Ready to arouse your senses?
by Jessica Toscano Feb 10, 2022
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Just because Valentine’s Day 2022 is on a Monday doesn’t mean a steamy cocktail isn’t in order. In fact, a signature bev on V-Day is almost mandatory to properly celebrate one of the sexiest nights of the year, especially if you intend to ditch fixed menus, upped prices, and large crowds. Whether your plans include bae, a friend with bens, or your fave lubes and toys, the right boozy drink can spark festivity — and romance — in ways you least expect. Not to mention, flaunting your mixology skills is one hell of a turn-on if your goal is to impress. For a drink that’s one part heat and one part sweet, allow us to introduce our February Cocktail of the Month, Love-lust Edition.
Most traditional Mexican cocktails feature agave spirits, and mezcalitas are no exception. Unlike its cousin margarita, a mezcalita incorporates mezcal in place of tequila, a difference in agave. While tequila’s distillation process utilizes just one particularly sweet agave species (Agave tequilana aka Blue Agave), mezcal’s consists of several that when combined, offer various flavor profiles to create a more complex sip.
Also to blame is each’s unique roasting of the agave piña aka heart, a process that transforms raw agave carbohydrates and starches into fermentable sugars to make alcohol. Whereas tequila-making relies on above-ground ovens to perfectly steam piñas, mezcal production typically involves earthen pits, stone-lined and underground. The difference is in the resulting flavor, often referred to as mezcal’s smoky characteristic, which makes for a slightly spicy spin on the classic margarita.
But the ultimate twist in this special V-Day mezcalita lies within its adaptogen-enhanced sparkling water: maca. The Peruvian herb, housed in FREE RAIN Arousal, has been acknowledged for its sexual benefits since 1653 when Bernabé Cobo, Spanish Jesuit missionary and writer, first identified its fertility-enhancing properties. Several studies have since supported maca’s ability to increase libido and enhance sexual desire in both men and women.
“Maca is a rejuvenating tonic — that is, an herb that acts like a food for a system,” Rachelle Robinette, FREE RAIN in-house herbalist, tells Intrigue. “In this case, that system is the reproductive system.”
Currently, 13 different phenotypes of maca have been identified, and each is distinguished by color; however, the three most popular varieties are black, yellow, and red. Black and yellow maca have been shown to increase sperm counts, per a 2004 study on male rats, published in National Library of Medicine, while maca extract (typically from yellow maca) has been proven to increase the number of offspring in female mice, per a 2005 study, published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. Another smallish study of 45 remitted depressed female outpatients with antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction (AISD), published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, even concluded maca’s potential to improve sexual function in people on antidepressants.
All of this is to say that if your end goal for V-Day is to get off, this faintly fizzy, peach-hued mezcalita might just do the trick. Especially when served in a fancy glass with a creative garnish or sweet-salted rim, recommends Robinette. And if you or whoever you’re with wants to skip the booze, Robinette reminds you that “the beauty of FREE RAIN is that it already is a full-spectrum beverage that doesn't require blending.” Pink grapefruit and a hint of basil come together to create a refreshing taste with seductive power.
Using a lime wedge, lightly coat the rim of a margarita glass, then gently rotate in salt and sugar (Tip: Dye with red food coloring for a festive flare). In a cocktail shaker, pour 2 oz FREE RAIN Arousal, 1 oz mezcal (substitute with tequila for an Arousal margarita), 1.5 oz blood-orange juice (or cranberry or cherry juice), and .5 oz lime juice. Shake vigorously, then strain over 3 or 4 rose-hibiscus ice cubes*. Optional: Garnish with an edible flower.
*Rose-hibiscus ice cubes:
Brew a batch of rose-petal and hibiscus tea. Allow to cool, then pour tea into ice molds and top with edible rose petals. Freeze for at least four hours.