Love Potion No. 9: A Valentine's Bar

If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know I love any reason to create a festive bar space. As I revisited all of the bars I created in 2017, I couldn't believe I hadn't done one for Valentine's Day! Even though February is brutally cold here in Minnesota, I filled last year with festivities for the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and a fun Mad for Plaid night with my girlfriends.

When I started thinking about something fun to do for the day of love, Love Potion popped into my mind and a theme was born! 

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Periodic Table of Love Banner

The idea of potion got me in the science mode. I designed this "Periodic Table of Love" banner using PowerPoint. With ingredients like Heart, Kisses, Hugs, Respect, Compromise, and Love, you can make the perfect Valentine's Day potion.

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You can download it for FREE for your own personal use here. I printed it on regular printer paper and added a white cardstock border by cutting out larger squares and gluing the element squares to them. I added them to baker's twine with mini-clothespins to make the banner. You can also print them directly to cardstock to skip the extra work of the border.

Love Potion Ingredients

To create some love potion ingredients, I turned to the University of Minnesota's ReUse program that sells old University equipment, including lab items. I was able to find some used lab glassware that was perfect for the Love Potion ingredients. If you aren't lucky enough to have a place like this near you, search for local surplus stores or there is always Amazon!

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You can add real cocktail ingredients, but I wanted to keep the display up as decor for the holiday, so I used water and red food coloring to create red and pink liquid. I also used glass heart gems from Dollar Tree. You may remember the food color trick from my Vampire themed Halloween dinner. I displayed them on red cake pedestal I picked up on Christmas clearance from Hobby Lobby, but any pedestal will do!

On one of the containers, I added this love potion label that I created. You can also download it for your own personal use!

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Love Potion No. 9 Mocktail

Every bar needs a drink! To keep this bar family friendly, I created a fun Love Potion No. 9 mocktail with a few simple ingredients:

  • 3/4 glass of LaCroix Cran Raspberry 

  • 1/4 glass of V8 Splash Berry Blend Juice

  • Strawberries for Garnish

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If you are looking for an adult kick, you can easily reduce the amount of LaCroix and add in some gin or vodka. The great thing about using LaCroix is that you get just the right amount of sweetness from the the juice! Not too sour and not to sweet. What's not to "love"?!

I used double-sided tape to add Love Potion No. 9 tags to the glassware as well. Don't forget you can download them to use for your festivities!

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I also suggest adding some fun paper straws and drink stirrers to any bar setup. I picked up the heart straws at Hobby Lobby last year on clearance, but they carry similar items each year. I also grabbed these "love" drink stirrers this year from Target's dollar spot ($1).

Final Tips

To keep expenses down, I used a runner I already had and dollar store roses and a vase that I've used year after year for viewing parties for ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." I've definitely gotten my couple of dollars worth on these items! 

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I also used a tray, ice bucket, and appetizer plates that I already had on hand. Both of these items have made many appearances in my bar setups! The tray is available at Ikea for $7.99 and the ice bucket was a wedding gift from Target. Target frequently carries a variety of ice buckets to fit your style.

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