Looking for a little Love Potion No. 9? On Black Sunday, instead of offering roses, lovers can toast with rose cocktails. The love bud has become a popular flavor for bartenders to infuse into drinks, with that heady floral scent making for some truly romantic libations. Below, 19 examples of flower power.
Location: 9 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville, MA
Bartender: Daniel Braganca
Cocktail: Olfactory Eavesdropping ($12) with gin, rose liqueur, honey, lemon, maraschino, and a rose water garnish.
Bartender Daniel Braganca named this cocktail after the communication method of bees. "It’s scent-based, which I thought was fitting given the fragrant aroma of rose and its use of honey," he explains. Thanks to the rose liqueur and rose water garnish, the flower's musky aroma permeates throughout the cocktail from smell to taste while balancing with the gin's botanicals.
Location: 70 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA
Bartender: Michael Ray
Cocktail: Juliet and Romeo ($12) with Wire Works Gin, mint, cucumber, and rose water.
In the Juliet and Romeo, a spritz of rose water complements the gin's floral and citrus notes. Mint leaves, muddled cucumber, and a hint of sea salt freshen up the well-balanced cocktail.
Location: 219 Elm Street, Somerville, MA
Bartender: Lindolpfo "Lindy" Silva
Cocktail: Rosa Beso ($12) with rose water spray, sparkling wine, grapefruit bitters, crème de cassis, St. Elder elderflower liqueur, a sugar cube, and a rose petal garnish.
What could be more elegant and romantic than a rose-scented Champagne cocktail? Barman Lindy Silva created this take on the classic Champagne cocktail, but added cassis for color and fruit flavor, plus elderflower liqueur and rose water for a floral aroma.
Location: 259 E Erie Street, Fl 18, Chicago, IL
Bartender: Julia Momose
Cocktail: American Woman ($13) with Beefeater London Dry Gin, Marie-Framboise, Cappelletti Aperitivo, Suze, rose hips, grapefruit, and cava.
This aperitif cocktail, made with a local rose hip liqueur by Koval Distillery, balances the Suze's bitter gentian and grapefruit zest notes, with delicate rose hip and soft raspberry flavors. The gin gives the cocktail some backbone, while the cava's bubbles add a sense of occasion.
Location: 2200 W Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL
Bartender: Benjamin Schiller
Cocktail: Doris ($12) with gin, lemon, flower water (rose water, orange blossom water, and hedysarum water with citrus oil), and salt.
Beverage director Benjamin Schiller named his rosy cocktail after his grandmother who was an avid gardener. The gin-forward Doris is served over an ice-encased rose, with a spritz of flower water applied tableside via an antique perfume sprayer.
Location: 4002 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
Bartender: Ergys Dizdari
Cocktail: The Spell ($10) with FEW Breakfast Gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, rose-lavender syrup, rose water, and a rose petal garnish.
Since FEW Breakfast Gin is flavored with Earl Grey tea and lemon, barman Ergys Dizdari created this refreshing, flowery ode to an English tea party. The rose-lavender syrup and elderflower liqueur enhance the gin's botanicals.
Location: 933 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA
Bartender: Daniel Sabo
Cocktail: Love Potion No. 929 ($13) with Hendrick's Gin, strawberry-infused Lillet Rose, creme de cacao, rosebud tincture, orange citrate, and lemon bitters.
This love potion is meant to be a conglomeration of all things romance: wine, strawberries, chocolate, and roses. The cocktail initially tastes floral, followed by sweetness and acidity mid-palate, rounded out by notes of cacao and roses. While one can try the Love Potion No. 929 at the Ace's Upstairs bar, the drink will also be part of the bar's "Romance Kit," which will include two Love Potion cocktails, four oysters, and two shots of tequila served in a small bathtub over crushed ice.
Location: 8700 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA
Bartender: Christiaan Rollich
Cocktail: Little Leaf ($14) with Wilder Gin, za'atar, rose, kaffir, Campari, and egg white.
Even though it has a name that implies something small, the Little Leaf is big on flavor. Barman Christiaan Rollich was looking for a bold extra layer to add to his za'atar syrup. "I read about spice mixes using rose, so why not add it," he questions. While he initially built the drink with cachaça and pisco, he found that the cocktail's ingredients overpowered both those spirits. So, he went with gin, which added a citrus elegance.
Location: 615 S Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA
Bartender: Josh Suchan
Cocktail: Got Love? ($12) with gin, lemon juice, honey, kiwi-rose water foam, and orange bitters.
This variation of the classic Bee's Knees cocktail is meant to represent the transition from winter to spring, when flowers bloom and bees get busy again. "This naturally bright honey and citrus base plays perfectly with the fruity tang of the kiwi and floral accents of the rose water," says bartender Josh Suchan.
Location: 10 W Century Drive, Los Angeles, CA
Bartender: Feisser Stone
Cocktail: La Vie en Rose ($15) with rose-infused gin, St. Germain, raspberries, lemon, and prosecco.
"Delicate and floral, sweet and bubbly, La Vie en Rose is the perfect Valentine's Day cocktail," says creator Feisser Stone. Thanks to the rose-infused gin, the first sip is a delicious floral start.
Location: 1555 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA
Bartender: Dona Bridges
Cocktail: Love Me Forever ($14) with rose petal-infused Aylesbury Duck Vodka, ginger, blood orange juice, Gran Classico Bitter, and a spray of Combier Liqueur de Rose.
This simple floral sipper, named after a Motorhead song, showcases orange citrus flavor with floral notes. It's a crowd pleaser that complements oysters and raw fish.
Location: 500 Hartnell Street, Monterey, CA
Bartender: Josh Perry
Cocktail: Whole Lotta Rosie ($13) with raspberry eau de vie, Sauternes, pressed pomegranate, and house-made rose water.
The first sip of this rose cocktail evokes a crisp winter. Notes of pear and raspberry pop mid-palate and the cocktail finishes with rose and cranberry.
Location: 316 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA
Bartender: Laura Bellucci
Cocktail: Kiss from a Rose ($12) with Lillet Rose, Botanist gin, grapefruit, honey, Angostura bitters, rose water, and vanilla.
What's the flavor of love? Bar chef Laura Belluci thinks it tastes like her new bright and floral cocktail which she says is over the top. "But that's how you feel when you're in love: brimming with love like your glass is about to overflow, exploding with flavor and color." To drive home the romantic point, the cocktail is poured over a petite rose frozen in ice.
New York City
Location: 41 West 57th Street, New York, NY
Bartender: Eamon Rockey
Cocktail: Bright Lights ($18) with gin, clarified lime juice, and flash-frozen rose petals.
For Valentine's Day, Betony will be serving this classic sour variation tableside with a little show of liquid nitrogen. The cocktail itself mixes fresh rose petals with bright citrus and includes a splash of Champagne for texture.
Location: 323 W Broadway, New York, NY
Bartender: Emil Galiev
Cocktail: Roza ($15) with Nolet’s gin, dry vermouth, a fragrant rose cordial, and a single rose petal garnish.
To enhance the rose flavor, bartender Emil Galiev created a rose cordial which complements the Nolet's gin's notes of rose, lavender, raspberry, and peach.
Location: 2943 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA
Bartender: Trevor Bowles
Cocktail: Bit by a Rose ($12) with Plymouth Navy Strength Gin, rose petal liqueur, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, and a rose petal garnish.
For Bit by a Rose, barman Trevor Bowles wanted to create a spirit-forward cocktail that looked and smelled beautiful. "The mild sweetness of the rose petal liqueur and the booziness of the navy strength gin balance so well together," he says. "A few drops of rose water on the petals give the appearance of morning dew and an aroma of a bouquet of flowers."
Location: 928 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA
Bartender: Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail: Bitter Petals ($16) with gin, Byrrh, Campari, chocolate, elderflower liqueur, bitters, and roses.
Canon doesn't celebrate V-Day and will have water pistols at every table so that those caught showing PDA will immediately get soaked by the whole room. The bar will, however, serve up a bitter anti-Valentine cocktail, Bitter Petals, which tastes like a chocolate Negroni with subtle floral notes.
Location: 2332 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA
Bartender: Lauren Clapp
Cocktail: Heart of Hearts ($13) with Old Tom gin, lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, orgeat, egg whites, and rose water.
This rosebud-topped gin sour twist is light, floral, citrusy, with a dry finish. The rose water serves to bring out the bright and flowery aromatics of the Old Tom gin and Lillet Blanc.
Location: 7734 Forsyth Blvd, Clayton, MO
Bartender: Diana Benanti
Cocktail: She’s Lost Control ($10) with lavender vodka, lime cordial, lime, Luxardo maraschino, black pepper, rose water, and club soda.
General manager and bartender Diana Benanti is always looking for ways to incorporate perfumey flowers into cocktails because that's her jam. So her 'She's Lost Control' drinks like "floral lemonade on steroids," with a light rose note that complements the lavender.