Everyone thinks I throw a Galentine’s party every year because of Leslie Knope. And yeah, ok, that’s definitely part of it.
But the thing is, my mom was throwing that party before Leslie Knope was even a twinkle in Amy Poehler’s eye.
It’s been a while since my mom got to throw a Valentine’s Party (Mom may have been throwing the party, but she wasn’t quite as good at the marketing aspect as Amy was) so I’ve been carrying the torch for the past four years. My mom loves Valentine’s Day and it was also the one holiday that hadn’t really been taken by anyone else. Halloween was spoken for, as was Christmas and that ghastly holiday New Year’s Eve. So she took it and made it her own and I was lucky enough to be home sick from school one year during her party.
That was the era of part-time work for my mom, so she could actually have a ladies brunch on Valentine’s Day. I left my luxurious sick bed (which, if I recall correctly, was my parents bed with the nice sheets and a TV in the room) and came downstairs to feast my eyes on the pink and red party. The dining room table, laden with treats, had turned into a buffet of cake stands and platters crowded with heart shaped chocolate cakes and huddles of French breakfast puffs. My mom and all her friends milled about chatting and snacking and clinking their glasses.
Innocent middle schooler that I was, I didn’t much care about the contents of their glasses. According to my mom’s index card menu that I found sometime during their move, those glasses were full of champagne, pony beer (wtf is that?! Will report back when I know), and white wine – a classic Galentine’s selection.
For my Galentine’s parties, though, I like to try to come up with something more festive, in addition to the classics. That’s why I want to tell you about something else my Mom brought into my life – the Raspberry Kiss cocktail. Aptly named and dangerously delicious.
She got the recipe from a restaurant in Chicago years ago, and it’s been our go-to ever since. It’s been called everything in our house from a Pink Slipper to a Fuzzy Raspberry to a “You know, the pink one that I like, a fuzzy slipper?” I feel rather confident that it was originally called a Raspberry Kiss, and that serves our purpose well, so let’s stick with that.
It’s the easiest thing to make – equal parts light rum, Chambord, and lemonade plus a sparkling floater. I like it because it’s not your average gin or vodka drink, though you could still make it with either one. I’m making this as a punch for this year’s Galentine’s party and I’m tweaking the proportions to make it just a bit lighter for the daytime. You can find both recipes, if you can even call them that, below.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make an everything bagel cheese ball, order some floral doilies to put it on, and continue my transformation into my mother. Next step: Buying myself some nice sheets.
Raspberry Kiss Cocktail
1 oz. light rum, like Bacardi
1 oz. Chambord
1 oz. lemonade
Sparkling wine, to float
In a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, combine the light rum, Chambord, and lemonade. Shake vigorously until the shaker is ice cold in your hands. Pour your preferred glass (I like martini glasses or champagne flutes) and top with your preferred amount of sparkling wine, like prosecco.
For a batch:
1 (1.75L) bottle light rum, like Bacardi
2 ½ bottles Chambord
1 to 2 (59 oz.) bottles lemonade (I think 1 ½ to 2 bottles will be good)
Several bottles sparkling wine
Seltzer, if desired
In a drink dispenser, mix together the light rum, Chambord, lemonade, and plenty of ice. Stir with a long spoon. You can mix the sparkling wine and/or seltzer right in, or serve on the side for guests to pour themselves. I think I’ll mix the sparkling wine in but leave some on the side for adjustments.
Optional: Serve with a thin lemon slice and some raspberries.