For thousands of years, cultures all around the world have noticed the connection between certain foods and feelings of desire. So, why not surprise your Valentine with some sexy suds?
Aphrodisiacs, named after the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, are rumored to have a positive effect on the libido when consumed. So, this Valentine’s Day, dim the lights, turn on Marvin Gaye and bust out the beer. Yes, beer. Not only does beer pair with a wide variety of aphrodisiacs, it can also be made with them.
Today, popular aphrodisiacs like cherries, champagne and chocolate paint the picture of a romantic night. How about a still life with luscious cherries? They’re a good source of potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants, all of which help maintain a healthy sex drive. Boon Kriek Mariage Parfait and Rodenbach Fruitage are both brewed with cherries, just what you need to set the mood. Chocolate, the quintessential romantic treat, contains phenylethylamine, a stimulant that elicits excitement and a sense of well-being. No wonder Aztec leader Montezuma was said to consume considerable amounts of chocolate each day to fuel his romantic escapades. Treat your sweetheart to a chocolaty beer like Evil Genius I’ll Have What She’s Having, Heavy Seas Siren Noire or Sly Fox Softly Falling Darkness. And champagne has long been the go-to beverage for special occasions. Dock Street Bubbly Wit is made with champagne yeast, making it great for celebrations of all kinds.
Lesser known aphrodisiacs have also made their way into the brewery. Coffee, arguably the world’s most popular stimulant, is known to improve mood and promote the release of endorphins. La Colombe Hard Cold Brew Coffees and Brown Bomber Hard Lattes are two java-infused offerings that can really rev your engine. Honey, which was prescribed in Ancient Greece for “sexual vigor”, aids in regulating hormones and increasing blood flow. Cape May’s award-winning Honey Porter could be just what the doctor ordered.
For a Valentine’s menu with more substance, consider these “stimulating” foods. Oysters, long thought to be aphrodisiacs, are high in zinc and hormone-inducing amino acids. It’s rumored that Casanova would eat 50 each day. If you’re a half-shell enthusiast, consider pairing them with a classic dry stout like Guinness Draught Stout or 2SP Baby Bob Stout. The roasty, malty notes of these dark beers contrast with the salty taste of the oysters.
And like we mentioned, no Valentine’s Day celebration would be complete without chocolate. For dark chocolate, choose a big beer like 2SP The Russian or a barleywine like Lagunitas Brown Shugga’. A light-bodied, hoppy beer like Great Lakes IPA makes a great match for milk chocolate. If white chocolate is your indulgence, a nutty brown ale like Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron makes a delectable pairing.
Beer Chocolate Truffles
Whip up a batch of these simple and delicious beer-infused chocolate truffles for a scrumptious Valentine’s Day treat.
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. dark beer
9 oz. dark chocolate
1/2 vanilla bean
1.5 oz. cocoa powder
Combine heavy cream with vanilla seeds (scrape from the vanilla bean) and put on low heat. Just before it boils, remove from heat, add chopped chocolate and stir well until combined. Leave to cool to room temperature. Slowly add beer to the mixture, then pour into square baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and cool for three hours in the refrigerator. The mixture should be firm enough to shape truffles. Take 1 tsp. of mixture and shape uneven balls (truffles). Coat with cocoa powder and serve.
-Recipe courtesy of Honest Cooking