020916taste3A Strawberry Kiss, by Taste manager/bartender Meagan Davis. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


It’s Valentine’s Day, and you’re out to make an impression on a certain someone. A romantic cocktail is a good start, but first you have to figure out what that moving spirit is.

An experienced bartender and now manager at Taste, in the Galleria Red Bank, Meagan Davis has a few ideas about what might set hearts fluttering.

020916tastemeagandavisMeagan Davis with the cocktail she considers the most romantic for Valentine’s Day celebrants. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

Davis, who’s mixed drinks at area bars for 11 years, has what she thinks is a sexy, “kiss-to-your-mouth,” cocktail in mind as a special for Valentine’s Day.

Called a Strawberry Kiss ($8), its made with Cruzan strawberry rum, Viniq, an incandescent liqueur that shimmers, and a splash of Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. It’s then shaken and garnished with shaved chocolate and a plump strawberry.

The drink turned out to be surprisingly refreshing — slightly sweet, but not cloying and sticky the way many fruity cocktails can be. It also had a silky smooth finish.

What other mixed drinks are romantic? “Although it’s also a bit of a cliche,” Kerrie McCrea, also a bartender at Taste, recommends a chocolate martini. She also suggested instead a French martini made with Stoli vanilla vodka, Chambord Liqueur and pineapple juice.

Davis and McCrea agree that the color of the cocktail is important.

“Pink or purple is something that looks pretty,” McCrea says, adding that a cherry in the bottom of a glass is sexy.

And yes, “real men drink pink,” says Davis, speaking from years of experience serving them.

Taste is open seven days from noon to 2 a.m.