1.5 ounces vodka
Splash of lemon juice
2 ounces pomegranate juice

"Directions: Shake ingredients with ice, pour into a cocktail glass, garnish with a mint leaf or a lemon twist."

For more information: www.russianstandardvodka.com

Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni at (916) 321-1128.

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