The Depraved Origins
For much of the last century, Valentine’s Day has been a hugely commercial holiday due to the sales and exchange of chocolates, flowers, and cards. It’s also a time for lovers to acknowledge their bond to one another. However, the origins of this holiday present a much darker and complex picture. Starting in the 3rd century AD, the Romans celebrated a holiday called Lupercalia, running from February 13th – February 15th. To say it was a depraved event would be a broad understatement. The event involved slaying animals, whipping nude women with these animals, and the pairing of couples through a lottery style arrangement for the duration of the three-day event. By the way, these lottery style arrangement parties exist today, and we even know some neighborhoods that host them, and no, we are not participants.
The name, Valentine’s Day, may have evolved from the same period. The Romans executed two men named Valentine on February the 14th of different years. The Catholic church regarded both men as martyrs and designated St. Valentine’s Day in their honor.
Through the ages, the celebration became less brutal, starting in the 5th century when Lupercalia and St. Valentine’s Day combined subsequently ditching the many pagan rituals. Still existing were the love and matchmaking rituals, along with a little drunken revelry that still exists in our present day celebrations. Just hold on, we’ll get to the fancy drinks. 😉
Romantic love, in reference to Valentine’s day, was first alluded to in a poem by Chaucer in the 1300’s and later by Shakespeare in his play, Hamlet, in the 1600’s. The romantic trend continued during the 1700’s when handwritten homemade Valentines were exchanged and began being sent through the mail. This continued when in 1847 the New England Valentine Company became the very first commercially produced Valentines cards. In 1913, Hallmark got on board, and commercial sales of Valentines cards exploded and continued as an annual tradition through the present day.
For many, Valentine’s Day can be a harsh reminder of their single status. Thankfully, it is starting to be embraced more by the self-love culture as many make a point to buy for, and treat themselves on this special day. If you are looking for a quick way to check in with yourself, here is a great self-care checklist that you can use on Valentine’s Day, to practice some self-care and self-love. Not that you need a day to celebrate some self-lovery, but honey, if you need a day to remind yourself of just how fabulous you are, Valentine’s Day is just the day! Soak it in!
Now, the fancy drinks!
One of our fave places in Key West (they have other locations, too) is Better Than Sex Dessert Restaurant. It’s sort of a speakeasy, a few streets off of Duval, away from the tourists. It’s a quiet spot, one that makes you feel that you have entered into another world, and another time for a few hours while in southernmost Florida. Their desserts are ah-mazing, but so are their drinks. We thought, while spending this Valentine’s Day at home, we would dupe their signature flair of giving our glass a “rim-job” (he-he, yes, you can totally laugh, how can you not?!) with chocolate. All of their drinks and desserts align with sex innuendos and make you giggle when you order, but totally worth the experience!
We are going to call our creation, “Lick’n Sparkle” Any association with a real life stripper is totally coincidental. It is easy to create, and really pretty to look at, again, no association with a stripper, though we realize the verbiage here is getting really similar.
All you need is:
- Prosecco (or any sparkling wine)
- Chocolate (we had leftover chocolate chips from holiday baking)
- Red sugar (again, leftover from holiday baking)
Melt the chocolate, dip the rim of a glass into the melted chocolate. Dip the chocolate rim into a plate of red sugar. Pour prosecco into the glass, and enjoy. This drink is so yummy! Each sip is a taste of yummy prosecco, chocolate, and sugar. The really sexy part is the licking of the glass, and well, you can do what you will with the rest of the evening.
Happy Valentine’s Day!