The Valentine Gift. Hopeless romantic or not, the aura of love season is in full effect. To tell you the truth, while hot reservations and expensive Champagne are easily fractions of my heart’s paramour, nothing beats a little thoughtfulness, a little research, and a little sweat ⁠— versus a quick trip to the local drug store five minutes before you see me. In other words, no need to max out that credit card, bud.

However, the reach of love extends beyond dreamy, passionate love. The season isn’t just a time to put your focus on a partner. For instance, platonic love is part of that equation. Love for a parent, love for a friend, love for a pet…. so whether your plans involve a cozy night in binging cheesy flicks or cooking up a dinner storm, here are some ways to celebrate and spread a little joy the ultimate not-your-average way for the day, week, month of love! Let’s just call it the aperitif to your final plans.

N.Y.A. Valentine Gift – Wine Down

Let’s say you’re looking to gift something outside of the bubbly or broad spectrum of pink splashed across every store. Is the recipient adventurous? Pick a region or varietal you both haven’t heard of or tried yet. Talked about doing more interactive activities? Find a themed wine tasting right up their alley to go to. Get where I’m going with this? There are so many possibilities!

N.Y.A. Valentine Gift – Cocktail Sipping

Maybe you’re in more of a cocktail mood? Make that special somebody a drink! You can find a recipe that works for you on your own or check on these twists-on-favorites options below:

Not Your Average Bourbon Smash

8 Basil and Mint Leaves
2 oz Bourbon
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Lime Juice
3 Peach Slices

Take both the basil and mint and muddle them down in a shaker. Add the simple syrup. Muddle a little more. Fill the shaker halfway with ice. Then add the peaches, lime juice, and bourbon. Shake well. Strain into a glass. Garnish. Voila!

Not Your Average Gin & Juice

3 1/2 fl oz Cranberry Juice
⅓ cup Gin 40
⅛ cup Elderflower Liqueur
½ Lime Juice
Fresh Cranberries for Garnish

Fill the shaker halfway with ice. Add cranberry juice, gin, liqueur, and lime juice. Shake well. Pour into your preferred glass. Add fresh cranberries onto cocktail stirrer. Garnish. Voila!

N.Y.A. Valentine Gift – Reading Inspiration

Finding a good read is its own source of spreading love. One unique read involves the magnetism of poetry and wine pairing, demonstrated in Regine T. Rousseau’s book, Searching for Cloves and Lilies: The Wine Edition. In addition, getting the book is super easy peasy, too ⁠— click here, add it to your cart and send on!

N.Y.A. Valentine Gift – Notes & Fun

Sometimes you just want to be a little silly. In conclusion, pick out a valentine below (or a few) to share with your loved ones for Valentine’s Day and throughout the month of February!