Flowers and chocolate? Bring on the booze!

A bartender at Union Bar and Grille pours some Sweet Heat.

Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day is like going out to a bar on St. Patrick’s Day — except instead of pretending to be Irish for the day, everyone is compelled to pretend they’re in love. Since I know everyone’s going to go out anyway, how about this: skip dinner with your date and just go have a few cocktails at the bar. For established couples, it lowers the expectations for fairytale romance; and for newer ones, there are fewer potentially awkward moments and a more social environment will take the pressure off. Every restaurant around the city is doing special Valentine’s menus, and a few bars are serving Valentine’s cocktails as well.

Bistro du Midi
272 Boylston St., Boston
“Clouded Judgment is suited for Anti-Valentine’s Day, due to the inclusion of tequila, which always loosens inhibitions, lubricates conversation, and creates a scene of fun and frivolity,” says Bistro du Midi general manager Doss Posey. “Coco is suited for Valentine’s Day due to its bright red color and its sweet taste. Named after a flower, with an homage to the grand dame of fashion [Coco Chanel], this cocktail is perfect for our lady patrons.”

What’s in the drinks?
» Clouded Judgment: Lemon-lavender-infused tequila, St. Germain, Pernod, lemon juice,     Crème de Violette
» Coco: Vodka, Lilet Rouge, lemon juice, simple syrup

Union Bar and Grille
1357 Washington St., Boston; 617-423-0555
“The Sweet Heat is a lot like love,” says Union Bar and Grille bartender Kristina Hoffman. “The rich chocolaty Crème de Cacao feels like a warm, comforting embrace, while the chili-infused syrup gives you a kick of spice and excitement.”

What’s in the drinks?
» Sweet Heat: Crème de Cacao, chili-infused simple syrup, vanilla vodka, mole bitters
» The Passion: Bourbon, Applejack, passion fruit nectar, grenadine, orange flower water, edible flower garnish

50 Park Plaza, Boston
“On Valentine’s Day, we try to cater to everyone — singles and couples alike,” says Pairings bartender Matt Giarnese. “In the spirit of that, we are also catering to both ‘sinners’ and ‘saints.’ The Purist is a sweet, balanced mix of Pearl Plum vodka and St. Germain that has an ethereal appearance. The Seducer is a bold red color, mixing in some fruit with a hint of effervescence to give an added kick.”

What’s in the drinks?
» The Purist: Pearl Plum vodka, St. Germain, sour mix The Seducer: Stoli Strawberry, pineapple, cranberry, Sprite


Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…


Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…


Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…


Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.


'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…


Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.


Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.


Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.


When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…


The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…