A cocktail that puts you in the mood

The Hardball drink from Campfire.  Leigh Lecap, the bar manager, created this drink.


What do chocolate, oysters, strawberries and sex have in common? According to centuries-old history and culture, certain foods (like the aforementioned) can stimulate senses, titillate tissues and, with any luck, lead to some motion in the ocean.

In other words, they make you hot.

Deriving its name from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, aphrodisiacs traditionally have been classified by their close anatomical relation to the human body. Among the usual suspects are oysters, asparagus, okra and caviar. Along the way, chocolate, strawberries, honey, salmon and a variety of spices have joined the invigorating refreshment party. So, now it’s entirely possible to build an entire meal of aphrodisiacs, if the passion strikes.

Looking beyond the beer goggles that are often equated with alcohol consumption, a sensual aphrodisiac cocktail might be the quickest way to go from sipping to the sack. Enter bartender Leigh Lacap of Campfire in Carlsbad, who described his Kama Sutra cocktail creation as a “love potion (that) is a little East meets West. The West is represented by strawberry and chocolate — as sultry as it gets. The East is honey and black sesame — found in the pyramids and consumed by the Pharaohs — which are known for increasing sexual vigor.”

To create the drink, Lacap said, “We sous vide gin with cacao nibs and steep roasted black sesame in water before adding it to burnt honey. All ingredients are mixed with a bit of lemon juice before adding and muddling intensely flavored freeze-dried strawberry. Everything is shaken and poured over crushed ice and then misted with a tincture borrowed from the Kama Sutra: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, black pepper, saffron and ginseng.”

PACIFIC recently chatted with Lacap about the Valentine’s Day- and aphrodisiac-inspired drink that’s worthy of raising one’s inner fire.

PACIFIC: How did you come up with the Kama Sutra?
: The other name of the drink is Hardball. In some cultures, a dessert made of sesame and honey is cooked to the hardball point, kind of like nougat. And to me, Valentine’s is the season to play hard ball — go hard or go home alone.

How did you pick the ingredients?
I had been toying with the idea of using all these ingredients together after binge watching Mind of a Chef. Little did I know about the cultural significance of all this stuff until now. I guess food really is the way to the heart and the bedroom.

Favorite aphrodisiac?
Oysters. They like to be shucked hard and then slurped. They get so much action.

What’s the sexiest thing about a partner or lover?
A hobby. If someone can devote themselves to something and obsess over the details, they can make love the same way.

Sexiest body part?
The face. That’s where every feeling is written and all the expression is.

Any personal Valentine’s traditions?
Working (laughs).

Best part of Valentine’s Day?
Because I’m usually behind the bar, being a goddamn Maverick of a wingman.

Fill in the blank: Dear Valentine ________.
I’ll be at 2725 State St. in Carlsbad until about 12:45 a.m.

Campfire, 2725 State St., Carlsbad, 760.637.5121,


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