The introduction to Mark Sexauer’s cocktail recipe book (what a name!) offers a level-headed disclaimer: alcohol “is a very powerful substance, but does not move the dial on your sex drive” – so really, the theme of romance throughout the recipes is more poetic than chemical. Although, if sexy visuals increase appeal, then Sexauer definitely has it in the bag.
The recipes that follow are fresh and ring of farm-to-glass mixology. It’s organized by plant: the section on lavender contains a recipe for the Mile High Club, a riff on The Aviation with lavender-infused gin; All About Thyming is inspired by the mojito, features Dijon, and falls in the mustard section.
Despite the title’s unabashed nod to Saint Valentine’s edible arrows, Sexauer keeps his text fairly didactic with (only sometimes liberal) smatterings of come-ons and kitschy cocktail names. That being said, his photography is a feast for the eyes, referencing the title and providing counterpoint to the written content.
Design is undoubtedly the focus of this recipe book; it’s expressed both in the instructions for concocting potions to assist in consummating your designs on a sweetheart as well as in the composition of the photographs that so sensually adorn the page. The drinks’ delicacy counterbalances the at times heavy-handed innuendos, the images elevate the book to coffee table material. Three cheers to photographer Charity Burggraaf and food stylist Kimberly Swedelius.
Written by Mark Sexauer with photography by Charity Burggraaf