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Spit Or Swallow? My Journey Through the Cum Cocktail Recipes in ‘Semenology’

I’ve been fascinated by Paul Photenhaur’s popular cum-filled creations for a long time, so I grabbed my partner, milked a cocktail ingredient out of them and tried my hand at a Whiskey Dick Sour

Bartenders around the world have invented cocktails containing all sorts of imaginative ingredients, from protein powder to Emergen-C to mushroom soup. But possibly no mixologist has been quite so bold as Paul “Fotie” Photenhauer, author of the cult-hit cocktail recipe book Semenology — in which the star ingredient of every drink is, you guessed it, cum.

Photenhauer is perhaps best known for his earlier book, Natural Harvest, which focuses on food recipes that highlight cum in all its sticky glory. If nothing else, the guy is committed to the bit: In Natural Harvest, you’ll find 25 whimsically written recipes for jizz-spiked appetizers, main courses, sauces and desserts. “One day I was in the kitchen with some friends, and the conversation veered towards semen. I thought it would be quite natural to use it as a cooking liquid, and I decided to try it myself,” he told a VICE reporter in 2017. He writes in Semenology that he first started writing cum recipes because he “wanted to change the negative view of semen as a food, and encourage readers to open their minds, kitchens and ultimately their mouths to semen.”

It seems as though his efforts have paid off; Natural Harvest has more than 300 five-star reviews on Amazon and is the second-most mentioned book on all of Reddit, although one wonders how many readers are actually making these recipes versus just giggling at the prospect (and at the occasionally upsetting photos).

Photenhauer followed up that smash success with Semenology, and it’s somehow even stranger than its predecessor. Containing drinks with wild names like “Jim & Tonic,” “Piña Cum Laude” and “The Milkman is Cumming,” this unique tome deserves a place on the shelf of anyone who’s passionate about both cocktails and cock. “We eat milk (cow secretions) and eggs (chicken menstruation), so why all the fuss about semen’s inappropriateness as food?” Photenhauer audaciously argues in the introduction.

I’ve been curious about Semenology for a long time, but particularly since I started dating my now-spouse, who’s never worked as a bartender but is the type of cocktail nerd who will sometimes confound waiters by asking for “a Plymouth martini, stirred, two-to-one, up, with a twist.” With this in mind, I kept wondering: Would booze really be more enjoyable with a splash of semen in it? Could a well-crafted recipe elevate cum into something not just drinkable, but divine?

To help me wade through the book’s 20 recipes and pick some standouts, I needed an expert — so I spoke to Greg Hyatt, a bartender at Kansas City cocktail bar Mitch e Amaro. “I can kind of see how cum would work in a drink,” Hyatt muses. “But also, there’s so much variation in flavor and consistency that I think it would be difficult to get a consistent flavor profile.” This is addressed to some extent in the book: A FAQ section at the end suggests eating ginger and fresh fruits to make your cum taste its best. Photenhauer also adds that variances in jizz flavor from person to person can add “an exciting personal touch to your favorite cocktail.”

The textural element of cum in cocktails also seems challenging — but I’m squicked out by the tapioca pearls in bubble tea, so your mileage may vary. However, Hyatt thinks cum could add a velvety mouthfeel to a cocktail, the likes of which some bartenders try to achieve by using gomme syrup in their drinks. Nailing this shouldn’t be too hard, though it depends on what you mix it with — as Photenhauer explains in the book’s FAQ, semen incorporates into drinks most easily if you let it “melt” for a minute or two after ejaculation. Unfortunately, it sometimes curdles when mixed with acidic liquids like citrus juice. Cum chunks, anyone?

As for the quantity of cum you need — an important consideration in cocktail recipes, where usually every ingredient is carefully measured out — Photenhauer addresses that in his previous book, Natural Harvest. He suggests collecting semen “after a restful night’s sleep, since this is when semen volume is at its peak.” He also recommends “extended foreplay” as a way of bulking up your loads. Most of the recipes in the book call for one to two teaspoons of semen, more than the average ejaculation would yield — so you may need to push through that refractory period to go for a round two (or three) if you want to harvest the right amount. Or you could just save up your cum in the fridge — should you need to, Photenhauer says you can refrigerate semen for up to three days. (Just make sure your roommate doesn’t mix it up with the cottage cheese…)

Now that we’ve covered spunk mixology 101, let’s get into some of these raunchy recipes.

Semen-Rimmed Margarita

The “semen-rimmed margarita” was one of the first drinks in Semenology that caught my eye, mainly because a few summers ago I had a major margarita phase where I tried the Mexican cocktail at any bar that would make me one. I quickly learned that the traditional salt rim was vital to my enjoyment of the drink — it woke up the flavors of the lime, curaçao and tequila, intensifying their brightness and making them seem more refreshing in contrast to the salt.

But is this near-perfect cocktail crucially missing cum? Hyatt can see how it might be. “I hate that my brain works like this,” he says, “but generally semen tends to be on the saltier side, so if it was in a margarita, Bloody Mary or a martini or something like that, where the salt content is conducive to the drink, you could use it.”

Photenhauer’s recipe calls for you to pre-make your own semen-infused salt, which he says “must be done well in advance.” You mix one part semen with two parts salt until the salt dissolves, then spread the mixture out in a shallow metal dish, which you then place in a sunny spot for a while. Once all the liquid has evaporated, you crush what remains into a powder, and then rim your glass with it in the normal way — running a lime wedge around the edge of the empty glass and then gently pressing it into the salt until it’s as rimmed as you want it to be. 

However, the recommended method of infusing salt with semen is not only time- and labor-intensive but also might not have the payoff you’re looking for in the final drink. “Unless the semen has a particularly potent flavor, I don’t think it would affect the drink that much,” Hyatt says. “It would just be more of a ‘Haha, look at what I did.’” 

That pretty much sums up the whole recipe book, but let’s forge ahead anyway…

Heavenly Cognac

This recipe simply calls for two ounces of “the finest cognac you can afford” and a teaspoon of semen. (The typical volume of an ejaculation, if you’re wondering, ranges from 0.3 to 1.01 teaspoons, so this is on the larger end of an average load.) Photenhauer says you should let the semen “begin to melt” for a few minutes before splashing it into the cognac. “Surprisingly, I have found that unlike cognac that grows better with age, Heavenly Cognac tastes best when made with the seminal fluids of a younger producer,” he also notes. I’m very curious about how many times he’s tried this drink, seeing as he’s apparently sampled enough to have preferences regarding the vintage.

I asked Hyatt whether it really makes sense to use a top-quality cognac if you’re just going to sully it with semen. “If those are the only two ingredients, yes, I would, because you’ll still be able to taste it,” he says. This is opposed to a cocktail where the base spirit(s) are more buried, like the Long Island iced tea, where the taste of a liquor usually gets overpowered by louder flavors, of course. 

Long Island Iced Tea

Speak of the devil… This drink contains a mishmash of vodka, tequila, white rum, triple sec, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup (i.e., sugar syrup) and cola. It’s basically just a palatably sweet alcohol delivery system. And, in this case, a cum delivery system, too.

Photenhauer instructs readers to combine the semen and simple syrup together before making the drink, so that it all blends together more cohesively, but Hyatt thinks it might work better if you just drizzled it right in there instead. “The contrast in color would make for an interesting presentation,” he says. “As sweet as a Long Island iced tea is, the salty-and-sweetness playing off each other actually might work.”

Creamier Eggnog

Every year at Christmastime, my spouse makes eggnog at home from a recipe created by legendary bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. It uses a base of añejo tequila and Amontillado sherry to create a rich, nutty flavor profile that just tastes like the holidays, especially with nutmeg grated over top. So I was already aware that homemade boozy eggnog can be a delightful treat — but I’d never considered spiking it with cum until I read Semenology.

“Something with a creamy consistency or something that’s blended would definitely work better” with semen, consistency-wise, Hyatt says. “You wouldn’t have to worry about taking a sip and having something very cold and liquidy with something much more viscous; that would probably be off-putting.” There are a few other creamy cocktails in Semenology, including a Grasshopper, but Hyatt thinks cum would work best in an eggnog because there’s often savory notes in eggnog anyway and the semen is less likely to be overpowered by other flavors.

Unlike Morgenthaler’s tequila nog, Photenhauer’s more traditional recipe calls for rum, brandy or bourbon. It actually sounds pretty damn good. I’ll have to keep this one in my back pocket for when the holidays roll around.

Whiskey Dick Sour

Several minutes into our interview, Hyatt asked, “Is a whiskey sour mentioned in there? Because I think I know how you could use cum in one of those.”

There are actually no whiskey cocktails in the entirety of Semenology, except that whiskey is offered as a potential substitute for white rum in the Long Island iced tea. Maybe Photenhauer’s just not a whiskey fan. But as Hyatt explained his idea to me, it seemed to make more sense than a lot of other cocktails in the book.

A whiskey sour is typically made with a whiskey of your choice, plus lemon juice, simple syrup and an (optional) egg white. Hyatt, who’s vegan, pointed out that the egg white can be swapped for aquafaba (the liquid found in cans of chickpeas) or various other substitutes. Whatever you choose to use for this element of the drink, it’s intended to get foamy during the shaking process. This adds a silkier, more full-bodied mouthfeel that makes for a much more sophisticated-seeming cocktail than just a glass of lemon juice, sugar and booze.

Semen, Hyatt reasoned, might foam up like an egg white would — probably not to the same degree, but enough to re-create the overall effect of a whiskey sour. I mentioned this to my spouse, an experienced home bartender, after the interview, and they agreed it sounded like a good idea. So when I batted my eyelashes at them later that night and purred, “Wanna make a whiskey sour?” they knew exactly what I was plotting.

We went into the bedroom and they used a Magic Wand vibrator on their shaft. We needed a cum extraction method that wouldn’t taint the semen with lube, spit, etc., so a powerful vibrator fit the bill. I then cuddled up next to them until they came into an Oxo measuring jigger I was holding over the head of their dick. 

Barely giving them a moment to catch their breath, I rushed into the kitchen and started putting ingredients together in a cocktail shaker: two ounces of bourbon, ¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice, ½ ounce simple syrup and la pièce de résistance, the freshly harvested semen. Usually you’d use about half an ounce of egg white, but I only had one load of white stuff to work with, and it was about half a teaspoon’s worth, because we’d had sex the night before and hadn’t had the forethought to set aside some cum for a rainy day.

I followed Hyatt’s suggestion to start with a “dry shake” — which sounds like a sex act that might happen at a prom after-party, but is actually just shaking a cocktail vigorously without putting ice in the tin. This helps combine the ingredients and whip up the foam you’re looking for in a whiskey sour. Then I added ice and did a second “wet” shake to make the drink cold and dilute it slightly. Once that was done, I carefully strained it into a coupe glass and garnished the top of the drink with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, as is traditional.

My partner and I stood in the kitchen, passing the concoction back and forth between us, taking sips. At first, it just tasted like a good whiskey sour. There was no visible foam on top of the drink, no obvious semen flavor jumping out from the lemony mixture. But as we sat down to watch TV and kept sipping from the glass, our experience of the drink began to change a little. It had, we realized, a subtle brininess not normally found in whiskey sours, as if we had put a few drops of saline into the mix.

But most striking to me was the mouthfeel. It took a few minutes for me to notice it, but it was definitely different than what I’d expect from any standard whiskey sour, with or without egg white. There was a gumminess to the way it coated the inside of my mouth, and especially the back of my throat, that will be familiar to anyone who’s ever given a blow job to completion. The same feeling that had me asking one-night stands to bring me a glass of water in the afterglow had now appeared in my mouth because of a cocktail, not a cock. It was remarkable that such a small amount of semen could have such a big effect in a drink.

In the end, though, Hyatt — as well as my spouse and I — all agreed that Semenology seems to have been devised by someone who’s more enthusiastic about cum than cocktails. That’s understandable — but if you’re a true mixology nerd, you’ll likely be disappointed by this book. It doesn’t reimagine cocktails or remix the flavor of semen so much as it counsels you to combine the two together in ways you probably could’ve thought of yourself on a drunken late night.

It makes a hell of a gag gift, though. By which I mean, a gift that might make the recipient gag. But hey, maybe they’re into that.