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I love this cover of “Bella Notte” from The Lady and the Tramp. This is instrumental by Emile Pandolfi. If you want to be romantic.

Personally, I don’t understand all of this Valentine’s Day hatred. The mythos of St. Valentine is that he married Christian couples in a time where it was illegal to do so. Both the Christians who he married and the St. Valentine himself, were subjected to death, until finally St. Valentine was finally caught and executed. If we’re going to celebrate love, isn’t this the kind of love we should celebrate and should want to celebrate?

Love that dares all. The love where people fly in the face of tradition and risk death, ostracization, disinheritance? Isn’t that what historic and heroic love matches are made of? There’s nothing heroic about two upper-class straight white people from the same religion, city, educational make-up, whose parents played tennis together as the two grew up, etc. who eventually fall in love. That is not the stuff from great romances. Maybe we shouldn’t aspire to great romances, but that’s a different discussion. But if we’re going to celebrate love, shouldn’t we focus on the couples, like Edward VIII who abdicated the British throne to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson, to whom he remained married until his death, 35 years later, or Julia Child, who met Paul Child in India, and traversed the globe with him, unsure of her future away from the middle class creature comforts to which she had grown up, to whom she remained married until his death 48 years later. Or Holocaust Survivors, Margrit and Henry “Heinz” Baerman. Or love stories during slavery. Or. Or. Or. Stories of people who sacrifices all for love; on Valentine’s Day, aren’t these the stories we should be celebrating or at least thinking about?

Admittedly, my partner and I have been together for 9 and a half years, and most importantly my dad’s birthday is Valentine’s Day. So for me, Valentine’s Day always equaled cake and candy. Not a bad holiday for a kid. If you really hate Valentine’s Day that much, consider celebrating Lupercalia-a pagan festival of fertility. If you don’t know how to celebrate fertility, then you are on your own.

The Stinger

2 ounces Brandy

1/2 ounce Creme de Menthe

Mix in a shaker and strain into a martini glass.

Evaluation

This is not the best tasting drink in the world, but sipping on it clears your mouth. It’s an after-dinner drink in every possible way.

Creme de Menthe is an incredibly strong mint flavor, not quite as bad as Listerine, but this is not an unfair comparison. The Creme de Menthe is strong enough that it should cover up that garlic or onions you had with dinner. So eat what you want for your meal, and have this after for a kissably clean mouth. Thankfully, both Brandy and Mint go well with chocolate, so have it with your romantic torte. If you don’t have a breath mint handy, this is better than walking around with stanky breath (you know if you’re one of these people.)

I like this drink fine. I would give it a 3/5. I would certainly not drink it all night, but if I knew that I was going to be getting hot and heavy with someone before I could get to my toothbrush post-dinner, pre-make-out. You’re probably not going to drink it all nights, but definitely after dinner, when you’re going to be close and personal.

Cost

$10 for a 750 mL bottle of Jacques Cardin Brandy

$10 for a 750 mL bottle of Creme de Menthe

Total Cost: $20

Cost per Drink: 

$0.80 for 2 ounces, Brandy

$0.20 for 0.5 ounces, Creme de Menthe

Total Cost: $1.00

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day. And, as always, happy, and safe, drinking.

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