Bartender Matthew Swig displays a Mariposa, a gin-based drink with butterfly pea flower, at the Butcher and the Bar in Boynton Beach. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
By Jan Norris
Area mixologists are on double-time stirring and shaking up delectable love potions in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.
Colorful, seductive and meant to complement food and atmosphere, the drinks are a range of flavors.
At the Butcher and the Bar in Boynton Beach, Eric Anderson and his team concocted the Mariposa.
With an edible butterfly pea flower as a garnish, the passion-purple shaded drink is made from a special black gin from Spain, Puerto de Indias.
“Our bartender fell in love with the gin and really wanted to make a drink with it, so he came up with this,” Anderson said. “It’s the flavor profile of a creamsicle. He pretty much hit it.”
Along with the vanilla-scented gin, made dark from molasses, the drink contains lime juice and orange cream bitters. A subtle sweetness comes from the simple syrup infused with the butterfly pea flower, which is sourced locally, Anderson said.
“We spray the inside of the glass with vanilla extract, and use egg whites for the foam. A pea flower is used as garnish.”
Meant to be served in a stemmed glass, it’s a decidedly seductive drink. The bar has this as a special, Anderson said, which is changed out every few weeks. What’s Valentine’s Day without some bubbles?
At the Sea Spray bar in the Waterstone Hotel in Boca Raton, mixologists have created the Sun of Venus, a nod to the goddess of love, often seen in a seashell. It marries the waterfront theme of the bar overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
Deep pink, from the herbal Campari, this drink gets its kick from Codigo mezcal and touch of sugar from sweet vermouth.
It’s served with a playful orange twist.
LEFT: The Aikou from Akira Back in Delray Beach. RIGHT: The Sun of Venus from the Waterstone in Boca Raton. Photos provided
At Akira Back in Delray Beach, the bartenders will be shaking up the Aikou, a gin-based drink mixed with pomegranate puree to give it a pink glow, topped with a rosé for bubbles.
A butterfly is poised on the rim of the glass, made from a rose petal.
The mixologist shared the recipe:
1 ounce Roku gin
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
splash of pomegranate purée
pomegranate seeds, for garnish
rose petal, and mini wood clothespin, for rim
Shake together with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a flute or coupe. Top with Moët Rosé. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. For the butterfly on the glass rim, use a rose petal pinched to wings with a mini clothespin
Makes 1 drink.
Other restaurants, such as Seagate Hotel’s Atlantic Grille, will offer special cocktails, a dining menu and extras such as take-home gifts. The B in Love cocktail is made with Don Julio reposado tequila, beet shrub, lime and agave. The hotel will feature a special $85 three-course, prix fixe menu, along with a chocolate dessert buffet.
At the Hospitality group of restaurants, a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu includes a welcome cocktail and a drink with the multicourse meal. Prices vary by locations. They include Lemongrass Asian Bistro (Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach), the Sea Kitchen (Delray Beach), and Ramen Lab Eatery (Boca Raton, West Boca Raton and Delray Beach).
The same restaurant group is bringing unique experiences to Valentine’s Day at its concept, Eat District in Boca Raton. Lead chefs will give hands-on workshops for couples, teaching sushi rolls, pad Thai or dumpling making.
Along with the classes, $59 per person, guests get welcome appetizers, premium sake tasting, the main dish as lesson and meal, with dessert.
Dates for classes are Feb. 10, dumplings; Feb. 11, sushi, and Feb. 12, pad Thai.
Contact the restaurant for more details at 561-576-2046.
The dining scene in Lantana got a boost with the opening of Dua, a champagne and wine lounge at 118 E. Ocean Ave.
Albanian owner Diana Boga named the restaurant after her native phrase Te Dua, meaning “I love you,” or just Dua — “want.” Her love of hospitality and interest in charcuterie and wines brought her from New York to open a brick and mortar restaurant.
Small plates to accompany the wine choices include caviar, charcuterie boards, cheeses and olives. Dips, mezze platters and appetizers such as truffle steak crostini are on the menu.
The restaurant hosts special wine tastings and flights, as well as a happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and a DJ spins music on weekends for late night entertainment.
Open-air seating is available.
Dua, 118 E. Atlantic Ave., Lantana. 561-629-7979, or www.dualantana.com
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Jan Norris is a food writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.