Skip the box of chocolates. This year, stir up some romance with one of these ten sugary sips. Whether your date prefers sophisticated martinis or playful spiked milkshakes, these spirited treats are perfect for ending your evening out on a sweet note.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Come for the live jazz music. Stay for the well-mixed martinis. Uptown’s Blue Restaurant & Bar has an extensive collection of the popular drink ranging from a classic dirty version to this tropical libation. Made with vanilla vodka, coconut rum and Frangelico liqueur, it’s as strong as it is sweet. 206 N. College St. 704-927-2583; www.bluecharlotte.com.
Hot Buttered Rum
Warm up at NoDa’s Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub with a mug of this decadent drink. Made with local Queen Charlotte rum, topped with an Amaretto whipped cream, and garnished with a cinnamon stick, it’s as cozy as cocktails come. 3116 N. Davidson St. 704-910-6543; www.crepecellar.com.
Strawberry Shortcake Martini
Forget the usual strawberries dipped in chocolate. This delicious twist on shortcake at North Harbor Club on Lake Norman includes vodka infused in-house with fresh strawberries and a graham cracker rim “crust.” 100 N. Harbor Place Drive, Davidson. 704-896-5559; www.northharborclub.com.
For an espresso elixir sure to have you buzzing, sip on this drink from Halcyon, Flavors of the Earth’s bartender (or is it barista?), Andrew Shook. A mix of Cathead Pecan Vodka, maple syrup and espresso with a scoop of Kahlua-infused whipped cream, it’s part dessert, part dangerous. 500 S. Tryon St. 704-910-0865; www.halcyonflavors.com.
Cookies & Cream
Sure, you could go the regular post-burger milkshake route at the popular Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. But for serious celebrating, indulge in this boozy mix of vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s, Oreo cookies and plenty of smooth, cool ice cream. Multiple Charlotte locations. www.baddaddysburgerbar.com.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Eating the actual fruit just got boring. Georges Brasserie’s liquid version of this quintessentially sexy snack featuring strawberry vodka, Godiva dark chocolate liqueur and Tia Maria gives Cupid some competition for setting the romantic scene. 4620 Piedmont Row Drive. 980-219-7409; www.georgesbrasserie.com.
Say Hello to My
The names may be funny, but the drinks are seriously good at Myers Park’s latest destination for Mexican fare, RuRu’s Tacos + Tequila. Grab a seat on the heated patio to enjoy this heady hard apple cider float made with Kraken dark rum and apple cinnamon and vanilla syrups. 715 Providence Road. 704-332-7933; www.rurustacos.com.
With an entire cocktail list under “sippable desserts” and drink names like “The One Night Stand” and “Fatal Attraction,” Crave Dessert Bar’s nightcaps certainly set the mood. Need a caffeinated kick for your night? Opt for this seductive mix of coffee, Tia Maria and Kahlua topped with a house-made whipped cream. 500 W. 5th St. 704-335-0588; www.cravedessertbar.com.
Caramel Covered Granny
So, she’s the apple of your eye? Order a round of Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar’s tart-meets-tempting take on a candy apple. Made with caramel vodka, fresh apple juice and lime, it’s a bold twist on the nostalgic treat. 4310 Sharon Road. 704-365-1922; www.thecowfish.com.
Leroy Fox claims all of its signature cocktails are created “with a dash of love.” But this one seems extra passionate. Made from the smooth Jim Beam Devils Cut mixed with Kahlua and fresh cream, it’s the perfect sip for sweet tooths who prefer their drinks stiff. 704 S. Sharon Amity Road. 704-366-3232; www.leroyfox.com.