Three Valentine-Style Riffs On Classic Cocktails

There’s a reason we all love the classics, so why not create a variation on your favourite as a way to show your love on Sunday.

By: Tiff Christie|February 11,2021

It may be Valentine’s Day on Sunday but that doesn’t mean that you have to celebrate with some sort of overly sweet, sickly red concoction. Especially if you are mixing up a drink at home, why not create a variation of a tried-and-true classic cocktail.

The classics provide a wonderful base for experimentation, where just swapping out one or two ingredients in a familiar drink, can create something new and exciting. After all, what better gift is there to give the one, you love, than something that you’ve created and they will love to drink.

If you find yourself out of ideas, then you can always mix up one of the three Valentine’s riffs that have been created by Executive Chef Mario Garcia, from the Hilton Hotel in Chicago that we have below that are based on a Whiskey Sour, Manhattan and French 75. .

Hilton Chicago’s Love Is Sour Cocktail



  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • ¼ oz Giffard’s Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¾ oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Ginger Syrup


Add all ingredients to a shaker, then shake. Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a cherry and enjoy

Palmer House’s Indulgence Manhattan


As birthplace of the original chocolate fudge brownie recipe, Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel has created a sweet elixir to pair with the famous dessert. Dating back to 1893, the Palmer House’s creation is now a staple at bake sales everywhere, but is often overlooked as a libation accompaniment – not anymor


  • 1 oz. Rye of choice
  • 3/4 oz. Creme de cacao
  • 3/4 oz. Nocello, walnut liqueur
  • 2 dashes Chocolate walnut bitters


Stir over ice in a mixing glass. Strain mixture into rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnished with a mini brownie and a cherry (link to original brownie recipe here.)

Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel Original Brownie Recipe

  • 14oz. semi-sweet chocolate 
  • 1lb butter
  • 12oz. granulated sugar 
  • 4oz. flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 12oz. crushed walnuts 
  • vanilla extract 
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Mix the sugar and flour together in a bowl. Combine chocolate and flour mixtures. Stir 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs and continue mixing. ​Pour mixture into a 9×12 baking sheet. Sprinkle walnuts on top, pressing down slightly into the mixture with your hand. Bake 30-40 minutes. ​Brownies are done when the edges begin to crisp and has risen about 1/4 of an inch. ​

Note: When the brownie is properly baked, it will remain “gooey” with a toothpick in the middle due to the richness of the mixture.

Glaze: Mix together 1 c. water, 1 c. apricot preserves, and 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin in sauce pan. Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil for two minutes. Brush hot glaze on brownies while still warm. 

The Drake’s French Kiss 75



3 oz gin

1½ oz fresh lemon juice

1½ oz simple syrup

4 oz brut champagne or prosecco


Add gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill 3/4 of the way up with ice. Shake until well chilled then strain into two glasses. Top with champagne then serve.

You Might Also Like

See the latest on Youtube and Instagram

Follow and subscribe for videos, photos & more ... Follow Follow

Three Valentine-Style Riffs On Classic Cocktails

Share It! URL Copied
Up Next

The 2021 Bacardi Cocktail Trends Report