Candy Hearts and a Lipstick Garnish for Toasts to Love

My second cocktail article appears in today’s Reno Gazette-Journal!

To me, Valentine’s Day is synonymous with passion and candy — or passion about candy. Whichever one you identify with, I wanted to integrate that feeling into holiday cocktails to delight you and your significant other. 

As I started to experiment, I realized recipes don’t have to contain nine different liquors. Two suffice if they create a flavorful combination. While that might be obvious to some, I nearly had to burn my throat to learn that!

Presentation is crucial, too. I wanted the drinks to be fun, flirty and worth taking time from your day to shake up and sip. So enjoy — just don’t burn your throat!


(All recipes courtesy of Kellene Stockwell of Reno)


Matte red lipstick
1 ounce Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream
1 ounce Amarula Liqueur
1 ounce Cask and Cream Chocolate Temptation Cream Liqueur
Sliced strawberry 

Kiss a cocktail (martini) glass to leave behind lipstick imprint. Add 3 liqueurs to ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake, then strain into glass. Garnish glass with sliced strawberry placed next to lip print. Serves 1.

Note: The Cask and Cream bottle I bought contained numerous chocolate lumps. I recommend shaking before opening bottle. For more chocolaty taste, reduce Amarula by 1/2 ounce and add 1/2 ounce Cask and Cream.

Wonka SweetTart Hearts
1 maraschino cherry
2 ounces X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
2 ounces UV Cherry Vodka 

Crush heart candies into near powder. Wet rim of cocktail glass, then dip twirl in powder to lightly and evenly coat. 

Place cherry in bottom of glass. Add remaining ingredients to ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake, then strain into glass. Serves 1. 

Note: The candies are somewhat tart, but they complement the melon flavor in the X-Rated.

3 to 5 maraschino cherries, frozen beforehand to serve as ice cubes, plus 2 more unfrozen cherries
4 or 5 drops red food dye
Glaceau Kiwi-Strawberry VitaminWater
Plastic sword cocktail picks

Place frozen cherries in bottom of old-fashioned glass. Fill 3/4 full of VitaminWater. Mix in dye (used to maintain red color because cherry juice dissipates). Stir. Spear each remaining cherry with cocktail pick and arrange as garnish. Serves 1.

Note: You can also use Minute Maid Raspberry Lemonade or Pomegranate Cherry Sobe Lifewater; pink color is paramount. Eventually, red dye should wear off so your lips can be pucker ready for a special Valentine’s Day kiss.

And one more: Did you know it’s extremely hard to find small arrows for Valentine’s Day? I finally had to give in and use swords! Who says Cupid can’t be a sword fighter instead of an archer? 

Maraschino cherries
1 ounce DeKuyper Hot Damn Cinnamon Schnapps
1 ounce Smirnoff Triple Vodka 

Add ingredients to shot glass. Squeeze cherries to release drops of liquid into glass. Carefully stir. The resulting shot should appear pinkish. Serves 1.

Cocktail correspondent Kellene Stockwell is an Emmy Award-winning producer at KTVN Channel 2. She is currently working on her breakthrough Hollywood screenplay. You can read her blog at or follow her Twitter adventures at @kellene23.


One Response

  1. following the triumphant Cupid’s Sword, can a Stiletto Amaretto be far behind???
    Nice job! – Karl Breckenridge

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