When you think of aphrodisiac drinks, chances are a glass of red wine comes to mind. Not coffee—that's something you drink in the morning, or with friends and family during the dessert course at dinner. Maybe a fruity cosmopolitan or ritzy martini, although those are less about getting us in the mood and more about lowering our inhibitions.
The winner is the first drink we mentioned (red wine), but we're here to set the record straight that there's actually a deluge of other delicious aphrodisiac drinks out there ripe for sexier sipping. Many of them aren't even alcoholic, and no, you don't have to trek to some niche mixology venue to get your lips on them.
The aphrodisiac drinks we love to indulge in swap alcohol for botanicals and adaptogens, aka, plant-based actives that are linked to physiological responses. And they're all available online, so you can skip the bar altogether and enjoy a date night in.
Popular adaptogens that double as aphrodisiacs
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of adaptogens linked to boosting libido. (Seriously—it seems like if you can forage it or grow it in your garden, it might make you horny.) Here are some of the usual suspects beloved in both edible and drink-able aphrodisiac forms:
Ashwagandha is an ancient herb that's native to many Asian and African countries. It's a wellness darling for its stress-relieving and immune-boosting benefits—but it's also known to get down and dirty, too. "In Sanskrit the word literally translates to ' strength of a stallion' and has been used as an aphrodisiac," explains Ayurvedic expert and host of the Higher Self Podcast, Sahara Rose. "Not only does it balance your nervous system, but it also works on the endocrine system, giving your body exactly what it needs."
Rose mentions that shatavari—which she says translates to "she who has one thousand husbands" in Sanskrit—is the plant's feminine cousin known for balancing female hormones and instilling calmness in the body. "It supports and tonifies the female endocrine system and regulates the nervous system as well," she says. Together, they make the perfect couple.
Horny goat weed
Sarah Becker, MS, RD, a registered dietitian at the Indigo Wellness Group, recommends horny goat weed, which is as horny as its name suggests. "Horny goat weed, a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor, causes blood vessels to relax and enlarge, allowing blood to effectively flow to the right place," Becker says. "A compound found in the herb can promote long lasting erections."
Just note, horny goat weed acts as a blood thinner, so if you're already on a medication that thins the blood or have a surgery scheduled in the near future, reach for something else.
Maca is another adaptogen that's notoriously a superstar in the bedroom. The Peruvian root can enhance sex drive, balance hormones, boost the mood, and is said to increase fertility.
"It’s important to note that there are 13 different types of maca and each can have a varying effect on the body," Becker says. "Most maca found in stores is suited for men and is related to enhanced energy... In women, maca nourishes the connection between the brain, adrenals, and ovaries (called the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal ovarian axis) to balance the body's own hormone production by increasing estrogen."
Becker adds that while the rowdy root is considered safe for most people, it can interfere with those who have thyroid issues. "Maca is a cruciferous vegetable and contains goitrogens, compounds that disrupt thyroid hormones," she says. "As a result, it’s important to work with a health care provider to see if maca is right for you."
In fact, if you have any health issues or underlying conditions, it's best to consult with your doctor or health care provide before purchasing any of these drinks! If you're in the clear, then let's move on to the best aphrodisiac drinks to help get you in the mood.
The best aphrodisiac drinks you can buy online
Key ingredients: maca, pink grapefruit juice, lemon juice
Pour you and your date a glass of Free Rain’s Arousal Drink and let the good times wash over you both. The sparkling water tonics are made with 500mg of maca, that sexy Peruvian root known for getting its drinkers in the mood. As for taste, expects bursts of bright citrus, specifically pink grapefruit, lemon, and mandarin orange. Tl;dr—It’s the X-rated version of your favorite seltzer.
Key ingredients: Ashwagandha, reishi, blackberry
Becker says Rowdy Mermaid is at the top of her list for its taste and recipe, specifically the Blackberry Aswagandha sparkling tonic, which is made with immune-boosting reishi and stress-reducing aswagandgha. “Not only is it low in sugar with 6g per can, but they use organic ingredients, too,” she says. “The ashwagandha found in their tonic is KSM-66 ashwagandha, one of the highest concentration extracts available on the market.”
Key ingredients: Rhodiola rosea, GABA, L-theanine
In the mood for a mocktail? Kin Euphorics has got you covered. Its non-alcoholic aperitif, High Rhode, contains a bevvy of feel-good adaptogens and nootropics that’ll have you feeling flirty without the hangover. Most notably is the Rhodiola rosea, a European botanical linked to improving libido and sexual stamina. Throw in a little L-theanine and GABA—two amino acid compounds that reportedly enhance sleep and relaxation—and sipping has never been sexier.
Key ingredients: horny goat weed
If you’re more of a literal person, nix all the fancy mixers and get straight to the point with a mug of horny goat weed tea. As Becker mentioned, it’s especially popular amongst penis-owners; Research indicates the herb can aid erectile dysfunction and arousal.
If horny goat weed tea isn’t your thing, Becker recommends checking out yohimbe, the first FDA approved “herbal Viagra” to enhance sexual performance. “Yohimbine, a compound found in the bark, stimulates blood flow to the penis by dilating blood vessels to bring about erections, like Horny Goat Weed,” she says. “It also stimulates nerves in the pelvic region, increasing stamina and sensation down below.”
Key ingredients: maca, l-theanine, lemon balm
Katy Perry’s adaptogenic drinks will turn your libido into a teenage dream. Seriously—Golden Hour is blended with sensual maca, relaxing l-theanine, and zesty lemon balm (which is said to boost libido, too). Enjoy a can as a mid-day pick-me-up, or pour a bottle over some ice with your lover as a nightcap. Bon appètit, indeed!
Key ingredients: ashwagandha, lion’s mane, l-theanine
Hiyo’s delicious plant-based tonics are crafted to make you feel what the brand calls, “the float,” aka, “the delightful stress-relieving, mood-boosting sensation that comes from 1.5 grams of organic adaptogens, nootropics, and botanicals packed into each and every can.” Its latest flavors are available for pre-order now and are slated to ship on February 10, so you’ll be stocked up in no time.
Key ingredients: ashwagandha, cinnamon, rooibos
Shark Tank fans might recognize Moment, as it had a “moment” on the ABC series. Its line of adaptogenic anti-stress drinks are all blended with science-backed botanicals known to make you feel good, minus any sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. While all the sparkling and still options are scrumptious, we recommend the Spiced Mango for spicing up date night. In addition to ashwagandha, cinnamon boosts circulation (you know what that means…) while rooibos and l-theanine soothe your mind.
Key ingredients: reishi, dark chocolate, coconut milk
Rebbl’s sweet immunity elixir takes inspiration from one of the most classic aphrodisiacs of all time: dark chocolate. As Sakara Life’s founder Danielle Duboise previously told us, a few bars of rich dark chocolate are great for setting the mood. “Chocolate’s phenylethylamine compound triggers the brain’s release of [pleasure neurotransmitter] dopamine,” she said.
This smoothie up’s the ante with reishi, a mushroom known to reduce stress and, in turn, boost those flirty, sexy feelings. Blended with coconut milk and vanilla, and it’s way better than your standard box of chocolates.
Key ingredients: cacao, maca, reishi, lion’s mane
Or, make your own steamy smoothies with Sunwink’s Cacao Clarity Powder. There’s cacao (the main ingredient in dark chocolate) and also maca, reishi, and lion’s mane—another flirty fungi (don’t worry, The Last of Us fans—it’s safe to consume). Rather than going out for dessert on your next date night, stay in and take the DIY-approach with a spoonful of this powder and any other mix-ins you want to add.
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