Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Love Potion #14

In grade school, each child is more or less required to present everyone a Valentine’s card. Digging through the bought selections, a child picks their favorite for that special someone. As elementary school turns into middle school, it becomes all the more important to receive a Valentine. Children form cliques and get catty. More precisely, children begin to figure themselves out at this time; children can be cruel. Receiving Valentines equates how many friends a child is surrounded by.

We get older and Valentines becomes more or less special depending on if we are “with” someone; desperate to find someone before the day approaches to avoid being alone. What someone does for Valentine’s Day is equal to how much one is loved. It becomes a competition between couples: who has the more romantic lover?

A few years ago, my roommate and I, both single, sat down to make Valentine cards. With paper in varying degrees of pinks and reds, we cut, pasted, and bejeweled about 100 cards. We hit work, hiding them on peoples’ desks. We hit the bars, handing them to cute single patrons. Everyone who received a card thoroughly enjoyed them, posting them on their bulletin boards for months to come (some still have them posted). I think this means that we do not trade love enough as we age. Desperate for a show of friendship, we will hang on to postcards from anyone and everyone: we want to show off our friends. Or maybe I live in a city full of lonely people.

I am now “with” someone, but having grown cynical over the years being “without,” Valentine’s Day is really any other day—people just wear more red. Everyone is still looking for love. Whether it is found amongst friends, lovers, or in food, it is natural to search for comfort.

This is my Valentine to you dear reader. Enjoy this beverage at brunch as a sophisticated alternative to the classic mimosa. Present it at dinner for a winning combination. Alone, this beverage is the epitome of urban cosmopolitism.

Serving Size= adjust to quantity making. Prep Time= 5 minutes.
* cocoa powder
* 1 part blood orange juice
* 1 part champagne
* 1 part vanilla vodka (plain vodka is fine for something a little less sweet)
* 2 tsp pomegranate concentrate for each person
* garnish with vanilla bean

1) Place cocoa powder in a dish. Wet rim of glass with orange juice and dip the rim into the cocoa powder.
2) Fill glass with ice cubes. Pour in juice, champagne and vodka. Put the pomegranate concentrate on a spoon. With the spoon up to the inner edge of the glass, slowly release pomegranate concentrate around the inner glass, allowing it to coat the sides. Garnish with vanilla bean which also acts as a swizzle stick.

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