Valentine’s Day is best spent with the people you love, be it friends, family or a partner – and this year, many people may choose to stay in for a cozy night by the fire, rather than venture out into the city.
If you’re isolating on February 14, or would rather stay home out of caution, there are dozens of things you can do from the comfort of your front room – from chocolate fountains to the catching up on Disney Plus.
And why not celebrate with a glass of something fizzy, or perhaps gin is more your style? Either way, you’ll be spoiled for choice for a tipple when they can be delivered straight to your door. And for those not drinking this February, there are some fabulous no-alcohol options too.
Here are 10 different fizz, gin and zero alcohol options to try this Valentine’s – and one is even made right here in Manchester.
Please always drink responsibly.
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Thinking of going all out and popping the cork on a bottle of fizz this Valentine’s? Whether you’re planning on sipping champers or the more affordable cava, there’s something that just feels so sophisticated about drinking bubbles from a flute.
Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé
Hailing from Reims, in France, this rosé champagne is a deep salmon pink colour, smelling of fresh wild strawberries and a hint of spice.
The cork goes with a satisfying ‘bang’, and bubbles buzz in the glass as it’s poured.
This one is definitely more for a candlelit dinner and luxury night in, priced at £52.15 a bottle. But you can save over a tenant if you order it from ocado where it’s marked up at £40.
Anna de Codorniu
A modern take on a traditional cava, the Anna de Codorniu features premium Catalan Chardonnay fruit with gorgeous golden bubbles.
It’s dubbed ‘Spain’s most-loved and No. 1 best-selling fizz’, and is a respectable £11.99 at Waitrose.
Named after the last family member to take the de Codorniu surname, the Cava is made with grapes with notes of peach and apple.
Said to be ‘delicious with runny cheeses in particular’, cheeseboard and fizz this February 14?
If you’d like to share a more conventional pink sparkling wine with your Valentine, then try the Codorniu Rosado Brut.
It’s made entirely from Monastrell, also known as Mourvèdre in France, known for its rich red fruit flavors and clove-like spice.
This is a lighter pink shade than the pricier Taittinger, and looks super cute garnished with a strawberry. Perhaps one to serve alongside a chocolate fountain?
This fizz comes with a price tag under a tenant at £9.49, and is also available at Waitrose.
From pink gins to pinot gins – to gins made right here in our fair city of Manchester. The spirit is perhaps more popular than ever and is perfect for making cocktails if you and your partner or friends fancy an at-home cocktail making night in.
Here are five gins to try this February 14.
Manchester Gin Raspberry Infused is like Valentine’s Day in a bottle, with a rosy pink hue and delicate fruity flavour.
The brand was launched in 2013 when Seb Heeley and Jen Wiggins met over a gin and tonic.
Fast forward, and the couple went from distilling 25,000 bottles of gin from their dining room to relocating their distillery beneath Manchester Central on Watson Street, capable of producing a million bottles a year.
For Valentine’s, they’ve launched a Manchester Gin Luxury G&T Gift Set as the perfect opportunity to share an intimate Valentine’s Day drink, including a 500ml bottle of Manchester Gin, two Manchester Gin branded glasses, and two 200ml Franklin & Sons Naturally Light Tonics.
Slingsby Rhubarb Gin
A twist on their traditional London Dry, Slingsby have infused their recipe with Yorkshire rhubarb for a tart flavor balanced with bitter pink grapefruit.
And what’s more, is that their 70cl bottles, costing £30, can be personalized for an extra £5, which prints a special message for your loved one on the label.
Slingsby are even spreading the love by throwing in a free Valentine’s card with personalized orders, which can be left blank, or sent with a loved up message inside.
The brand recommends serving their rhubarb gin with an elderflower tonic and garnished with raspberries and a sprig of mint, and you can even have it delivered in a gorgeous gift box for an extra £3.
Opihr Szechuan Pepper Spiced Gin
If you’re looking to turn the heat up this February 14, then Opihr gin have fired up a recipe even spicier than their original London dry.
OPIHR Szechuan Pepper Spiced Gin is part of the brand’s ‘Regional Editions’ range, with the 43% ABV Far East edition featuring warming flavors of Szechuan pepper and smoky ajwain.
It’s spicy, juicy and indulgent – what more could you want on the day of love?
Priced at £25.99 from Masters of Malt it’s best served with ginger ale and a squeeze of lime – or try a Mediterranean tonic and slice of chili to really up the temperature.
Ginato Pinot Grigio Gin
The best of both worlds, Ginato’s Pinot Grigio caters to added wine and gin alike.
Using the Pinot Grigio grape with Sicilian lemons with Tuscan juniper berries, it creates a citrusy gin that is really fresh and bright.
It offers an ABV of 43%, and a chilled Mediterranean tonic and fresh fruit makes for the perfect serve.
The vintage style bottle is really lovely, and it could make the ideal gift – paired with a weekend away in Italy, perhaps?
Ginato Pinot Grigio Gin is medium dry with hints of honey and pear, costing £28 at Ocado.
Award-winning distillery Hepple Spirits gin fresh juniper in Hepple’s ‘pioneering distilling process’.
The juniper is grown on the Hepple estate on generations of juniper bushes, and distilled to heighten flavor which would typically be reduced in the regular distilling process.
Juniper-led with sandalwood and cedar complimented by sweet blackcurrant and liquorice, it’s almost reminiscent of an expensive masculine aftershave.
In September 2018, HRH Prince Charles visited the distillery to plant a juniper and sample a martini, reportedly making ‘generous affirmations about how much the martini suited the royal palate’.
the Hepple Gin gift box – with a 500ml bottle and two etched cocktail glasses – costs £60 and is available from their website. If it’s good enough for the Royals, it’s good enough for me.
If you’re off the booze this February, there are also some brilliant alcohol-free options to enjoy this Valentine’s – including a gin-like spirit and a trio of no-alcohol wines.
Warner’s 0% pink berry botanic spirit
An alcohol-free alternative to pink gin, Warner’s experimented with 53 natural ingredients before finalizing the recipe for this fruity tipple.
Perfect for those who are continuing dry January into February, are designated driver for the evening, or simply don’t drink, it has all the flavor and feel of a gin without the hangover.
It took two years for the distillery to complete this ‘spirit’, which states of raspberry and blackcurrant with Szechuan pepper, ginger and chilli, with 90% of the ingredients grown on their own farm.
It’s light and palatable, and would be ideal for making mocktails with – or serve with lemonade, ice and a slice.
You can buy it for £18 from Ocado here.
VINADA non-alcoholic sparkling wine
VINADA is a range of non-alcohol sparkling wines produced using a process that retains most of the wine’s original aroma and taste.
There are three wines in the range Crispy Chardonnay, Tinteling Tempranillo Rosé and Amazing Airén Gold.
Available on amazon after the brand launched in the UK in November, you can get a personal sized bottle of all three varieties for less than £20.
The box includes three ‘sippers’ that look like stoppers but act as a little champagne flute to drink straight from the bottle.
My favorite was the rosé which is said to pair well with desserts like chocolate tart.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.