Men of the world, do yourself a favor this Valentine’s Day: Leave the champagne on the shelf. Even dry champagnes give you a killer hangover, and they have all the romance of a box of drugstore chocolates. Still get those flowers, but be a little more creative with your choice of liquid courage.
Header image and recipe for Bloody Strawberry Gin and Tonic from CHOW

1. Tokyo Rose

For the girl just not that into big, plastic-wrapped bouquets of red roses and baby’s breath. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to walk in the door and see this boozy blend of Japanese whisky and rye waiting?
Photo and recipe from New York Grub Street

2. Pomegranate Gin & Tonic

This aesthetically appropriate drink not only is the perfect balance of sweet and sour, but also boasts possibly the greatest thing to happen to ice since the sphere: tonic cubes.
Photo and recipe from Simply Scratch

3. Framboise Floats

Part dessert, part cocktail, this delicious concoction is only two ingredients, and with the wide varieties of framboise available, it can be as sugary-sweet or puckeringly tangy as you want it to be.
Photo and recipe from Take a Megabite

4. Blood Orange Margaritas

Take advantage of the gorgeous citrus this season and make up a wintry take on the margarita. Since it’s sugar free, you’ll be able to indulge in that big heart-shaped box of chocolate you bought yourself.
Photo and recipe from Cookie + Kate

5. Femme Fatale

Great for a V-Day get together, this punch is both inexpensive (thanks to its cava base) and quick to make. Be careful though: Those red berries mask the hit of limoncello.
Photo and recipe from CHOW

6. Little Pink Pearl

The balance between the rich orgeat syrup (made from almonds) and the tart grapefruit gives this nonalcoholic drink a unique flavor and gorgeous color. Just be sure to hunt down orgeat syrup—as with most Valentine’s-related purchases, this is no time to skimp!
Photo and recipe from CHOW

7. Black Rose

Vodka, muddled blackberries, and rosé bring some summer heat to the table this Valentine’s Day.
Photo and recipe from CHOW

8. The Aphrodite

Dry and sweet vermouths are balanced by creamy sherry, a tart orange twist, and bitters in this warm, rich cocktail perfect for a chilly February evening.
Photo and recipe from CHOW

9. French 75

If you must do bubbly for Valentine’s Day, do a French 75. Our recipe gives you the option of white or brown sugar, and gin or brandy. Heavy artillery, indeed.
Photo and recipe from CHOW

Kelley Peters is a Brooklyn-based wine writer and educator. She still sometimes gets confused in wine shops.

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