How to Make a Love Potion

Move over, chocolate boxes and rose bouquets. This February 14 or any time thereafter, gift your partner with a warm, stimulating elixir combining both. Although no hard evidence supports the efficacy of aphrodisiacs (such as my spiced rose hot chocolate below), gestures of love speak volumes, and the placebo effect is real.

Before you head into the kitchen, consider the following tips from Linda Louisa Dell, author of “Aphrodisiacs: An A-Z” ((Skyhorse Publishing, 2015); Martha Hopkins, co-author of “The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook” (Terrace Publishing, 2007); and Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal, authors of “Aphrodisia: Homemade Potions to Make Love More Likely, More Pleasurable, and More Possible” (Lyons Press, 2012).

Spiced Rose Hot Chocolate

Serves 2 (Makes 1-¾ cups)

Glossy and complex, this delicious elixir incorporates several aphrodisiacs: chocolate, ginger, rose, cinnamon and chilies. If you’d like to add alcohol, try a couple of tablespoons of rum. If you use unsweetened (baking) chocolate instead of the sweetened chocolate chips, simply stir in more honey.

optional garnish: candied rose petals

  1. On medium-size piece of cheesecloth, place first four ingredients. Form into a bundle and tie with kitchen twine. Place in small, deep, heavy saucepot; add milk, chocolate, cocoa, honey, salt and cayenne pepper.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a gentle boil, scraping sides occasionally. Boil until mixture is velvety smooth and slightly thick, one to two more minutes. (Watch carefully, and do not let a skin form over milk.) Stir in vanilla and rose water, and let sit in pot for another five minutes.
  3. Remove (and discard) the spice bundle. Ladle hot chocolate into two small cups. Garnish (if desired) and serve immediately.

Photo credit: karandaev, Adobe Stock