Peanut butter and jelly. Pancakes and syrup. Alcohol and gelato? Absolutely! In recent years, gelato has greatly increased in popularity among the American public. Gelato’s palate appeal and wide spectrum of flavors have already proven to be vastly impressive to consumers, and the evolution of gelato enjoyment continues to dazzle with the infusion of alcohol.
The variety of spirits, wines, champagnes, ales and beers is vast and unique as are gelato flavors, and combining these two could be a match made in heaven. For example, merlot, cognac, amaretto and schnaps are not foreign to those familiar with spirit menus, but for gelato connoisseurs these lively beverages can easily be incorporated into gelato recipes and could soon be staple ingredients in gelaterias everywhere.
Alcohol-infused gelato can bring something unique to the normal menu selections, leading new clientele to the business as well as additional revenue streams. Experimentation, alteration and flavor-creation are all part of the process of success for the ambitious gelato chef to incorporate alcohol, since understanding the formulations and constraints is very important. By understanding how to balance alcohol and gelato, any gelato maker can add a kick to sobering sorbet or a bit of bite to a refreshing granita.
Of course, selling and supplying liquor requires a legal license. Checking with the state commission that regulates alcohol licenses is necessary, as the rules vary in each state.1 A fee will apply along with a background and criminal check. Speaking with a local professional bartender is another good resource for those seeking more advice on legal alcohol sales.
Establishing a business partnership with caterers, restaurants and other like establishments that already have a liquor license could present the possibility of new profit revenue without having to endure the process of obtaining one’s own liquor license. For example, alcoholinfused gelato at a summer wedding, a spring graduation, a winter holiday event or an autumn social gathering would offer something different to an expected standard menu. Even engaging with a winery to marry gelato and wines could be another creative avenue to consider, especially since wine and champagne can be key ingredients for delicious desserts, such as the following frozen delight:
Peach Champagne Sorbet
• 750ml (bottle) champagne
• 600g water
• 1200g peaches
• 580g sugar
• 125g PreGel Fruttosa®
• 50g PreGel Peach Fortefrutto®
• 15g lemon juice
In moderation, gelato and alcohol also offer unique health properties. According to WhyGelato.com, gelato alone has numerous health benefits. Gelato is lower in fat and calories than traditional ice cream. When made with milk and/ or nuts, gelato contains a high amount of protein. Milk-based gelato, especially fruit sorbettos, contain a high amount of essential vitamins. Gelato is also a great source of calcium for non-milk drinkers and can be made with ingredient alternatives like Splenda®, soy and BENEO®. It can even be considered a healthy meal replacement.
Research has found that moderate consumption of some alcohol can be beneficial to general health. Healthy alcohol consumption can aid in reducing the likelihood of developing dementia, cutting the risk of gallstones by approximately 50 percent, reducing the risk of heart disease and death by heart attack, and reducing the risks for ischemic stroke, not developing Type 2 diabetes or peripheral vascular disease. Be aware that pregnancy, certain health conditions and medications absolutely prohibit the consumption of alcohol.2
The ideal amount of alcohol consumption to achieve these kinds of health benefits is one drink per day for women and two for men. A drink can be considered 175 ml of wine, one standard-sized can or bottle of beer or one standard shot of spirits. The approximate amount of alcohol per one serving of gelato is minimal but can be calculated based on servings and batch size. For a complete breakdown of nutritional values for any serving size, having the product tested at a laboratory that specializes in nutritional analysis would offer the most concrete results.
Cheers! Here is yet another way to enjoy gelato, the beloved Italian treat that America has come to embrace. Served in a traditional bowl, on a cone or in a wine or spirits glass, alcohol-infused gelato will keep you and your customers celebrating all year long. Salute!
1 “How to Apply for a Liquor License,” Ehow.com
2 Copley, Jennifer. “Health Benefits of Alcohol: Moderate Drinking Reduces Risk for Dementia, Stroke & Heart Disease,” March 21, 2008. Retrieved from food-facts.suite101.com.
“Types of Alcohol.” Thinkquest.org/05aug/01220/ types_of_alcohol.html