With the offset of puberty, sexuality starts to play a great role within our reproductive window, which takes up the majority of our lives. So there is no wonder why people started looking into how to add some more passion and improve intimacy and pleasure, especially when experiencing some difficulties caused by various factors including age. Eating being the humankind’s great pleasure, the search for foods increasing potency in both males and females resulted in the discovery of aphrodisiacs.
An Aphrodisiac, substance that acts as a sexual enhancer, arouses sexual desire and improves sexual performance, sometimes even fertility, originates from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite (Ali et al., 2013). With the people getting more interested in alternative and natural sources of medication, the search for natural aphrodisiacs became even more popular recently.
As Valentine's day is approaching, many of us, coupled or single, decide to celebrate the occasion with a dinner date or a small treat. Whether you’re standing in a queue for overpriced bouquets or are waiting for the heart-shaped chocolate being reduced on the 15th, you can enjoy this love potion recipe. Through combining some natural aphrodisiacs, I managed to come up with this rich chocolatey decadent drink, which can also be served instead of a dessert or to start the Friday night thanks to its caffeine content.
Maca Espresso Martini
Natural aphrodisiac Espresso Martini variation; serves two For this recipe, in case you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you will need a sealable jar of an approximate volume 300ml so you can shake the ingredients, including the ice.
1 heaped tsp of Maca powder 1 heaped tsp of Cocoa (both powders equal to 5g) 30g of Date syrup Two double espressos (65ml/espresso) A pinch of grated nutmeg 50ml of vodka (two single measures) A handful of ice
Combine all dry ingredients in the jar, add syrup and espresso whilst stirring to dissolve the powders. Seal the jar and keep shaking until all the powders are dissolved. Then add ice and keep shaking until the ice is melted. Serve in a martini or a short-drink glass and sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on the top of the foam or decorate in any other way.
If you don’t have access to fresh espresso from a coffee machine or a stove/Moka pot, you can use instant coffee or even decaf in case you don’t tolerate caffeine well. If you want to substitute the date syrup, reach after a darker alternative with a similar sweetness such as maple syrup.
About the Ingredients
Nutmeg – Like the origin of the goddess of love, nutmeg has been known in ancient Greece to be an aphrodisiac. In Unani medicine, which originates from Hippocrates teaching as continues to be used as an alternative approach in countries such as India, nutmeg has been used in sexual disorder treatment. In a study performed on mice, nutmeg seemed to be effective in terms of stimulating sexual desire and improving performance (Ahmad et al., 2003).
Maca – The latest “superfood” reaching our supermarket shelves and finding the way into our smoothies in its powdered version however, not everyone knows that has an aphrodisiac effect. Maca is also traditionally used to improve menopause symptoms or fertility (Beharry and Heinrich, 2018). The current evidence suggests that maca has a positive effect on both female and male fertility, increasing the number of sperm produced and its mobility (Ernst et al., 2008).
Cacao – Chocolate, due to its cacao content is historically known for its aphrodisiac effect and it was also originally consumed in a liquid form as a medicinal drink (Bashmakov and Petyaev, 2017). Other related claims to its aphrodisiac properties such as its euphoriant and antidepressant effect tend to be rather connected with individual’s enjoyment and its hedonic response to cacao or chocolate consumption (Brotchiet et al., 2006), so if you enjoy consuming chocolate, then there is a great possibility that it will also bring you the benefits of an aphrodisiac.
Alcohol – Consumption of alcohol and especially overconsumption is tightly associated with sexual risk behaviour (Davis et al., 2013), therefore alcohol should not be used primarily as an aphrodisiac. However, enjoying an alcoholic drink in a small dose and an amount appropriate to our alcohol tolerance is a safe environment for us to enjoy alcohol's aphrodisiac properties.
Ahmad, S., Latif, A., Qasmi, I., and Tajuddin (2003). Aphrodisiac activity of 50% ethanolic extracts of Myristica fragrans Houtt. (nutmeg) and Syzygium aromaticum (L) Merr. & Perry. (clove) in male mice: a comparative study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 3(1).
Ali, J., Ansari, S. and Kotta, S. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 7(1), p.1.Bashmakov, Y. and Petyaev, I. (2017). Dark Chocolate: Opportunity for an Alliance between Medical Science and the Food Industry?. Frontiers in Nutrition, 4.
Beharry, S. and Heinrich, M. (2018). Is the hype around the reproductive health claims of maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.) justified?. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 211, pp.126-170.
Brotchie, H., Parker, G. and Parker, I. (2006). Mood state effects of chocolate. Journal of Affective Disorders, 92(2-3), pp.149-159.
Davis, K., George, W., Gilmore, A., Heiman, J., Nguyen, H. and Norris, J. (2013). Influences of Situational Factors and Alcohol Expectancies on Sexual Desire and Arousal Among Heavy-Episodic Drinking Women: Acute Alcohol Intoxication and Condom Availability. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42(6), pp.949-959.
Ernst, E., Lee, M., Lim, H., Shin, B. and Yang, E. (2010). Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 10(1).