Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and, if you’re anything like this Queen Bee, you may be on the lookout for a fun and unique cocktail recipe to help you celebrate. Well, consider your search complete! The Queen of Hearts cocktail is here, and it’s fresh, new, and interesting flavors are perfect for raising a glass to the people you love.
What do I love most about it? This cocktail recipe marks the first time I have experimented with sake, an ingredient I don’t typically reach for in my home bartending adventures. But boy, am I glad I did! When paired with cherry vodka, cranberry, peach, and cream—this traditional Japanese libation takes an already fabulous mixture of flavors to the next level. Plus, its beautiful light-pink color is perfect for any Valentine’s Day celebration!
Have you ever tried sake? Truth be told, before mixing up the Queen of Hearts, I had only sipped on this spirit casually—generally enjoying it alongside a delicious sushi dinner. But the moment I discovered that sake could become a delicious cocktail ingredient, I knew I had to do some more investigating!
The creation of this cocktail recipe has led me to learn a lot about sake, and the long-held traditions it represents. Originating from Japan, this alcoholic beverage is made from fermented rice and can be enjoyed hot or chilled. And much like wines, each type of sake has a different flavor profile, mouth feel, and host of opinions as to whether it is better served hot or cold. While I could have spent hours—and a pretty penny—in the sake aisle, I sprung for a middle-of-the-road, yet fantastic nigori sake.
Nigoris are known for their unique filtering process, which is done using a broader mesh than the others. This technique makes for a cloudier final drink, an attribute well-displayed in the creamy appearance of the Queen of Hearts sake cocktail.
Step 1: Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, top with ice, and shake until chilled.
When should you stir a cocktail and when should you shake? Well, when you shake a cocktail, not only does it dilute your final product– it changes its texture. When you stir– it simply chills and dilutes your drink. So, it all comes down to what your ingredients are. For example a drink with egg white will need a shake to create foam.
A good rule of thumb to follow– if your cocktail is clear, stir. If it’s cloudy, shake.
Homemade Simple Syrup Recipe:
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Let cool, then pour into a jar and seal tightly with a lid.
Step 2: Double strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy!
Why double strain? The process of double straining is to ensure that any unwanted pieces like fruit or egg whites aren’t left in your cocktail before drinking– making for a perfectly smooth sip each time!
So, what are you waiting for? This cocktail is not only perfect for Valentine’s Day, but I think the Queen of Hearts is going to be great one to mix up any time of year. And my guess is that your loved ones will thank you for it! Sake paired alongside fruity flavors and indulgent cream make this libation a sipping experience everyone can enjoy. So, whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, or just looking for a new cocktail recipe to try, shake up the Queen of Hearts—I promise you won’t be disappointed!