Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and, this year, we’re skipping the restaurant crowds, deciding to create an unforgettable evening in the comfort of our own homes. To make the evening extra special, we gathered some goodies from Kuhl-Linscomb and partnered with Alba Huerta, acclaimed Houston mixologist, to share the secrets to an unforgettable date night in!
Keep scrolling for table inspiration, tips for creating the perfect date-night cocktail, and for a couple of Alba’s favorite recipes [similar to the many delicious drinks you’ll find in her new book, Julep: Southern Cocktails Refashioned].
PS – If you love our date night tips below, find those and lots more “pretty” on Style Me Pretty Living!
Setting the Mood
Mix It Up
Pull together settings using your family’s finest to create a moment that feels grand and unforgettably special. Sometimes those heirlooms aren’t in complete sets, so get in touch with your inner mix master! Think “old meets new” and play with varying patterns and finishes for a look that feels casual yet sophisticated. Pairing plates and silverware of varying styles in the same color palette allows your table to becomes a true celebration of texture!
Master Monochromatic Mood
Just because Cupid’s coming to town doesn’t mean you’ve gotta’ go wild with the red and pink! Timeless monochromatic settings are brain soothers after a long day at the office and they serve up an attractive backdrop to the delicious food you’ll be plating.
When you’re laying down that monochromatic mood, bring in rich textures through the use of placemats, linens, and runners. Chunky weaves layered against the gloss of a fresh white plate will lend depth and interest to your peaceful tablescape.
Waste Not, Want Not
There’s no need to run out and buy new table décor. Get creative and use elements you already have around your home, like garden greenery, fruit, baskets, jars, and votive candles, to set the mood.
DIY Queens looking for something more? Pull out your leftover holiday ribbon or twine to craft impromptu napkin rings and adorn leaves with you and your honey’s nicknames in gold paint pen for an extraordinary finishing touch!
Date night pieces you can pick up at Kuhl-Linscomb:
Not in the Houston area? Call their team at 713.526.6000 and they will happily ship goodies to you directly!
Bring it Behind the Bar
Fresh juice, that is! Alba recommends using fresh juice when crafting cocktails to enhance the flavor and heighten the visual experience. Same goes for using fresh fruits and herbs when it comes time to garnish!
Give ‘Em Some Sugar
Alba shares that the best simple syrups are crafted by hand and they’re not difficult to make! Dissolve equal part sugar into equal part super-hot water, allow it to cool [very important], and then get mixing!
Shake Things Up [or Shall We Stir?]
Unless you’re making a classic martini, it can be tough to know which cocktails should be shaken and which should be stirred. Alba offers up a tip worth memorizing: Shake the drinks that have juice in them and stir the drinks that don’t. Of course, you’ll always find exceptions, so, when in doubt, taste test it out!
Pack a Punch
Although mixing a specialty cocktail for your loved one is a super thoughtful experience, there are times when you want to be more present and less concerned with constantly whipping up drinks! Alba suggests a punch for precisely those moments because they have a welcoming intent that feels warm and celebratory. Best of all, you can mix up a batch before your beau gets home, sip, and easily refill throughout the night!
Cheers to a comfy, cozy February 14th at home – and just think, you could even manage all of this in your PJs! We’re not necessarily suggesting that…but you totally could.