This Strawberry Vanilla Vodka Cocktail is the perfect Valentine's Day drink! It's fruity, sweet (but not too sweet), and the most gorgeous, festive pink hue. Heart-shaped strawberry garnish optional, but encouraged!
Let me preface this post by saying that I'm not really into Valentine's Day. My husband and I are as far from traditionally romantic as you can imagine.
There was no engagement proposal (or even a ring!) – we literally just decided one day to get engaged, and that was that. Don't get me wrong, we're the best of friends, love each other very dearly and spend almost all of our waking hours together.
We're just not really into "traditional" romantic gestures. To me, it's all about the small, everyday moments that make us appreciate our lives together.
We don't typically buy each other gifts for holidays (instead, we put that money towards fun vacations!) and I don't think we've ever *actually* celebrated Valentine's Day.
I'm certainly not against Valentine's Day or anyone that does celebrate, it's just not something I usually do. That being said, if it's an excuse to stay at home and have a date night (i.e. pizza + Netflix + cocktails + hanging with our dog, Cody), I'm in.
If you, like me, prefer to stay in on Valentine's Day, this strawberry vodka cocktail is the perfect drink to make. It's festive enough that it's perfectly appropriate for the holiday. But it's also insanely delicious, and there's no reason you shouldn't make it year-round!
Strawberry Vanilla Infused Vodka
Homemade strawberry vanilla bean infused vodka is a key component of this drink. We actually first developed the recipe for my wedding; we used it in one of our signature cocktails at the reception and it was a HUGE hit!
Infused liquor is way easier to make than you think. We shared a whole post on how to infuse various types of liquor here, but here's a quick refresher.
All you need is a bottle of good vodka (don't cheap out – quality makes a big difference!), some fresh strawberries, a vanilla bean or two, a bottle with an airtight lid and about 5 days.
Wash and dry the strawberries, slice 'em up and add them to a container with 1-2 vanilla beans split down the middle lengthwise. We typically use a quart-sized mason jar. They're cheap and easy to find!
Cover with vodka, seal and store in a cool place for about 5 days. Strain the vodka into a separate container, removing as much strawberry sediment as possible. Voilá! Just a few minutes of work for the most delicious vodka you've ever tasted.
Infused liquor makes for a wonderful gift. It's relatively affordable, but more meaningful than a random bottle of wine you found on sale.
It's very low effort, but don't forget to package it up with a nice ribbon and tag. We always write a cocktail recipe or suggestion on the back of the tag so the recipient knows how to use it.
Once your strawberry infused vodka is ready, the rest of this cocktail is very simple.
If you don't have the time to infuse the vodka or don't want to, the next best option would be to use a vanilla flavored vodka. The higher quality, the better. You can add extra strawberries to the cocktail to make up for the lack of flavor.
Next, simply fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, some simple syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice, some extra strawberries and St. Germain. Shake it up, serve cold and top off with sparkling water or wine.
Strawberry hearts make for a festive, but optional garnish. We used a small cookie cutter, but with a small enough paring knife, you can do it freehand.
We totally recognize (and respect!) that not everyone drinks alcohol. This year, we're making a concerted effort to always include a delicious nonalcoholic version with our cocktail recipes so everyone can enjoy!
To make this nonalcoholic drink, you'll need to blend up some fresh or frozen raspberries and strawberries with a bit of water. Then, strain through a mesh sieve to remove any seeds. This will make a delicious, fruity juice that makes up the base of the mocktail.
Shake it all up with the berry juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup and nonalcoholic ginger beer.
It makes the most gorgeous, bright pink drink. I'm obsessed with that color! Garnish it with strawberry hearts, or if you want to get extra fancy, dried rose petals.
Our favorite cocktail recipes
- Cranberry Orange Whiskey Cocktail (one of the most popular recipes on our site!)
- Apple Pear Vodka Cocktail
- Lemon Lavender Mint Julep
- Guava Rum Cocktail
- Bourbon Peach Smash
- Blackberry Cucumber Cocktail
If you make this Valentine's Day cocktail recipe, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
This Strawberry Vanilla Vodka Cocktail is the perfect Valentine's Day drink! It's fruity, sweet (but not too sweet), and the most gorgeous, festive pink hue.
- 2 oz infused strawberry vanilla vodka*
- 1/2 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
- 3/4-1 oz simple syrup (depending on how sweet you prefer)
- 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 strawberries
- Sparkling water or sparkling rosé wine to top
- Strawberry hearts for garnish
- 1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- Top with ginger beer
- Fresh strawberries for garnish
- Make infused vodka (instructions in notes section). If not using, sub with high quality vanilla vodka and add 3 muddled strawberries to cocktail.
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodka, St. Germain, simple syrup, lemon juice and 2 sliced strawberries. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
- Pour into a chilled glass. Top off with sparkling water or sparkling wine. Garnish with strawberry hearts (made with a small cookie cutter or small paring knife).
NONALCOHOLIC VERSION(2 drinks):
- Add raspberries, strawberries and water to a blender. Blend until smooth, then strain juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice using a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.
- Add lemon juice and simple syrup and shake well. Pour into 2 glasses, top each off with ginger beer and garnish with fresh strawberries or dried rose petals.
*Strawberry Vanilla Vodka: Wash and slice 2 cups of strawberries. Add to clean glass jar with 2 vanilla beans split lengthwise and top with 1 qt. of vodka and seal with airtight lid. Store in cool, dark place for at least 3 days, but up to a week. Strain into a measuring cup or glass bowl through a fine mesh sieve and discard strawberries and vanilla bean. You may need to strain a few times or use a cheesecloth to remove all sediment. Seal in clean jar and store in pantry.
- Category: Cocktails
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: Valentine's Day
Keywords: Valentine's Day cocktail