Welcome to Kestra's Aphrodisia exposition. In this space, we will explore the many facets of desire. There may be recipes, history, research, lore, home remedies or magic appearing.
Return periodically to see what has transpired.
Entry 2: Champagne Seduction - a libation recipe.
I imagined a scene of seduction: my lover and I on the fluffy rug in front of a blazing fire. He is naked; a sheen of sweat coats his body, reflecting the dancing flames. Languidly, I hand him a flute of a heady champagne mix I concocted, to refresh and reinvigorate him. He sips, his skin cooling, breathing slowing. I watch the champagne bubbles dance around the raspberries floating just below the surface…
Inspired by this image, I vowed to create the perfect Champagne Seduction to turn my fantasy into reality.
The vineyards of the Champagne region in France originated with the conquering Roman legions in the first century B.C.; but it took almost 1,000 years for Champagne to begin its rise to association with royalty and luxury. In 987 A.D. Hugh Capet was crowned king of France in Reims, and wines from Champagne were served at the celebration. Coronation and champagne at Reims was the tradition for the next 800 years.
The le vin du diable (Devil’s Wine) was not invented by Dom Perignon as commonly held, but he did invent the muselet (wire collar) that allowed fermentation to be controlled in the bottle. The muselet and other advances ultimately allowed champagne to be bottled on a commercial scale by houses such as Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and Louis Roederer.
The bubbles in the devil’s wine are credited with much mischief. Early on, they created havoc in the wine cellars by causing bottles to explode. Effervescence is also believed to help speed absorption of champagne’s alcohol and to provide an erotic assist to the libido.
The sweet tartness of raspberries marries well with the flavors of champagne. Raspberries have long had erotic and romantic associations. “Nipple fruit” is the slang term for raspberry, according to the urban dictionary. Nipple fruit packs a lot of antioxidants and vitamins into a small package - healthy choices are always good for the libido.
So, champagne and raspberries form the core of my new libation. Then something tart to provide a bit of fresh kick. And something to help the drink go down smoothly, like honey flowing off a comb. Honey - the nectar of Aphrodite - another potential ingredient.
I assembled the candidate ingredients: champagne, raspberries, framboise liqueur (or cassis de framboise) and Chambord (raspberry liqueur), honey, lime, lemon, Gran Marnier, and champagne flutes. I also recruited a male taste tester. I created, we tasted and compared. We tried the different concoctions with chocolates. A seductive libation HAD to enhance chocolate or its erotic potential would be wasted. We returned a few days later to retry the leading candidates. And, as the final test, we proved the drink was indeed an aphrodisiac (and how!).
And so, below is the recipe for Kestra’s Champagne Seduction. A perfect libation to craft for an erotic gathering of two or more. I suggest you prepare the syrup ahead of time and clean the raspberries. Dress as seductively as you dare. Add soft music and light some candles. Before your lover(s) arrives, experiment a little bit with the proportions of syrup and champagne in your glass until the sweet, tart and bubbly balance is just right for you. Then relax and let Champagne Seduction help “Laissez les bon temps rouler”!
KESTRA’S CHAMPAGNE SEDUCTION 6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate, thawed 2-3 tablespoons honey, warmed 2 tablespoons framboise liquor Raspberries Chilled, dry champagne (Summer variation: Fresh Mint)
Ahead of time: 1) Thaw frozen limeade and bring to room temperature. 2) Add warm honey and framboise to the limeade. 3) Mix well.
When ready to serve: 4) Add a few drops of framboise to champagne flute and twirl to coat the inside of the glass. 5) Bruise 2 raspberries per serving (pinch the berry between your nipple and fingers) and drop in flute. 6) Add 2 tablespoons (or to taste) syrup to each flute. 7) Fill each glass approximately ¾ full with champagne. 8) Optional: Add fresh mint leaves. (This provides a pleasant summer scent and subtly enhances the flavors.)
Entry 1: Aphrodesia
Aphrodisia means, literally, an extreme state of sexual desire or desire for sexual intimacy. An aphrodisiac is an agent that increases sexual desire. These words are derived from "Aphrodite," the name of the Greek Goddess of love and beauty. Her name comes from the Greek "aphros," meaning sea foam.
"Why sea foam?" you might ask. Legend has it (recorded by the Greek poet Hesiod) that Aphrodite was born when Ouranos (Sky) was castrated by his son Kronos (a Titan and the father of Zeus). Ouranos' genitals were thrown into the sea, from whence arose Aphrodite.
Testicles themselves are considered aphrodisiacs in many cultures, perhaps due to their high testosterone content. Recipes for preparing testicles abound: Testicle Pizza, Testicle Goulash and Testicles in White Wine. There is even a World Testicle and Aphrodisiac Cooking Championship, held, of course, in Serbia.
Stay with me now. Testosterone is an aphrodisiac for women; this has been proven scientifically. The Intrinsa patch (now approved in Europe), delivers small doses of testosterone to women with low sexual desire. The patch increases the amount of satisfying sex women have, boosts desire and improves orgasms. In the US, doctors can prescribe low doses of testosterone gels to achieve similar results.
So, from Greek legend to Serbian cook-offs to Big Pharma, aphrodisia permeates our world.
Write to Kestra at Kestra@KestraGravier.com and answer her: Where are the aphrodisiacs in your life? She will likely work them into an upcoming book.