The nation’s top love libations

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Drinks, Opinion

Hot from Instagram, our quirky Best-of the cocktails and libations being slung and swung for Lovers Day.
We recommend salting your rim as we feasted with our eyes only and didn’t taste a damn one.

It’s Valentine’s Day and later tonight, some people will be the winners and losers of their annual Love Day marketing strategy. Rather than going out and drinking my Valentines sorrows (not even Basil Hayden, Gentleman Jack or Johnnie Walker sent me a damn rose, let alone Four Roses), I thought I’d break down the prettiest and potentially most divisive bastions of liquid romance on the socials, vying for the attention (and dollars) of those lovebirds and Galentines who didn’t make a dinner reservation or simply prefer to go straight to dessert.

First published on More Good Drinks.

4 Charming Valentine's Day Cocktail Recipes Featuring PA Spirits
  1. When any drink will do? Parasol & Swing Company are offering you their regular menu, not a special in sight but a timely reminder that any libation you choose may be just the liquid romance you’re looking for. We also see the first in a disturbing trend of Valentines drinks flying solo at the bar, which is both questionable but also honest love messaging this time of year.

A post shared by @parasolandswing
  1. The Bramble skirts controversy by offering the Secret Admirer with
    Okar Tropic (orange & tamarind aperitif), Moksha gin, demerara syrup, lemon
    and aquafaba. The controversy – ladies get to drink for only $16 a serve. That’s one helluva offer to fill the bar with women and potentially questionable, not-so-secret admirers.

    **Update: The Bramble have decided everyone deserves to drink for $16 on the night of love, I remove my judgment but not the comment 🙂

A post shared by @thebramblenz
  1. It’s pink. That’s all Broken Lantern has to say about it, keeping things refreshingly simple for Valentines so you can focus on your Valentine. Again, why are all these people drinking alone?

A post shared by @broken.lantern

Joint 8th place to Pink Lady Rooftop who still keep it simple, pink but at least included two drinks and the hope you might not have to finish them both.

  1. Caretaker knows what you need if you should happen to be drinking alone – a bartender willing to get to know you, understand your needs and soothe your soul with something custom, so you get just what you need – a seat at the bar where someone is obliged to listen and do just as you ask but needs no instruction. Nudge, wink, innuendo intended.

A post shared by @caretaker.nz
  1. Rocketman could never let us down with their all-inclusive approach. Once you’ve had your spirits soothed, head upstairs to the dance party for many that will leave your spirits soaring. Dance like no-one is watching and you can buy your own damn flowers.

A post shared by @rocketman.nz
  1. Teresa continue the inclusivity with something for everyone – fizzy, peachy and even slightly sour. Their bold declaration inspires that you can still be happy even if it’s a drink for one!
  1. Austin Club get their spot close to the top because hello, if Valentines Day isn’t the beginning and often the end of Careless Whispers, I don’t know what it. Top points for the name of the drink and the inclusion of seasonal plums. It trumps the single serve captured in this image. Just.

    Featuring a blend of plum rose reduction, old tom gin, and fragrant rosemary – and chocolate mud cake, in case you really need help sealing the deal.

A post shared by @austinclubchch
  1. First Class Cocktails rocket to third place, despite the single glass simply because they declared the whole month of February worthy of Valentines love smooches and remembered that a drink alone, is not enough on this day of extravagant gestures. They suggest taking a whole bottle home or the gift pack. Giving is loving, folks and we love a giver.
  1. The Nightcar is fresh from opening and staying classic with an air of confident and undeniable cool. Oysters with champagne? Of course. A champagne cocktail from the trolley service – even better, take me home now. Te Kouma oysters and a cocktail with Bloody Shiraz gin, creme de cassis, liquorice, and Moet Chandon Brut Imperial. Speaking to lovers and pals, this hits all Four Pillars of appeal and they didn’t even mention the curtained booths. Classy.

A post shared by @thenightcar
  1. Who could deny Bedford Soda & Liquor’s marketing chemistry right now – hitting all the right spots and serving up Chemistry all night long – vodka, fresh strawberry, kawakawa & citrus cordial, coconut & white chocolate with a hint of chilli. It’s giving sweet heat, with a little bit of everything you like including a chocolate rim (I’ll say nothing), a snack for later and smart enough to play naughty or nice. Selling in two-for-one pairs or on their own, in case you’re all the chemistry you need plus a giveaway for lucky customers on the night. Usually less is more but tonight – more is more.

A post shared by @bedfordballers

So there you go – it’s 4pm and just about time to wrangle the Tay-Tays from the Travs, the heartless from the heartbroken and play your deep soul funk til the break of dawn.

Good luck lovers and I’ll see you on the other side!

About the Author

Tash McGill

Tash McGill works as a strategy consultant in tourism, hospitality and digital transformation. She is co-founder of The Feed, President of Food Writers NZ, Chair of the New Zealand Whisky Association.

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