Valentine’s Day is here again, and if you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know I’m always on the lookout for a novel, non-cheesy way to share the love, hopefully without putting on ten pounds in the process.
I have a thing about chocolates (too predictable) and roses (ditto). Dinner at a fab resto is always good, but what if you’re planning a quiet, romantic weekend at home (sans kids, of course)? I’ve always enjoyed preparing a meal for my loved-ones, and I think a well thought-out meal prepared with love can be a wonderful way to say “I love you”.
So, we’ve decided on a romantic dinner at home; now we need a theme. This year, I thought I’d go to my youngest daughter for inspiration. Her favourite colour is pink and, well, it does go with the day, so I set about pulling together a pink menu. But not in a cheesy, pink food colouring way. Just a loose thread tying the meal elements together. I’ll serve prime-rib (pink rare, of course) with roasted baby red potatoes and asparagus – yes, I know asparagus is green, but I’m making the cheese sauce with a lovely and nippy lightly-pinked aged sherry-cheddar from the specialty cheese store. Dessert is raspberry gelato (it’s my all-time fave) but there’s still a gap. What to drink?
The local CBC talk radio station interviewed a sommelier yesterday, and her recommendation for Valentine’s Day bevy was a rosée wine. Okay, obviously a sommelier knows more about wine than me, but I just have this thing about rosées. They just seem too Ernest & Julio Gallo, too Arbor Mist.
So I was beginning to get desperate on the drink front: pink lemonade??? Luckily I believe in serendipity, and she came through for me this time. I got an email with a recipe suggestion that fit the bill perfectly: it’s a Florida Grapefruit Aphrodisiac mocktail!
The great thing about this drink is that it’s both spicy and sweet (wink, wink) but it won’t dull the senses the way a half-bottle of rosée will. Whether you’re planning a pink-themed meal or not, I think this is one drink you should make for your Valentine this year.
Florida Grapefruit Aphrodisiac
5 oz chilled 100 per cent pure Florida grapefruit juice, freshly-squeezed or in a carton
2 teaspoons of acacia honey
2 half slices of pineapple (1 cm thick)
1 small piece of ginger
Crush the ginger in a mortar and pestle and add to a shaker, along with the pineapple, honey and Florida grapefruit juice. Add a few ice cubes as well. Close the shaker and shake until the sides are cold. Open the shaker and pour into a glass with the help of a sieve to remove the ice cubes and pulp. Pour into a tall glass and serve.