DRINK OF THE WEEK: Alison Reide’s Two of Hearts

Two of Hearts

Chocolate and strawberries. Strawberries and chocolate. Is there a better traditional combo for Valentine’s Day?

We softies at Drink of the Week say no, precisely because even if our hearts are broken at least we have chocolate to eat and maybe some strawberries to blend into pancakes. So when we got to talking to Alison Reide, host of the cupcake and champagne tastings at Corks & Crowns, about her plans for V-Day, we had to have her design a cocktail. Last year, she made us the Valentini, but this time we challenged her to top that.

This year, she brought us the Two of Hearts, named not just for the look of the drink, but the Stacey Q song. We immediately started singing the song, as I’m sure many of you just did at home. “I never said I wasn’t gonna tell nobody, no baby …”

Start with a large cocktail glass and rim it with red sugar. Then get to work: vodka, cream and creme de cacao make it chocolaty without turning brown — that’s the job of the chocolate syrup drizzle.

But here’s the Valentine’s twist: Ms. Reide used some heart-shaped cookie cutters from Michael’s (“You can find everything at Michael’s. Everything!” she said) and shaped hearts out of sliced strawberries. (She even make some mini hearts with a small cutter. However, they kind of disappeared — literally — into the drink.)

And the taste? Don’t let the chocolate fool you — this is a vodka delivery system through and through. It’s a sneaky drink, this one — sweet and velvety but ready to sweep you off your feet.

Alison Reide will host a post-Valentine’s Day cupcake and champagne tasting 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at Corks ‘n Crowns, 32 Anacapa St. Tasting is $5. For more information, call 845-8600.

Red sugar, for rim
Chocolate syrup, for drizzling
Strawberries, for garnish
2 ounce vodka (such as Svedka)
2 ounces cream (or half and half)
4 ounces creme de cacao

Rim a cocktail glass with red sugar then drizzle dark chocolate inside the glass. Prep strawberry slices and cut them with heart-shaped cookie cutter. In shaker, combine vodka, cream and creme de cacao. Add ice and shake. Strain into glass. Float strawberry slices on top.

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