A Romantic Libido-Enhancing Valentine’s Day Menu
The Pairing Menu, Setting the Stage, Cocktails and Recipes
I love receiving wine and spirits as a Valentine’s Day gift. Why not make an entire romantic dinner with cocktails from a menu of libido-enhancing ingredients? It could be titillating to prepare a menu featuring healthy, aphrodisiac-laden foods like oysters, ginger, figs, fennel, mustard, Bison, raspberries, and dark chocolate. Bring me a bottle of rich, red wine or a wonderful Cognac, and I will make dinner.
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The Pairing Menu
Appetizers: Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell paired with a “Between the Sheets,” a Cognac/Rum cocktail
Salad Course: Arugula Salad with Figs, Fennel and Orange paired with a Gingered Peach Margarita Cocktail
Main Course: Herb and Dijon-crusted Bison Fillet and Wild Rice paired with a Spiced Manhattan Cocktail
Dessert: Chocolate Decadence with Raspberry Sauce paired with a Brandy Alexander
What are Aphrodisiacs?
Adapted from the name Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, aphrodisiacs are believed to contribute to three categories of sexual stimulation: libido, sexual pleasure, and potency. Of course, the FDA will not allow such labels on food or herbs. Still, many people experience the tingly sensations that come from eating these foods and ingredients. The keys to the pleasure center in the neurotransmitters and hormones emanate from certain foods. Dopamine, Testosterone, and Phenethylamine are just of the few examples of these potent natural human chemicals. See the Dictionary of Aphrodisiacs by Harry Wedeck for more insight. It’s noted that Indian author Vatsyayana devotes two chapters of his Kama Sutra to aphrodisiacs.
Setting the Stage
Be sure to set a sensual dining experience for your Valentine’s date. Candlelight, music, a cozy table and your finest dishes set the stage. Interruptions of dogs, kids, and parents are not needed. Set the mood and bring on the food!
The Oyster Appetizer and “Between the Sheets” Cocktail
Let’s start with an Oyster appetizer – this may seem like a stereotypical aphrodisiac choice, but oysters are loaded with zinc, which ratchets up testosterone and increases sex drive. Oysters may have gained its reputation as an aphrodisiac when it was discovered that oysters are high in zinc, which is important in sexual organ development. Diets low in zinc and Vitamin D were associated with testosterone deficiencies.
Emil Lagasse’s Grilled Oysters recipe is paired a Cognac/Rum “Between the Sheets” cocktail (See recipe at the end.) You may have heard this cocktail called “a Maiden’s Prayer.” It was said to have been created in the 1920’s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. This provocatively named classic cocktail from the Prohibition era refers to the drink’s potency and potential for a risqué end to the evening.
Arugula Salad with Figs, Fennel and Orange and the Gingered Peach Margarita
Our salad course is packed with seasonal winter ingredients to make this Arugula Salad with Figs, Fennel and Orange recipe from the Food Network delicious and healthy. These ingredients add antioxidants and Vitamin C. The Egyptians have touted fennel as a mega libido enhancer. The ancient Greeks valued figs more precious than gold. Figs were Cleopatra’s favorite fruit and its no coincidence that many think they resemble the female sex organs. The salad is paired with a Gingered Peach Margarita cocktail. Much like chili’s, ginger has been know to increase the heat in the body, as well as heighten heart rate. Plus, the potent aromas of ginger are said to stimulate arousal as well, making a promising night in the bedroom.
Main Course: Herb-Crusted Bison, Dijon Sauce, Wild Rice served with a Spiced Manhattan Cocktail
Our main course is Herb Crusted Bison Tenderloin Roast with Dijon Mustard Sauce served with Wild Rice. Bison is a heart-smart choice as it contains less saturated fat than the typical Beef filet. However, Testosterone is literally made out of cholesterol and monounsaturated fats so healthy fats are good for your hormones. Mustard is considered a prominent aphrodisiac in the European culture. Its ability to increase blood circulation has also made it popular in China, notably in the country where monks were not allowed to consume it. Wild Rice is known as a “grain for libido.” And you wonder why they throw rice at weddings? I have paired the bison with a Spiced Manhattan cocktail from the Crumb Blog featuring cinnamon, a savory spice bursting with antioxidants, which kick up the body’s heat and blood flow facilitating sexual arousal.
Chocolate Decadence Cake and a Brandy Alexander
Our Dessert is Chocolate Decadence with Raspberry sauce – Pastry Chef Janet Feuer was the original inventor of this famous dessert. I enjoy the Williams Sonoma recipe rendition. I am pairing the Chocolate Decadence cake with a Brandy Alexander. The Chocolate in the dessert contains the organic compound, phenylethylamine, well known for its psychoactive and stimulant effect. Montezuma supposedly drank up to 50 cups of chocolate drink before heading to his harem. Phenylethylamine induces the feelings of well-being and excitement, which makes sex seem like a great idea.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study that found women who enjoyed a piece of chocolate every day had a more active sex life than those who did not. The nutmeg in the Brandy Alexander was used in the past in India as a treatment for a low libido diagnosis in men. This sexy spice raises body heat, sweetens breath, and acts as an all around stimulant. Sip this cocktail to add some sweet spiciness to your evening.
Healthy Foods and Libido
Enjoy the dinner and savor some sure-fire foods to spice up your love life. Just remember to select healthy food choices that will not only stimulate your body but your brain function, too. What you eat each day can affect your sex drive. Treating your body and brain right is the equivalent of loving yourself, and that’s absolutely sexy.
1 oz. Cognac
1 oz. Triple sec
1 oz. Light Rum
¼ oz. Fresh lemon juice
Garnish: 1 flamed orange peel
Directions: Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame an orange peel over the glass and discard before serving.
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