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7 Cocktails For Valentine’s

7 Cocktails For Valentine’s

Whether you’re lucky or unlucky in love, this touchy-feely time of year is as good as any to drink a damn fine cocktail. We asked seven of our favourite bartenders in Saigon what they think people should order this Valentine’s Day.


Peter Nguyen of Rabbit Hole and new venture ET Lounge on Dong Khoi Street recommends this pre-Prohibition fruity tipple consisting of gin, dry vermouth, lemon juice, raspberry syrup and egg white. The Clover Club cocktail emerged from the eponymously-named Clover Club inside the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, an all-male salon that attracted those who wanted to see and be seen. These days, it can and should be enjoyed by anyone and everyone.


45ml gin

15ml dry vermouth

15ml lemon juice

15ml raspberry syrup

1 egg white

Garnish: 2 or 3 raspberries

Rabbit Hole. Photo: Mike Palumbo


Flamboyant bartender Nicola Cinelli of Vesper suggests this bourbon-based cocktail we hear little about in our neck of the woods. Created at New York’s Pegu Club, this shaken number has found a home on the other side of the world and in the hearts and minds of drinkers at one of Saigon’s most popular lounges.


45ml bourbon

20ml creme de cacao (white)

20ml Lillet Rouge

20ml lemon juice

Photo: Layla


Aussie good vibe engineer Jay Moir from uber-popular Layla in Saigon reckons this little vodka-based sweetie is the way to go for Valentine’s. A “Russia-fied” twist on the Brazilian classic caipirinha, it’s also tweaked by replacing lime with that loviest-of-doviest of fruits, strawberries.


60ml vodka

1 tbs sugar

1 cup strawberries

Half a quartered lime

Soda (optional)

Photo: Below Whisky Den


Kata Simon of Below takes us back in time with her selection of this Prohibition Era cocktail made with white rum. Named after America’s first modern silver screen celebrity of the silent movie era, this drink is guaranteed to create some noise beneath the sheets come Valentine’s Day this year.


45ml white rum

45ml fresh pineapple juice

1 tsp maraschino liqueur

1 tsp grenadine

Garnish: 1 maraschino cherry

Drinking & Healing. Photo: Mike Palumbo


Plucky Drinking & Healing bartender Du, affectionately called Zoo, takes us a step back before the more famous Brandy Alexander was even conceived with his Valentine’s selection that replaces brandy with gin. There are no theatrics or pyrotechnics involved here, but with a few of these lush tipples under the belt, expect there to be fireworks sometime during the night.


50ml gin

25ml creme de cacao

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25ml cream

Garnish: Fresh nutmeg

Photo: ET Lounge


The debonair Matyas Busek of new Saigon bar ET Lounge has chosen to keep things simple but classy with this classic for Valentine’s. Who doesn’t like being handed a champagne flute at the beginning of the night with the promise of bigger things to come?


90ml champagne

10ml cognac

2 dashes of Angostura

1 sugar cube

Garnish: 1 maraschino cherry, orange peel

Firkin Bar. Photo: Mike Palumbo


Champion bartender Nguyen Toan My of Firkin suggests something sweet and creamy for the ladies, but for the gentlemen, he recommends a classic whiskey cocktail like the famous Old Fashioned, something that needs very little introduction here.


50ml bourbon or rye whiskey

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

1 sugar cube

Splash of warm water

Garnish: Orange peel

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