Chocolate, flowers, champagne or other traditional fare won’t win any points for creativity with your lover for Valentine’s Day. Instead, take a cue from the Distilled Spirits Council, and mix it up with fun and creative libations that will put you both in the mood for love. Coupling a cocktail with your loved one’s personality or even your own mood will add a special, personal touch that is unexpected and will be remembered long after February 14th. The Council has put together several examples of some fun Valentine’s Day cocktails that are sure to be a hit. According to Patrick MacElroy, Director of Communications for the Council, “These Valentine cocktails are simple recipes and easy to prepare at home. This is much more fun than the same old flute of Champagne. To really have fun, get creative and garnish your drink with a luscious chocolate filled with a favorite liqueur or fashion a cherry into a heart as a special symbol of your love.” Hoping to create your own Garden of Eden on Valentine’s Day? Then try the Adam & Eve Martini. A twist on the classic Martini, this drink is all the rage. Muddle chunks of a granny smith apple in your Boston Shaker. (Muddling means to mash the apple with a wooden pestle). Mix some Ice, 1 oz. Vodka, ½ oz. Apple Liqueur and the muddled apple. Shake and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of apple. Make a wish and pop in the cherry you’ve cut into a heart shape. Is chocolate the way to your lover’s heart? Leave the heart-shaped box of candy at the store, and serve Hugs & Kisses. Add a new twist on the chocolate martini to serve your sweetheart. This is the cocktail that will melt in your mouth, not in your hand! Mix 1 oz. Vodka with ½ oz. Dark Godiva Liqueur. Stir with ice and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish the rim with Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder mixed half and half with sugar and pop in a Hug & a Kiss for a sweet surprise. Street Lights of Paris: If you’ve kissed under the orange streetlamps in Paris, why not conjure up those sweet memories one more time? Mix ¾ oz. Brandy, ¾ oz. Cointreau, and ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an iced old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange peel and serve it with a serenade. Tying the Knot: The fire’s blazing, your heart’s beating fast and your thinking about getting hitched. Here’s a warming pick for a freezing February night. Heat 1 oz. Gold Rum and ¼ oz. Crème de Cacao in a heat resistant glass. Add a bar spoon of sugar. Fill the glass with freshly brewed coffee and garnish with a chocolate covered pretzel. Sunrise, Sunset: Return to the romantic vista where you first exchanged love vows while watching the sunset. Recreate that magical evening with a delicious cocktail while snuggling to keep warm. In a mixing base, shake 1 ½ oz. Tequila, 2 oz. of fresh orange juice, ½ oz. fresh limejuice, 1 dash of grenadine, and cracked ice. Strain into a chilled glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice to welcome the rising run. Love Connection: If you believe that a kiss touches the soul, your lips will be delighted to the taste of this soft cocktail. Relish the first time your loving lips met, making that love connection. Mix 1 oz. Bourbon, ½ oz. Apricot Liqueur, ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. grenadine, and 1 scoop of crushed ice in a shaker. Mix well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Take a sip, pucker up, and plant a sweet smooch on your sweetheart. It is sometimes said ‘you are what you drink’ as much as what you eat, so if you are feeling fun, flirtatious, or just bursting to pour out your heart, a couture cocktail just might be worth a thousand words – the perfect pairing for an evening of romancing! Be sure to consume your alcohol sensibly and responsibly.