Valentine’s Day is a crock of you-know-what, right? Right? Well, giving a token of your affection to someone you love (or like-like) is plain nice, any time of year. February 14th is just a good excuse to do it then. Relieve the pressure of finding a perfect gift on this national holiday, and just go with a giftlet. You know, a tiny gift. That might match your vibe anyway, whether you’ve been dating only a couple months or you’ve been shacking up for years.
Something sweet and thoughtful for under $25 can ease a straining budget. Might as well save the rapid heart rate for when you’re gettin’ it on. And a food-type gift is harder to mess up. Everyone eats and drinks, and you might know what your favorite person loves to eat or drink in particular. You do it together all the time. So put a little panache into your S.O.’s edible moments.
1. Bormioli Rocco Cassiopea Rocks Glass | Buy Now
A set of four Italian-made rocks glasses with an architectural design that stands out for its masculine, avant garde appeal is a sure bet. So what that Cassiopeia (with an extra “i”) is the name of a constellation that depicts a vain queen in Greek mythology. These glasses look cool. The 11.25-ounce glasses are dishwasher safe, and are made for that ice cube tinkling sound as he sips. $15.99. Buy it here.
2. Champagne Biscuits Roses De Reims | Buy Now
Not all women love chocolate. We know; it’s hard to fathom. Give the gal something more original. Imported from France, these gemlike, twice-baked French cookies are from a recipe that has remained unchanged since the 1690s. They’re traditionally dipped in Champagne, coffee, red wine, tea, or milk. These biscuits are flavored with crushed vanilla pods and tinted a soft pink. Price: $20. Buy it here.
3. Le Mouton Noir & Co Tie Tea | Buy Now
If the love of your life adores tea, especially bagged tea, make her/his life easier with Tie Tea, designed by George Lee. The right-handed cup prevents the tea bag from falling into the cup of hot water. Simply tie the teabag to the tab and it’s all set. That tea bag won’t go floating away. The cup holds about 12 ounces and is microwave safe. Price: $24.88. Buy it here.
4. MIRA Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle | Buy Now
Slake that thirst but in a stylish, earthy, active, dude way with a vacuum-insulated travel water bottle made of high-quality stainless steel. The MIRA bottle can keep up to 25 ounces of liquids hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. The outside is powder-coated to look like teak wood for a durable, rugged finish. But this bottle doesn’t sweat while he does. Price: $23.50. Buy it here.
5. Ashi Dashi Corn Socks | Buy Now
It may be … wait for it … corny, but a guy with a cheesy sense of humor will dig these socks. Come on, you know there’s a kernel of truth to this suggestion. These mid-calf socks are 55 percent cotton, 43 percent nylon, and 2 percent lycra. The unisex socks fit most medium and large feet. What a pair, eh? Golden. Price: $9.99. Buy it here.
6. Belmont Gold Plated Signature Corkscrew by Viski | Buy Now
When you’re opening a wine or beer bottle, it’s not time to be shy. Bring out the bling. This 24K gold-plated corkscrew will make opening a bottle of wine even more of a pleasure than it already is. It’s a practical tool, too: the double-hinged arm provides more leverage ensures that the cork pulls out more smoothly. And the five-turn worm will remove your cork in five turns. It’s sharp and strong enough to prevent cork breakage. That curly-cue worm is firmly attached and won’t bend or break during use, so you can open bottle of wine in one swift movement. There’s also an integrated foil cutter and a beer bottle cap opener too. $12.99 Buy it here.
7. Whiskey Stones | Buy Now
Don’t water your fine whiskey down when you want it on the rocks. These Vermont soapstone whisky stones are handcrafted in some of the oldest soapstone workshops in the United States. Soapstone is made of mostly talc, so it won’t scratch your glass, and the nonporous nature means they won’t change the flavor of your drink. To use these nine stones, store them in your freezer. When you’re about to make a drink, take them out and let the stones stand for five minutes before dropping them into your drink. Afterward, hand-wash the stones in water and put them back in freezer. Price: $19.95. Buy it here.
8. Alma Valentine’s Bonbon Box | Buy Now
A classy little rectangular box of the most delicate, artful bonbons is the way to go when you want to give a lady some chocolate. This lustrous six-piece collection of handcrafted, heart-shaped bonbons includes two each of passionfruit caramel, salted caramel, and hazelnut praline flavors. Price: $18. Buy it here.
9. Fletcher’s Mill Pump and Grind Salt & Pepper Mills | Buy Now
Give your guy something practical, something he might use every day if he cooks a lot and likes to flavor his life with some spice. The sleek, compact mill is a time-saving tool that crushes salt or pepper with a single hand and a few pumps of the thumb. Perfect for transporting, the 5.5-inch mills are made with commercial-grade materials, including stainless steel, designed for years of heavy use. Price: $24.95. Buy it here.
For more inspiration, check out Chowhound’s Valentine’s Day recipes page.