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Sweet Strawberries & Romantic Cocktails on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about love. From roses and chocolates to secret notes and a loving smile, it’s the perfect holiday to make a unique cocktail or serve a romantic dessert to that special someone.

As Holland America Line’s Culinary Consultant Rudi Sodmim likes to say, love and food go hand-in-hand.

I love Valentine’s Day because I always equate food with love. There are no better way to nourish the heart and spirit of a couple than by cooking together, or eating a meal to stimulate the senses while holding hands across the table, gazing into each others’ eyes over a flickering candle. — Rudi

Enjoy these three cocktail recipes and the perfect way to make chocolate covered strawberries and other fruit. May your day be filled with love, laughter and tasty treats.

From left: Absolutely Yours,  Love Potion and Bellisimo With Love.

From left: Absolutely Yours, Love Potion and Bellisimo With Love.

ABSOLUTELY YOURS
Glass: Martini Glass

Ingredients:
1 oz Absolut Mandarin
1 oz St. Germain
0.5 oz Cranberry Juice
1.5 oz House Sparkling wine

Shake all ingredients in a pint glass filled with ice except for the sparkling wine. Double strain and top up with the sparkling wine. Enjoy!

LOVE POTION (Shooter)
Glass: Cordial

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Crème de Cacao
2 drops of Grenadine

Build the drink in the cordial glass.

BELLISIMO WITH LOVE
Glass: Martini

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Vodka
1 oz Kahlua
2 oz Espresso
Whipped cream
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

Shake all ingredients in a pint glass filled with ice. Strain into a sugar-rimmed Martini glass. Sprinkle cocoa powder on top and then add a drizzle of whipped cream to float on top. Garnish with a cherry.

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED FRUIT

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1 1/4 pounds chocolate, semisweet or white, chopped into 1/4-inch chunks, divided
1/2 pound fresh pineapple slices, cut into bite-size pieces
1 pint strawberries with stems, lightly rinsed and dried
3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
2-3 ounces marzipan, rolled into walnut-size balls

Preparation:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place 1/2 pound of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Place the chocolate over 1-inch of water and heat over medium heat for 12 minutes.

2. Remove the chocolate from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before removing the plastic wrap. With a rubber spatula or whisk, stir until smooth. Continue to stir until the temperature of the chocolate is reduced and a candy thermometer registers 90-degrees F.

3. With a fork, dip the pineapples pieces, one by one, 1/2 inch to 1-inch into the chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the double boiler, then place the fruit onto the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chocolate has hardened.

4. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 with the remaining chocolate and fruit (holding the strawberries by their stems). Dip the marzipan balls into the chocolate so they are half coated. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chocolate has hardened.

5. Arrange the chocolate-dipped strawberries, kiwis, and marzipan on the serving platter with the pineapples and return the platter to the refrigerator, covered, and keep chilled until 10 minutes before serving.

What are your plans this Valentine’s Day? Will you be having a romantic rendezvous, going out with a group of friends or enjoying the majesty of the Olympics from the comfort of your couch?

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