Cheers, to Valentine's Weekend!

Did you think the fun was over?? It's also a 3-day weekend, so for the sake of your significant others, I hope you didn't! Here are 5 M&PT cocktails that will keep the good times flowing all weekend long!

Sparkling Pass-O-Guava: This is a tropical twist on the beloved mimosa...sweet, tart, and bubbly. Maybe you didn't have a Valentine's date. Maybe you're single. Maybe you're perfectly happy hanging out with your girlfriends instead...Maybe. But Mini Sofia Blanc de Blancs would make a fabulous start to the weekend, no matter what! This sparkling wine is a blend of pinot blanc, muscat, and riesling, and the adorable pink cans are perfect for a girls-only themed day! They even come with straws, "to take anywhere--anytime you feel like sparkling." (Sparkling wine. In a pink can. With a pink straw. Come. On.) If you're catering to a larger crowd, blend the juices in a pitcher and thoroughly chill. The Sofia also comes in a larger bottle. (Wrapped in pink cellophane!)

Razz-Apple Champagne Slushies: This is another one that's great for a Girls Day! Winter around here has been pretty dry and warm, compared to the snowstorms and freezing temperatures over on the East coast, so having slushies in February isn't exactly a crazy idea. Blended together and frozen until the perfect consistency, this drink has raspberries, crisp apples, and champagne! (Actually, I used more of those Mini Sofias...Yes, I always have a few Mini Sofias on hand. You never know when an occasion will call for some bubbly. Like, a Thursday...)

Plantation Iced Tea: Okay. I lied. This one isn't a cocktail... (But isn't the color so pretty?!) If your Valentine was your small child this year, a non-alcoholic beverage is mandatory. Spending the weekend with your kids? Plantation Iced Tea is family-friendly and perfect for sit-back-and-relax drinking! It's a simple blend of black tea, hibiscus tea, and pineapple juice, and the sweet and tangy combination will have you daydreaming of paradise in no time!

Hibiscus Hula: The Hibiscus Hula, made with Absolut Hibiskus and POM Hula juice, will literally dance on your taste buds. It's another great option for a weekend brunch! (What can I say, I'm a fan of vodka in the morning.)  The hibiscus, pineapple, and pomegranate are slightly sweet, a kiss of citrus highlights the tart notes, and sparkling water adds just the right amount of effervescence. (Everything feels a little more glamorous when it sparkles, right?)

Grapefruit & Vodka: For something new to the blog, I'm also going to suggest a combination of grapefruit, vodka, and rosemary! This drink is basically a greyhound/salty dog, with a simple 2-to-1 grapefruit juice to vodka ratio, and it'd be ideal for a Mr. & Mrs. date night! (Yes it's pink, fellas, but it's also damn delicious.)

'Tis the season for winter citrus, and if there's one thing I love to do in the M&PT kitchen, it's using fresh and seasonal ingredients. (Also, giant bags of grapefruit are always on sale during this time of year, and I'm the "I don't need it, but the price is right" type.)

After squeezing your juice and corralling your bottles of vodka, grab a nice handful of red Hawaiian sea salt (or pink Himalayan sea salt, if you have it). This is used to coat the rims of each glass. Specialty salt is not necessary here, but it is also totally necessary. Flavor, presentation...Remember, Valentine's Day is for wooing.

A greyhound/salty dog can be served on its own, no garnish needed. But this is for a holiday that revolves around cheesy gift cards, bouquets of flowers, and a ton of candy. Sooo...a frou-frou garnish, this greyhound shall have! A slice of citrus adds color and a hint to what exactly is in the drink ("No, I'm not serving you Kool-Aid in a fancy glass"), and the rosemary acts much like mint would. It's herbaceous, refreshing, and...different. It's hard to explain unless you take a sip, another one of those unneccessary-but-totally-necessary ingredients.

Cheers, everyone, to loved ones and to Valentine's weekend! :)