Aphrodisiacs & Eros Elixir: Kate August


In the spirit of this month of love, we're sharing an aphrodisiac recipe written by our dear friend and herbalist Kate August. Kate is the mastermind behind the bar at Pizzaiolo in Oakland, where you can often find her making seasonal syrups, medicinal elixirs and speciality cocktails with an herbalist's touch. We can easily say Kate makes the best cocktails we've ever had. If you are in town, we highly recommend grabbing a drink by Kate and enjoying one of their seasonal pizzas, after buying tons of magical things nearby from Homestead Apothecary (of course). ___

It is a cold and rainy winter night. Thinking about ways to enhance the mood, I open up the window, cuddle with my partner and listen to the raindrops hit the earth. The stormy weather invites us outside. We walk in the dark, inhaling the rain inspired smells, until we are completely saturated. Lubricated by mother earth, I feel my mood change and reflect on the multitude of options to make oneself feel good.

Aphrodisiacs by definition are any number of herbs or foods that calm the body and stimulate sexual desire. These herbs can quiet the mind, calm the nerves, and help alleviate tension in the body. One exhilarating thing about aphrodisiacs is their diversity: you can smell them, you can eat them, you can rub them on... if you are in the mood for feeling good there are a number of ways to get that accomplished.

Aromatherapy is an excellent way to set the mood in a room and in your internal environment. Essential oils used in a diffuser or nebulizer can have a radical effect on the central nervous system and is a wonderful way to calm the mind. Some of my favorite smell combinations are lavender, mugwort and clary sage. It is important to find the essential oils that work best for you.


Here is a recipe that is fun and easy to make and will help assist in a general mood and physiological changes.

Eros’ Elixir

1 1/2 oz gin

3/4 oz lemon

1/2 oz elderberry & hawthorn honey

1 tsp ginger syrup

1 tsp damiana tincture

This elixir is essentially a cocktail which is shaken with ice and strained, served in a cocktail glass with no ice.

This of course can be made without alcohol as a refreshing lemonade. The tincture can be replaced with a glycerite.

Elderberry & hawthorn honey can be made by decocting (simmering)  ground up herbs in water for 20 minutes. Strain herbs from water and combine the infused water with 2 parts local honey.

The damiana tincture is made by macerating ground damiana in an alcoholic solution at a 1:5 ratio. For example if you have 20g dried damiana use 100ml alcohol. Alcohol can be between 20-60% Combine herbs and alcohol in a sealed jar and macerate for two weeks, shaking daily. Once complete, strain off herbs and store liquid in a cool dark place in an airtight container. This will last a few years if stored correctly.

You can also purchase herbs, and tinctures here at Mountain Rose.

Share with a friend or lover.