First thing’s first: There’s not a ton of scientific evidence to prove that aphrodisiacs indeed work. Still, there’s something to be said for a burst in energy, increase in blood flow or surge of endorphins—all of which food can do via chemical compounds. Check out these six ingredients that may or may not get your in the mood for love but definitely should find their way into your next cocktail.
While ginger has been used for centuries in aiding digestion and fighting colds, it does double duty for the senses with both its scent and how it stimulates circulation, making it a smart go-to for warming up the body.
Find it in these cocktails: The Five Points (pictured) at Little Town in New York City; the Ginger Margarita at True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica, Calif.; and the Ginger Snip at The Gander in NYC.
Honey’s natural sugar will deliver an energy boost, but what’s more, it contains boron, which is beneficial to regulating hormones and increasing testosterone. Add a drizzle to your drink, boozy or not.
Find it in these cocktails: The Nine Tailed Kamikaze (pictured) at Insa in Brooklyn; the Beekeeper Cocktail at Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen at JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes; and Emily’s Bane at Farm Bar in Chicago.
If some like it hot, here’s why: Chile peppers contain the compound capsaicin, which increases nerve sensitivities and can lead to a release of endorphins. A turn-on indeed!
Find it in these cocktails: The Bloody Mariko (pictured) served at Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya in New York City; Rosemary’s Baby at Mud Hen Water in Honolulu; and the Heritage Mezcal served at Bespoke Kitchen in NYC.
As if happy chocolate lovers already didn’t know, dark chocolate has been cited to increase levels of dopamine and boost serotonin levels—not to mention it’s filled with antioxidants, making it healthy in small amounts. If nothing else, it’s a mood enhancer for most and worth every bite.
Find it in these cocktails: Mexican Drinking Chocolate (pictured) at Dogwood Southern Table & Bar in Charlotte, N.C.; The Sassy Lassie at Les Halles in New York City; and Bonny’s Misfortune at Barbarossa in San Francisco.
A herb that dates back to biblical days, mustard is one of the most popular and traded spices in the world. Given its warming properties and ability to stimulate blood flow and raise metabolism, it’s no wonder mustard seed has found its way into drinks as well.
Find it in these cocktails: the Apricot Bandana (pictured) at The Garret East in New York City; the Bon Appetit at Pour Vous in Los Angeles; and the Mustard Seed at Mace in NYC.
Take a cue from Casanova, the most famous womanizer of all, who was rumored to eat 50 oysters a day. Perhaps he was onto something: The high levels of zinc, found in oysters, boosts testosterone and libido levels—for both men and women.
Find it in these cocktails: The Umi (pictured) at Sushi Seki in New York City; the Schmickle Shooter at Cull & Pistol in NYC; and The Oyster Shooter at Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House in Port Chester, N.Y.
The Aphrodisiac cocktail
Get the most bang for your buck by sipping on the aptly named Aphrodisiac, made with honey, mustard and muddled serano peppers (among other things), topped with chocolate shavings and garnished with candied ginger, a chocolate-covered strawberry and a-Champagne infused oyster.
Find it at: BIN 189 in Lake Arrowhead, Calif.