For those lucky enough to be struck by Cupid’s arrow, here are some natural aphrodisiacs that may tease, tantalize and titillate the taste buds and help put you in the mood for a trip to the bedroom this Valentine’s Day: chocolate and beer.
We all know that a few beers loosen inhibitions, but chocolate is a natural love drug as well. Chocolate contains high serotonin levels that stimulate the release of endorphins in the brain, which in turn arouse the senses. Phenyl ethylamine, a neuronal dis-inhibitor found in chocolate, causes euphoria and excitement. Further, chocolate increases feelings of giddiness and boosts the sex drive, all while improving circulation — a natural Viagra for both sexes.
Chocolate and beer might sound like a nuts and gum combo to some, but the two are far from strangers in the night. Neither would exist without fermentation and both start out as bitter water. When intertwined, these two soulmates, and the endorphins they release, form a ménage à trois for the senses.
A word of advice: If you chew the chocolate in these pairings you miss the point. Like foreplay, these pairings should be given time to come together: cut the chocolate into small slices and slowly melt the chocolate in your mouth — it tastes best when warm and wet — then layer on the beer.
Sharing these beers in small quantities is the perfect way to practise moderation. After all, you are playing with two love drugs, so we don’t want to overstimulate anyone.
• Howe Sound Nut Brown Ale (5 per cent) with Olivier’s Hedgehogs — This brown ale and chocolate combo is the foot and back rub to get the evening started. The milk chocolate Hedgehogs have a hazelnut cream filling, which contains little explosive bits of delight. The sweetness of this warm chocolate pairs perfectly with the brown ale, which has light toffee notes ending with a nutty hop-bitter finish. It’s a perfect start to this feast for the senses.
• Dieu du Ciel Route des Épices (5 per cent) with Olivier’s European dark chocolate filled with strawberry cream — The best orgasms build in intensity and come in waves, and Dieu du Ciel’s Routes des Épices is a beer that mimics just that. A rye ale infused with green and black peppercorns, this beer gently builds intensity towards a climax with each consecutive sip as it magnifies the peppery burn. Here, the beer’s peppery bite is countered by the sweetness of the strawberry cream, while the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate accentuates the ale’s hoppiness. I hope you can hang on.
• Le Trois Mosquetaires Doppelbock (9.5 per cent) with 56 per cent Wine Lovers Chocolate — There is double contradiction in this pairing. These chocolate drops are meant to be paired with Pinot Noir, and Doppelbocks were invented by German monks who practised abstinence. Skip the wine and forget the abstinence. Interestingly, the chocolate does bring out some wine undertones in this complex lager.
Doppelbocks were originally intended as liquid bread to get the monks through fasting during Lent. This rich brew is perfect to give you sustenance for the marathon tantric sex session ahead.
Thanks to Adrian Watters and Chocolate Spot (#226, 10816 Macleod Trail S.E.) for helping with the following pairings.
• Dieu du Ciel Aphrodisiac (6.5 per cent) with Amedei dark maraschino cherry
• Les Trois Mousquetaires Rauchbier (6 per cent) with Olivier’s European dark maple
• Struise Black Albert (13 per cent) with Michel Cluizel noir 72 per cent dark chocolate
• Unibroue Trois Pistoles (9 per cent) with Les Truffe Cognac