Who says you can’t drink dessert? Dessert cocktails can be the perfect upsell to guests who may want to stray from the normal drink regimen and have a sweet treat instead, and they’re particularly appropriate around the holidays. Transform your cocktail menu from mundane to subtly sweet by adding a few cocktails made with lush liqueurs, chocolate syrups and graham cracker garnishes that will not only satisfy a patron’s sweet tooth but also your bottom line.
Black Forest Martini
Created by Sara Welch, pastry supervisor for Bistro Aix in Jacksonville, Fla.
3 ounces Dole Fresh Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries, thawed and puréed
2 ounces brandy
1 ounce chocolate syrup
½ ounce vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings, for rim
Combine cherry purée, brandy, chocolate syrup and vanilla extract in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a Martini glass rimmed with chocolate shavings.
Rose Raj Fizz
On the menu at Apothecary in Lakewood, Ohio.
1 ½ ounces Bombay Sapphire gin
½ ounce orange juice
2 dashes rose flower water
½ ounce vanilla syrup
1 ounce cream
1 ounce egg white
2 ounces soda water
Star anise, for garnish
Combine first six ingredients and dry shake for 1 minute. Add ice and shake for another minute. Strain into a white wine glass and top with soda. Float star anise.
Flor de Caña Cobbler
Created by Niccole Trzaska of Stone Rose NYC for Flor de Caña.
1 ounce Flor de Caña Grand Reserve 7-year-old rum
¾ ounce honey
¾ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce water
Splash Cremant d’Alsace
Muddle lemon juice, honey and water until liquefied. Add berries and muddle lightly. Add Flor de Caña and shake. Strain over crushed ice. Top with sparkling wine. After stirring, add crushed ice. Garnish with berries, lemon peel and a drizzle of honey.
Don’t Mess with My Tu-Tu
Created by Gina Chersevani of PS 7’s in Washington, D.C.
1/3 part Plymouth gin
1/3 part lemon juice
1/3 part Roi Rene Rouge cherry liqueur
Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake until frothy, strain into a small wine glass and garnish with smoked fairy floss (cotton candy).
Courtesy of the National Mango Board.
1 Tbsp. fresh mango, peeled, pitted and puréed
4 ounces chilled Prosecco
1 mango peeled, pitted and sliced for garnish
Combine mango purée and chilled Prosecco in chilled Champagne glass and serve. Garnish with fresh mango slices on the rim.
Avocado Mint Chip Whip
Created by Kim Haasarud of Liquid Architecture.
2 scoops mint chip ice cream
¼ ripe California avocado
1 ounce light cream
1 ½ ounces chocolate liqueur (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add two ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with whipped cream and an avocado slice.
Created by Jeff Isaacson and Clark Moore for Gerber Group.
1 ½ ounces blended whiskey
1 ½ ounces dark crème de cocoa
¾ ounce cinnamon schnapps
Splash of milk
3 miniature marshmallows, for garnish
Rim a Martini glass with a graham cracker crust. Combine all ingredients and pour into the Martini glass. Garnish with the miniature marshmallows.
Cookies & Cream Martini
Courtesy of Monin.
1 ½ ounces vodka
¾ ounce Monin Shortbread Syrup
½ ounce Monin Caramel Sauce
2 ounces half-and-half
Combine ingredients in shaker in the order listed. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a Martini glass rimmed with crushed graham cracker.
The S&M (Whipped Nuts)
Courtesy of Rich Hellner for Pandora Spirits LLC.
2 ½ ounces NutLiquor peanut butter vodka
½ ounce Pinnacle Whipped vodka
Shake with ice and strain.