Valentine’s Day is upon us. While some consider it an amateur holiday, one on which men looking to impress their dates in the worst way possible order and send back two bottles of white zinfandel before mildly affirming that the third is acceptable. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Though it’s an amateur holiday, a Hallmark holiday even if it doesn’t yet have a large plethora of Hallmark movies dedicated to it (yet), it can still be celebrated with gusto. Like Christmas, which we believe Hallmark has attempted to take over but hasn’t yet, that we also celebrate with gusto.
And as with that holiday, we can add some lube to help take it to the next level. (Not that kind, at least not until after this kind.) To help you with that, here are some offerings that can help you get prepared to celebrate, with gusto.
The Saint Valentine
Saint Valentine was a priest who was beaten to death and beheaded on February 14, sometime around 270 A.D. His crime? Secretly marrying young couples after the emperor Claudius the Cruel banned marriage as he thought it was detrimental to his ability to recruit young men for his army. Such a story, while not necessarily true, is where we get the holiday Hallmark has monetized. As such, it deserves a brutal drink.
750 ml Everclear or other pure grain alcohol
Red food coloring
Simple Syrup to taste
Mix the booze with enough food coloring to get it dark red, add simple syrup to taste, and place the mixture in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Drink a few shots and try not to get beheaded, even if only figuratively.
The General Soleimani
Alcohol is officially prohibited in Iran, though it seems they have some moonshine and a vodka-like drink floating around. A cursory search suggests they have some beers available on the black market, as well. In other words, it’s probably difficult to make an Irish Car Bomb, but that’s just as well as we’re going for a missile strike.
6 oz Budweiser. (A European offering is probably more likely, but we took him out, so we get to choose. As such, we’re going with a quintessentially American brew.)
1.5 oz moonshine
Pour the moonshine in a shot glass and the beer in a beer glass. Drop the shot glass into the beer glass, chug as quickly as possible, become a renowned scholar.
The French Pearl
Created in 2006 as a tribute to French architecture from the 1800s, this drink adds a bit of bitterness to the holiday thanks to the addition of Pastis. Pastis, an anise-flavored liquor, has a similar flavor to licorice. Sure, you could just go with some absinthe, but this cocktail adds a bit of class and won’t have you seeing a starry night.
2 oz gin
½ oz Pastis
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz simple syrup
4-5 fresh mint leaves
Muddle the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker, add the remaining ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Think about mansards.
Maybe your Valentine’s Day is marked by just how emo it is. If so, James Comey’s signature drink may be right for you. Whether you’re staring at a sunset or ruminating on kindness, the main thing is you’re probably alone. Don’t fret, though, the Comey is there for you. Just be careful as the cup leaks.
6 oz drug store wine
1 paper cup
Pour the wine in the paper cup. Drink.
Are you feeling the Bern? If so, you can also feel the burn with this potent cocktail. Featuring a mixture of upscale and downscale booze, the Bernie never waivers, never falters, and is more consistent than a shot of bourbon.
2 oz gin
4 oz Champagne
1 oz Vermouth
1 oz Lillet Dry
1 Lemon Twist
Shake the gin, Vermouth, and Lillet with ice. Strain into whatever glass you have available, there shouldn’t be so many different kinds. Top with the Champagne and garnish with the lemon twist. Stare longingly as a government official takes it from you, divides it up, and gives it to other people.
J Lo’s Booty
Did the Super Bowl halftime show have you feeling like a pirate in search of treasure? Yearn for loot no longer with this new holiday classic. It will have you feeling festive and, if you have a few, ready to show off your moves on the closest pole, a move that probably won’t have any adverse effects.
2 oz Bacardi light rum
1 oz fresh lime juice, strained
½ oz simple syrup
Shake all the ingredients over ice. Like really shake it. Maybe grind with it a little. Strain and serve in a martini glass.
The Bill Cosby
Cosby has suffered some hits to his reputation in recent history. All these hits are deserved. Knocking people out is ignoble and terrible. Cosby was also the spokesman for Jell-O for many years. As such, this is just obvious.
One 3 oz package of Jell-O
One cup boiling water
½ cup cold water
½ cup vodka
Boil the water. Add the Jell-O to a large mixing bowl, pour in the boiling water. Stir until the Kool-Aid is dissolved. Add the cold water and vodka. Stir until mixed, add to disposable 2 oz shot glasses (filling only part way), and chill until solid. Use as a back for the Saint Valentine for maximum efficacy.
Whichever cocktail you go with, we recommend going with multiple. The important thing is that you’re not drinking white zinfandel and antagonizing your server. So sit back, relax, and remember, you’ve got 364 days until you have to deal with this again.
Brad Jackson and Ellie Bufkin contributed to this piece.