It’s almost the weekend and I’m always looking for new drinks and spritzers to try. Entertaining guru Mindy Kobrin has been great in the past with giving me some ideas for ways to throw a fabulous outdoor party. Now she’s helping me again — with some ingredients to turn up the heat in the kitchen for a little romance.
by Mindy Kobrin
Foods and ingredients that make you feel and look good might just be the treasured secret to kitchen romance! So hurry up and don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to feel tempted with some of my full-proof ingredients and pantry potions.
The bubbly is perfect for setting the mood with its happy carbonation that helps keep your arteries open and blood flowing. Practice safe sipping as noted in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “It provoketh desire, but takes away the performance.”
In ancient times, foods that resembled seeds or eggs were often thought to be aphrodisiacs and promote fertility. Pomegranates, full of seeds and loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, are in abundance from October to January. Here are just a few of this fruit’s magical benefits:
• Polyphenols are very powerful and potent antioxidants that help to protect you from free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage your DNA and cell membranes. Polyphenols help to protect you against cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions while providing energy.
• Vitamin C. Pomegranates are a great of this vital nutrient. Vitamin C helps you fight off colds and other infections.
• Vitamin K. You need this vitamin to help your blood coagulate properly.
• Potassium. Pomegranates are rich in this important mineral.
• Pomegranates also have folic acid, iron, calcium, and fiber. All essential for good health!
A traditional hazelnut liqueur from Italy’s Piedmont region dates back more than 300 years to the presence of early Christian monks who made use of this abundant ingredient.
Stimulating, divine and mood-elevating, dark chocolate induces pleasure effortlessly. Some of its magical ingredients include alkaloids that work as aphrodisiacs and increase the brain’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of pleasure and its level is known to increase for the first year of falling in love.
So don’t be a tart and pucker your lips with these kissy-kissy, lovey-dovey libations!
POMEGRANATE CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
- 1½ cups Pom juice
- 1 cup pear nectar
- ¼ cup Grand Marnier
- 1 bottled chilled Champagne
Place first three ingredients into a large glass pitcher. Slowly add chilled Champagne to the pitcher and you have an instant smooch-worthy soirée!
- 1 oz vodka
- ½ oz Cointreau orange liqueur
- 3 oz pomegranate juice
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker 1/4 filled with chopped ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve with a squeeze of lemon. A favorite of Oprah’s, too.
FRANGELICO, ESPRESSO & CREAM COCKTAIL
Well known as an aphrodisiac, Frangelico will launch you into a happy mood!
- One 12 oz wine glass or large martini glass
- 1 shot espresso or brewed coffee
- 1½ jiggers Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
- ¼ cup fresh whipped cream
Pour hot coffee in the heated wine glass and stir in the Frangelico. Top with the freshly whipped cream. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings.
DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE SHOOTER
All the pleasure without the guilt!
- 2 oz Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
- 1 oz vanilla vodka
- 6 oz dark hot chocolate, I love Vosges Haut Chocolate mix
Pour the Frangelico into a mug of dark hot chocolate. Gently stir and serve garnished with a chocolate Munchkin donut.
Eat well. Feel well. Entertain well.
Mindy Kobrin is an entertaining and celebrations expert and believes entertaining should be flavorful, fun and fashionable. A former member of Daniel Boulud’s culinary team at Feast & Fetes, Mindy helped orchestrate special events from the Jazz Aspen Festival to the South Beach Food & Wine Festival. With her company, Mindy’s Meals on Heels she uses her experience to fuse travel, fashion and food to create menus and parties with international flare and panache.