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Rach is making a romantic feast for Valentine's Day, including Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Creamy Brown Butter & Sage Tagliatelle and Boneless Ribeye Steaks alongside Burst Tomatoes with Balsamic. To kick off the special meal, John created a pink crème de cassis and vodka cocktail appropriately named Be Still My Beating Heart! (Rach describes it as pretty, lovely and delicate with an herbaceous note.) For dessert, Rach's sister, Maria Betar, is whipping up Apple Berry Pie with a streusel topping. 

Pro Tip from John: The raw egg white lends a nice foamy effect, but if you don't want to use it, leave it out or substitute aquafaba (chickpea cooking liquid, from boiled dried chickpeas or canned chickpeas). 


  • 3 sprigs thyme, plus 2 for garnish
  • 1 egg white (optional; see Tip)
  • 1 ½ ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce crème de cassis
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • 4 dashes bitters (John likes Peychaud's)


Serves: 2


Muddle the 3 sprigs thyme at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the egg white (if using), vodka, creme de cassis and lemon juice and shake for 10 seconds to foam the egg white, then add ice and shake to chill. Strain into 2 chilled coupes and garnish each with 2 dashes of bitters and a thyme sprig.

Always drink responsibly. 

Consuming raw egg may increase your risk of foodborne illness.