Dessert chefs in the U.S. and around the world are reinventing their culinary ideas and classic recipes in order to maintain the appeal of their menus and keep the interest of their regular customer base. I don’t know if everyone does this, but I’m the kind of person who judges a menu based on its dessert selections. I’m always looking for the kind of dessert that will motivate me to save room for a sweet finish following a delicious appetizer and entrée. Lately, I have noticed that a few places are revamping their dessert menus and adding trendy offerings such as drinkable desserts to their traditional staples.
Drinkable desserts have become a menu standard in some restaurants, offering customers a different palatable experience and presenting classic desserts in a new way that broadens their whole perspective about dessert in general. Some restaurants are partnering with their culinary neighbors, taking into account their general food or drink options and implementing them into their drinkable desserts. For example, the team at Westbound, a new train- and travel-themed bar in Los Angeles, California’s Arts District has partnered with Van Leeuwen Artisanal Ice Cream and the SoCal heat wave, in order to create alcoholic shakes, according to www.nrn.com, an online publication of Nation’s Restaurant News. One of their offerings is the London Fog, an English-style shake made with Earl Grey ice cream paired with Westbound’s house made lemon sorbet.
Alcoholic shakes are one option for drinkable desserts, but what about combining bakery favorites and premium frozen desserts? Bake magazine talks about The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakery in Salt Lake City, Utah, which offers Cupshakes, a blend of ice cream and a cupcake. It all started with owner Megan Faulkner Brown discovering a special blender that could mix whole cupcakes with ice cream in seconds. This concept is an amazing way to combine two of America’s most popular desserts into a sippable dessert that can easily be customized with varying flavors of premium ice cream or even gelato.
Continuing on the topic of customized drinkable desserts, the inclusion of paletas has also come into the mix. Nation’s Restaurant News reports that Público, a South American and Mexican restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri offers multiple intertwined flavors to create one delicious dessert by pouring strawberry-limecello over brown butter ice cream and then dropping in a rhubarb popsicle. Ideally, any flavor combination allows for ensuring the satisfaction of unique tastes and preferences.
A great way to end a meal is with the classic affogato — the timeless combination of coffee or espresso and any flavor of gelato. However, nowadays, affogatos are sometimes made with additional ingredients such as alcoholic shots.
The constant evolution and customization of drinkable desserts only makes this concept a more attractive addition to dessert menus. Not only do they appeal to the masses, but they allow for imaginative flavor combinations and possible business partnerships as well. Ultimately, they are a profitable value-add and allow you to literally quench your customers thirst for something sweet.