As Valentine’s Day draws near, recipes for associated victuals and libations appear everywhere, each promising more than a modicum of pleasure and satisfaction. I turned to the Mantegna Tarot for assistance after giving this yearly ritual due consideration. I drew the "Temperance" card and that inspired an aphrodisiac tea which utilizes key ingredients from my recipe for Gâteau Baiser De Safran (Saffron Kiss Cake). The result is a tender and tempting drink that is highly sensual. Is it a love potion? You’ll have to drink it to find out.
Rose and Saffron Tea
8 ounces of boiled water (spring or purified)
1/2 cup dried culinary rose petals (World Spice Merchants)
A pinch of saffron (approximately 14 full threads)
A dash of ground cardamom (use sparingly)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon orange blossom honey (more or less to taste)
2 slivered almonds
Using a mesh tea infuser, steep the rose petals in water for 7 minutes. Remove the infuser and add saffron, almond extract and slivered almonds to the liquid. Allow to steep for an additional 7 minutes. Add honey and a miniscule amount of ground cardamom.
The meaning associated with the "Temperance" card is moderation. Drink the tea accordingly as all of the ingredients are purported to have aphrodisiac properties.
Rose is the flower of lovers.
Saffron induces feelings of joy.
Almonds symbolize fertility.
Cardamom balances masculine energies.
Honey sweetens the appetite for love.
Note: Photo of roses from Goodies from My Bag Lady, a coffee house and tea shop.