Valentine’s Day cocktails for celebrating or drowning sorrows

Temptation: just one of the aphrodisiac-inspired cocktails available at Tabu this weekend.

Whether you’re celebrating love with your significant other this February 14 or wishing you could skip the day altogether, a cocktail can help. Tabu, Rhumbar and N9NE Steakhouse are all serving up delectable drinks in the theme of Valentine’s Day this weekend.

MGM Grand’s Tabu takes Valentine’s mixology to an enticing level with its aphrodisiac-inspired cocktails. Our eye is on the Temptation, a sweet and smooth concoction of lychee vodka, white and dark chocolate liqueurs and a splash of cream. It’s the chocolate that gets you “in the mood”; phenylethylamine is a naturally occurring amphetamine in the brain that’s released by chocolate. Its effects are similar to what you feel when you’re attracted to someone—say your sweetie, or the soon-to-not-be stranger next to you at the bar.

Rhumbar at the Mirage gives us another drink with the good stuff. Bartenders there are spicing up hot cocoa with cayenne pepper, then taking it up a notch by adding vanilla schnapps and Appleton rum. This delicious dessert drink, dubbed the S’mooches and S’mores, is a nod to everyone’s favorite campfire treat, so don’t forget the marshmallow and graham cracker finish.

Finally, N9NE Steakhouse’s cocktail is especially for those who’ve been hit hard by Cupid’s arrow. Treat your date to the romantic combination of strawberries and champagne with the restaurant’s Strawberry 75, a mouthwatering mixture of champagne, dry gin, strawberry liqueur, simple syrup and lemon juice.

Temptation from Tabu

1 oz. Kai lychee vodka

1 oz. Godiva white chocolate liqueur

1 oz. Godiva dark chocolate liqueur

Splash of cream

Method: Combine all ingredients. Pour into chocolate syrup-swirled glass.

A kickback to the campfire: smores as a luscious libation.

S’mooches and S’mores

from Rhumbar

4 tsp. of cayenne pepper-infused hot cocoa mix (recipe below)

1 oz. Dekuyper vanilla schnapps

1 oz. Appleton rum

3 oz. hot water


Graham cracker triangle

Hot fudge

Cayenne Pepper-Infused Hot Chocolate Mix

1 lb. powdered hot cocoa mix

2 tsp. cayenne red pepper

Method: Combine all ingredients (except marshmallow, graham cracker and fudge) in a coffee mug, mix well. Cover surface with marshmallows, brûlée until toasted. Top with graham crackers and drizzle with hot fudge.

The Strawberry 75, available at N9NE Steakhouse.

Strawberry 75 from N9NE Steakhouse

1.5 oz. Nolet dry gin

1 oz. sugar

1 oz. lemon juice

2 oz. Perrier Jouet champagne

.5 oz. Fragoli wild strawberry liqueur


Method: Combine Nolet gin, sugar and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an iced highball glass. Top with Perrier Jouet champagne and Fragoli liqueur. Garnish with strawberries.


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