Not-Quite-Romantic Cocktails!

Oh, Valentine's Day. That chocolate-filled, card-buying love-fest. The holiday was first celebrated in the Middle Ages, when men would elaborately court women to distract from the pain of the bubonic plague. These days, celebrating Valentine's Day can be just as, if not more painful, than having the plague. Recently the holiday has expanded from romance to being a sort of pink-flavored Christmas, where, depending on your social circle, you might be expected to celebrate with everyone from your mother to the attendant at the dry cleaners (Here's a poem for that card: "Roses are red/violets are blue/I clean my clothes/And so do you.").

So if you're having a romantic Valentine's Day this year, wonderful! Pour the champagne and have at it. But if you're stuck celebrating V-Day with a more non-traditional crowd, here are my drink suggestions to set the right tone for the evening:

The In-Laws - White White Spritzer

  • 4 oz. White wine
  • Club soda

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add wine, then top with soda.

Why: It's wholesome, classic, and impotent. Clearly conveys the message "I am not going to sexually ravish your son/daughter tonight, but instead will probably watch Rock of Love and fall asleep on the couch with the cat."

The +1 to Your Romantic Dinner - The Third Rail

Adapted from the 1955 edition Old Mr. Boston's Official Bartender's Guide.

  • 3/4 oz. Rum
  • 3/4 oz. Applejack
  • 3/4 oz. Brandy
  • 1/4 tsp. Absinthe
Stir well with cracked ice and strain into a 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

Why: On subway tracks, the third rail can electrocute you, and the drink's name is reminiscent of "third wheel." Either way, hopefully your hanger-on will get the picture.

The Coworker Who Knows You Hate Him - The Old Pal

  • 1 1/4 oz. Blended Scotch Whisky
  • 1/2 oz. Grenadine
  • 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Why: Okay, the report isn't done or whatever, and you're stuck with your coworker for the night. The Old Pal can add to your mutual animosity with a good serving of sarcasm.

The Girl/Guy You Want to Break Up With the Next Day - Blue Ribbon Iced Tea

Adapted from the Food Network's Long Island Iced Tea.

  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1oz. gin
  • 1 oz. white rum
  • 1 oz. white tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 16 oz. can PBR
  • 2 lemon wedges

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the vodka, gin, rum, tequila, Triple Sec, and lemon juice into the shaker. Cover and shake vigorously to combine and chill. Pour the mixture, ice and all, into an oversize glass and top off with the entire PBR. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve.

Why: They'll hate you so much for serving them such an utterly disgusting drink, they'll break up with you instead. Problem solved!

The Ex - Bitters on the Rocks

Pour an entire bottle of Angostura or Peychaud's bitters in an ice-filled highball glass.

Why: This speaks for itself.

Meg Favreau is a writer and comedian living in Philadelphia, PA. Read her blog at