Love Potion #99 Aromatic Drink


by Michelle Krell Kydd

Love potion. The word has the taste of alchemy, dry ice and witchery. The concept of food as a talisman is not a new one, but when it is attached to love there seems to be an unending string of incarnations. It is no wonder; every act of coupling has a unique quality and whether or not it is intended, the potential for creating new life is written into the physical expression of affection. In that tide of energy, identities are exchanged, traded and temporarily obliterated. Each person reemerges slightly different, yet more themselves than they were before. How could one not try to pierce that mystery by engaging the sense of taste? …

Say the phrase “love potion” to Chef Susan Baldassano and she recollects her days at Angelica Kitchen, where the staff and the patrons partook of a mysterious brew called Love Potion #99. The title itself pays tribute to aphrodisiac elixirs and brews, but the name also has the flavor of Chanel for those who are perfume lovers. The aldehydes in this brew come from fruits, herbs and spices, however one would imagine that Ernest Beaux would get quite a kick out of this recipe.

Love Potion #99 Recipe


6 cups apple or pomegranate juice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar/honey
1 oz. (30g) rose petals (food grade) or 1-2 tsp rosewater
1 stick Mexican cinnamon
¼ oz. (7g) lavender blossoms (food grade)
¼ oz. (7g) whole nutmeg
¼ oz. (7g) whole Ceylon cloves
¼ oz. (7g) candied ginger

Optional (though highly recommended):
2 whole star anise
¼ tsp. orange peel
¼ vanilla bean or 1 tsp. real vanilla extract

Simmer juice, water and sweetener. Do not boil as this will produce cloudiness. Put all herbs and spices in a cheese cloth and steep for 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain liquid from cheese cloth to extract the flavors. Serve warm or refrigerate.

Chef Susan Baldassano, a graduate of the New York Institute for Culinary Education, has been a cooking instructor for over 20 years. She is currently the Director of Education at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, in New York City. When she isn’t teaching in the classroom she conducts tours to Italy and Mexico as owner of To Grandmother’s House We Go Cooking Tours.

Photo © Bois de Jasmin. Recipe provided by Chef Susan Baldassano.



  • Madelyn E: Dear Michelle ,
    Happy Friday ! How well you write ! I am going to run out tomorrow and prepare this sensuel Love Potion . Who knows what effect it will have !
    Gorgeous photo , Victoria !
    Best To All
    Madelyn E February 2, 2007 at 2:28am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Michelle ,
    Happy Friday ! How well you write ! I am going to run out tomorrow and prepare this sensuel Love Potion . Who knows what effect it will have !
    Gorgeous photo , Victoria !
    Best To All
    Madelyn E February 2, 2007 at 2:28am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Michelle ,
    Happy Friday ! How well you write ! I am going to run out tomorrow and prepare this sensuel Love Potion . Who knows what effect it will have !
    Gorgeous photo , Victoria !
    Best To All
    Madelyn E February 2, 2007 at 2:28am Reply

  • March: Michelle — that sounds like a wonderful combination of flavors! I am wondering (hoping not to offend) is there any particular liquor you think might work with this? I guess I’m thinking of something along the lines of a hot toddy… maybe a splash of orange liqueur? February 2, 2007 at 7:51am Reply

  • Elle: The only question is whether or not I can shorten some meetings today so that I have time to buy all the requisite ingredients. Sounds truly fantastic – and so beautifully simple! February 2, 2007 at 8:41am Reply

  • aryse: Oh…Thanks very much Michelle…

    But the best Love potion will be forever a charming woman (that means all) smelling well.

    Good week-end
    JP February 2, 2007 at 9:43am Reply

  • chayaruchama: What a delight !
    How very erotic…hmmmmmm.
    Thank you .
    Will experiment on my men, and let you know how it pans out …

    Be well, and have a lovely weekend. February 2, 2007 at 11:41am Reply

  • Flor: Ooooh! That sounds wonderful! Rose petals, lavender blossoms – wonderful! I had rose jam once and it was exquisite! I made it a week later and served it for tea and it was a major success. Thank you so much for the post! February 2, 2007 at 11:50am Reply

  • Marina: Sounds wonderful! The color of the liquid will probably be exquisite. now I have to think where I can get rose petals and lavender blossoms… February 2, 2007 at 9:13am Reply

  • For culinary lavender, go to Penzy’s:
    For rose petals, go to Kalustyan’s and buy the rosebuds. You can separate the rose petals:
    Kalustyans also has culinary lavender, if you need both. February 2, 2007 at 9:39am Reply

  • k-amber: This sounds wonderful and simple, except obtaining rose water. I will try it! What a nice photograph!!

    Kaori February 2, 2007 at 8:57pm Reply

  • ~vanilla girl~ aka Sonia: mmmmm sounds lovely,Victoria!
    Now as soon as I can get away to the ‘city’,I shall purchase these ingredients!
    potion d’amour indeed! 🙂 February 4, 2007 at 5:38pm Reply

  • evilpeony: mmmm… sounds decadent, michelle! i’ll try this and see if it works wonders on my ever gorgeously magnificent boyfriend. 🙂 thanks much for sharing this! February 4, 2007 at 7:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Madelyn, thank you! Now, I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this potion. February 5, 2007 at 1:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, hmm, that sounds great! I might have to experiment. February 7, 2007 at 6:35pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, please let us know the results! It does taste delicious. February 7, 2007 at 6:36pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, Kalustyan’s has both (plus, Penzey’s as Fleur de Lys recommends below). The colour is very striking! February 7, 2007 at 6:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin:, thank you very much for the suggestions! February 7, 2007 at 6:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Aryse, glad that you liked the piece by Michelle! 🙂 February 7, 2007 at 6:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Chaya, oh, please do! I would love to hear of the outcome. February 7, 2007 at 6:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Flor, I adore rosejam. A thin buttered toast with some rosejam is the best treat. February 7, 2007 at 6:39pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaori, I am glad that you enjoyed it! February 7, 2007 at 6:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Sonia, Michelle’s article was an inspiration for me to make it. It is great! February 7, 2007 at 6:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evilpeony, I am sure that it will work magic. 🙂 February 7, 2007 at 6:41pm Reply

  • ian: Does it matter if the star anise is chinese or japanese? I have got 1 or 2 girls I want to try this on, so I could really do with this information. Are all of these ingrediants widely available throughout the UK, or would I have to obtain them from other sources? April 4, 2007 at 2:22pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ian, it does not matter, you can use any star anise you can find. All of these ingredients can be easily located in the UK. April 4, 2007 at 8:55pm Reply

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