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Five Best Spirits for Desserts
There’s something strangely satisfying about incorporating booze into your cooking, isn’t there? The sheer knowledge alone that there is beer or wine in your dish seems to almost make the utensils jump off the table and into your hands. Not only that, when you are talking about desserts, the combination is so tempting. It’s the course where the non-drinking parent manages to squeeze in some sorely needed hooch. The best part is that each one of the following spirits works as a great tipple right after.
Candy and brandy make you dandy. So what could be dandier than a brandy dessert? One of the characteristics that seems to make good brandy a perfect fit for the last course is its flavorful, aged quality. The fruity floral life of “burned wine” can yield another layer of flavor.
Try Cherries Jubilee with a little Hennessy. I think you’ll find the brandied form of this fruit its truest and most delicious.
I’m cheating a little bit here since Grand Marnier is actually based off Cognac (ergo, brandy). What makes this liqueur very unique is that it is made with bitter orange essence which leaves that distinct flavor profile. Douse your dessert with “Gran Ma,” light it on fire, and watch the blue flames dance over all over such delicate dishes.
Have a taste of the Grand Marnier Soufflé. It’s an airy confection that goes a long way with this liqueur. Or, maybe make a Crêpe Suzette.
Bourbon has extracted character from charred wood barrels. The flavors elicited from the barrel often renders the spirit with cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel notes – perfect flavors for desserts. Moreover, because nearly every “bourbon” whiskey is made with anywhere from 51-80% corn, it can often have a sweeter and thicker quality.
I don’t know if anyone can be disappointed with a Derby Pie; particularly, there’s some good ole Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey from Maker’s Mark Distillery.
Where there’s candy, there’s licorice. And while licorice doesn’t derive its flavor from pastis or absinthe, a distinct anise flavor in both is undeniable. In fact, one of my favorite associations with a well made Sazerac is the candy-ish quality that accompanies the spicy, nutty rye whiskey flavor.
Like ice cream? Add a dabble of Pernod into that custard for a Star Anise Ice Cream. Like toppings? Make a Pernod whip cream!
Most people don’t know that Amaretto is distilled from either an apricot or almond pit base. The result is a nutty liqueur and since almonds are already a topping of choice for many sweets, this liqueur is a perfect fit for a wide variety of desserts.
“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” Next time TNT is running that Godfather trilogy marathon, whip up some of these with a little Amaretto in them.
-By Guest Writer & Alcohol Writer/Bartender Anthony of Done Like Dundee Gone Like Ghandi.