The Bar Series: Cocktail and Dessert Pairings
Just about everyone’s heard of dessert pairings with wine or beer, but there’s one more unexplored frontier in the world of booze and sweets: cocktails. This is a big challenge considering that cocktails are usually made more for sipping on their own or enjoying with a meal than an after-dinner dessert. However, it’s a challenge we’re totally up for.
Mixed drinks bring a whole new complexity to the table. By their very nature, they combine flavors in a way that’s intended to bring out a unique flavor in the drink itself, which means it can be tough to pair it with food that meets it beat for beat. Mixologists are both chemists and innovators, coming up with all kinds of cool, experimental cocktails that linger on the palate long after you take that last sip. So we had to choose our cocktails carefully. Enjoy the results!
Salted Caramel White Chocolate Chip Cookie & Hot Buttered Rum
Salt and liquor just seem to go together, particularly when you’re trying to enhance the other flavors of the drink. That’s why we chose Hot Buttered Rum for our first cocktail. It’s a delicious cold-weather treat, and it has a delightful level of spice and sweetness that pairs beautifully with salted caramel and white chocolate.
To make spiced buttered rum, you can make your own spiced butter by following a recipe online – usually, it’s softened butter mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. All your favorite holiday spices. From there, take one ounce of spiced rum, add a tablespoon of the butter, and top with hot water. Blend well, and add some honey, an orange slice, or maple syrup for more sweetness. Yum! Enjoy alongside plenty of cookies.
The O.G. Cupcake & Triple Espresso Martini
Coffee and chocolate, are we right? Of course, we are. This is a long-beloved pairing, and with a little creativity, you can kick it up a notch. There are a few different methods of creating this cocktail – you can brew and cool espresso and add it to vodka, or start with espresso-infused vodka, either purchased or homemade. Blend with coconut rum, a splash of amaretto, and a touch of chocolate liquor for a wonderful coffee lover’s dream cocktail.
Obviously, the absolute best pairing for this tasty drink is an equally tasty chocolate cake. Our O.G. Cupcake is chocolate cake filled with white chocolate mousse and topped with our signature cream cheese cookies ‘n cream frosting. Each flavor blends seamlessly with coffee, coconut, and amaretto in the drink to leave a lingering creamy, sweet, luxurious taste on your tongue. A must-try!
Elderberry Macarons & Lemon Drop
Who doesn’t love the sweet and sour classic Lemon Drop? It’s tart, it’s refreshing, it’s delightful. Simply blend lemon juice, vodka, triple sec, and simple syrup to make it. Take a sip, then turn to your dessert pairing: an Elderberry Macaron. Yes!
Elderberries are tart, sweet, and juicy, exactly like this lemon drop. However, they have a signature berry flavor, which is absolutely wonderful alongside the bright citrus flavor of lemons. You may be familiar with using lemon to brighten up blueberry dishes, and the same principle works here. They play off each other beautifully.
Challenge complete! When you’re indulging in sugary treats, it’s a good idea to use a lighter hand with the sugar in your drinks so that you don’t overwhelm your sweet tooth. The drinks featured here certainly play with sweetness, but they also rely on spice or tartness to balance it out. If you’d like to experiment with your own cocktails, it’s a good trick to keep in mind!
We’re always happy to Sift deliver cupcakes and other sweets to your home or event space. For our local friends, picking up at any of our locations is easy – we’re located throughout the San Francisco and North Bay Area. Be sure to check out the other pairings in our Bar Series!