We're all adults here.
We know what we like and we know what we want. Often, what we want is sex. We look around and see it permeating every aspect of our lives, so it should come as no surprise that there's an overabundance of drinks with names that go from the merely flirty to the more than suggestive. We buy drinks with naughty names for the titillation, but we don't expect anything more. Everybody knows that aphrodisiacs aren't real, right? Well, maybe they just don't work the way we think. One of my favorite quotes about martinis is a little poem penned by the Algonquin Roundtable mistress of wit, Dorothy Parker;
I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.
People have been calling booze "liquid courage" for years, but I think what we are really looking for is an excuse to enjoy ourselves, and sometimes, each other. Do we need to resort to outside catalysts to give ourselves permission to get out of our own way and have a good time? No. And getting plastered is counterproductive, too. But sharing little signals, such as a flirty drink, can go a long way toward making everybody happy.
For example, suppose you've worked hard all week and finally get a nice evening out, stopping at a local watering hole for a nightcap. Hearing your partner order a drink with a suggestive name is a nice little signal that you should maybe limber up for what might follow.
As a former intoxicologist, let me say there is no one drink that will guarantee you a night of no-pants dancing. Every person's tastes are unique, and arguing over which drink is the right one for the occasion is a fast track to no dancing at all.
It doesn't matter if you prefer your drink sweet or too boozy, there is something out there for everybody. You can find everything from the Slippery Nipple, which tastes good, to the Screaming Blue Orgasm, which does not. Never hesitate to ask your mixologist for adventurous advice. A good bartender can steer you in the right direction. Of course I have a couple of suggestions for your consideration. The first is my old standby from my days behind the bar. It is a pretty drink that tastes a bit like Hawaiian Punch (and you know what they say about pineapple juice).
Ingredients and method:
2 ounces of Southern Comfort
Orange slice or cherries for garnish
Add a generous shot of Southern Comfort to a rocks glass with ice and fill almost the rest of the way with pineapple juice. Add just enough grenadine to turn the drink pinkish red. Stir and garnish with cherries or an orange wheel.
And I honestly could not do an article on alcoholic aphrodisiacs without including this next libation. So this one is for all of you who remember the late '80s. Ladies and gentlemen:
Ingredients and method:
1 1/2 ounces of vodka (my current favorite is Farm Horse,)
1 1/2 ounces of blue curaçao
1 1/2 ounces Southern Comfort
Orange twist or your favorite garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice cubes. Add equal parts vodka, Southern Comfort and blue curaçao. Fill the rest of the way with cranberry juice. Stir vigorously, garnish with an orange twist and serve.
So go ahead, order an old-school Sex on the Beach (it tastes pretty good and there is no sand in embarrassing places), a goofy Mountain Dew Me (you can use Dew or sprite in this one), or the Hop Skip and Go Naked (the name does not lie). Just keep in mind Shakespeare's counsel about overconsumption, from Act II, Scene 3 of Macbeth: "It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance."