February, and our thoughts turn to love and romance. Today they say that a love affair must be 50/50. What makes a happy romance? 50% Trust + 50% Lust. Valentine’s Day was not always a day that celebrated by sweethearts. It began in the 3rd century AD as the Feast of Lupercalia, from February 13 to 15. But that’s another story. Here are my picks for you to make a new story!
This Valentine’s Day, spend some time with someone you love. Make a plan, embrace the snow. Hiking, Fat-Biking, Skating, or any of the myriad of winter sports. But whatever you do, be sure to end it with chocolate.
Eighty-five years ago, in a small town in the Swiss Alps, Master Chocolatier Dolf Teuscher embarked on a path that would make him one of the world’s greatest chocolatiers. The first time I put a Teuscher Champagne Truffle into my mouth, it gave me the same rush as a kiss from a handsome stranger. And the memory lingers…
The exquisite artisanal packaging elicits immediate ooh’s and aah’s, and will be saved as a keepsake.
What’s in the box? A selection of Teuscher’s 100 varieties from the original recipes passed along from father to son. The world’s finest and most expensive ingredients are blended together using absolutely no chemicals, additives or preservatives. Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland are the gold standard.
Many a romance has begun with the phrase, “Let’s meet for a coffee.” Make it a great coffee with the De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso machine. The facts are that it features a 15-bar pump and stainless-steel boiler, and creates the optimal pressure and temperature to extract an authentic single or double espresso. It has an upgraded steam wand for lattes and cappuccinos. I use it to make an Americano and impress myself and my friends by the substantial crema at the top of the cup.
If your drink of choice is water, choose one of the world’s finest waters, Vellamo. The cool blue glass bottle is like a block of ice reflecting the blue colour in glaciers. It holds the only natural mineral water source of Finland, the country that, according to a UNESCO study, has the finest groundwater in the world. Encapsulated for over 10,000 years, it has been protected from harmful bacteria and modern-day pollution. Soft yet rich. Mild yet fully-flavored. The taste is so unique that it needs to be experienced. Vellamo natural mineral water has an ideal balance of electrolytes and high alkalinity such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium. Pure and natural.
Fever-Tree selection of Tonic, Ginger Beer, Ginger Ale and the entire range of its products are like small explosions of pure flavour in the mouth. Deservedly, they’ve been voted Drinks International No.1 Top Selling Mixer and No. 1 Top Trending Mixer. Could they possibly have done anything more? Yes indeed: the Fever-Tree Easy Mixing hard cover book with gorgeous illustrations has more than 150 quick and delicious recipes for mixed drinks and cocktails. Chapters include G&T and Friends, Sodas and Spritzers, Mules and Mojitos, Highballs and Oddballs, No and Low Alcohol, and Pitcher Perfect. I have tried several recipes, just with what I have on hand, and for Valentine’s Day, the Raspberry Mule is my favorite.
Raspberry Mule Recipe
¼ Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Ginger Beer
3 Teaspoons raspberry liqueur
2 Lime wedges
2 Raspberries and 1 mint sprig
- Fill a copper mug or glass with ice cubes and pour over vodka and raspberry liqueur. Top up with Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Ginger Beer. Squeeze lime over ice and place in drink. Garnish with raspberries and mint sprig.
Did you know that tea pairs well with chocolate? While cocoa is likely to be on the menu for many in the coming weeks, Camellia Sinensis shares its recommendations for a harmony of flavours!
Dark Chocolate / Assam Banaspaty Organic and Fair-trade Black Tea
For strong, even bitter chocolates, a round tea with character is ideal. The black tea Assam Banaspaty Organic and Fair-trade’s wooded and fruity notes are sure to be a perfect match for dark chocolate.
Milk Chocolate / Da Hong Pao M. Wu
For milk chocolates with lower levels of cocoa, Da Hong Pao M. Wu is a match made in heaven! Its delicacy, nevertheless present, will deepen the aromatic experience of the two.
White Chocolate / Darjeeling 1st Flush Singell Organic and Fair-trade Black Tea
Joining subtle sweetness and silkiness, the pairing of Darjeeling 1st Flush Singell Organic and Fair-trade and white chocolate makes for a balanced yet aromatic experience.
And where will I be dining on Valentines Day? On a beguiling menu from EDO.
Happy Valentine’s Day from our hearts to yours!
Sara Waxman is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.