Romantic Libations

By Michelle Payer

Either to start the evening on a romantic note or create a dreamy night in under candlelight or starlit beach, a special cocktail sets the mood. We asked our Il Mulino New York and Costa Grill mixologists to share their favorite, easy-to-prepare cocktails-for-two that ignite sparks and inspire Cupid to draw his arrow:

Il Mulino New York’s “The Woman in the Red Dress” cocktail:

1 1/2 oz. orange vodka
½ oz. Campari
½ oz lime juice
1/2 oz. St. Germain
Five raspberries, muddled

Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well, serve in a martini glass, then top with champagne.

Garnish with a fresh raspberry skewer.




Costa Grill’s Cupid’s Arrow cocktail:

1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup fresh strawberries or raspberries
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Two ice cubes
Crushed ice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (or 1 large lemon)
2 oz. gin
Sparkling water

Blueberry, Raspberry
Slice of Watermelon

Directions: In a large glass jar or shaker, add the berries (blueberries, strawberries/raspberries) and maple syrup. Using a pestle, muddle the berries.  Add the ice, lemon juice and gin. Place a lid on top and shake for about 30 seconds to mix and chill the liquid.

Strain out pulp and pour half into cocktail glasses filled with crushed ice; fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water. Garnish with fresh berries and a slice of watermelon cut into the shape of a heart.