The Raspberry Smash is a favorite cocktail of visitors of Santa Barbara’s Four Seasons Biltmore, and the swanky Coral Casino across the street. I was SO excited to see it printed in Bon Appetit last summer. It is fresh and delicious. Made by muddling fresh raspberries, this drink is not your typical overly sweet syrupy cocktail.  It’s a summery cocktail, but works well for Valentine’s Day, or any day really.
Raspberry Smash
makes 2
  • 2 lime wedges
  • Sugar (for dipping)
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 6 tablespoons vodka
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup chilled Champagne
Run 1 lime wedge around rims of 2 old-fashioned glasses. Dip rims in sugar. Place both lime wedges, raspberries, vodka, and 4 teaspoons sugar in cocktail shaker; using muddler or wooden spoon handle, smash fruit mixture. Add ice; shake 10 seconds. Divide between glasses (do not strain), top with Champagne, and serve. 
Adapted from Bella Vista, recipe featured in Bon Appetit June 2010.
Bella Vista, photo from Four Seasons

Hibiscus Flower Cocktails
Champagne is the quintessential Valentine’s Day drink. To make it more festive, I like to drop in a hibiscus flower with a little hibiscus syrup. The jar of hibiscus flowers in syrup comes with a few more cocktail recipes that all look fantastic. For a virgin drink, use sparkling water with a little of the syrup and a flower.

Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup - 8.8 ozHibiscus flowers in syrup. I have found these at Gelson’s and Williams-Sonoma locally, and on Amazon.