with ice, have been around seemingly forever.In the late 1990s, bartenders fully exploredthe possibilities of chocolate martinis andsuch, and Michael Waterhouse, bartenderand owner of New York City’s Dylan Prime,patented the terms “Caketails” and “Pietinis”for his wildly popular sweet-cocktailcreations.The form is evolving further, as the latestand greatest renditions keep pace withcutting-edge desserts. Todd Thrasher,sommelier at Restaurant Eve and bar whiz atPX, both in Alexandria, Va., has had greatsuccess with such creations as the Butter“Nut” Craig, a pie-inspired drink combiningbutternut squash, spice bitters, Pyrat rum andGrand Marnier. He’s also known for poachingpeaches in Riesling and for his recent
Dessert Drinks Create Incremental-Sales Opportunities
Not every operation has the time or the resources todevise special dessert drinks, but David Commer, owner of Carrollton, Texas-based Commer BeverageConsulting, has some cost-conscious tips for makingdessert drinks a value-added proposition for anyrestaurant. Commer works with national multi-units todevelop new drink ideas and keep bar programs on- trend. While sales of both desserts and after-dinner drinks may suffer in the economic downturn,Commer thinks that combining the two as dessertdrinks could spark incremental sales.“People see [dessert drinks] as a lighter, lower-fatalternative to dessert, and they can get the ﬂavors without all the calories,” says Commer.
Create New News:
The rule of thumb inselling cocktails, notes Commer, is offeringsomething new to capture the ﬁrst sale. A dessertdrink can do the trick. Capturing the second sale isa matter of making the drink delicious andcraveable, which also means creating one that’snot overly sweet and is sized right.
Follow the Food:
“Rather than be generic with your dessertdrinks, look to your dessert menu and recreate your best-sellers inliquid form,” advises Commer, who used this tactic when working with casual-dining multi-unit Tony Roma’s. The chain’s R&D team wanted to turn its Apple Crisp a la Mode into a drink, and Commer helped create the Apple Crisp Tini, a blended martini featuring Absolut Vanilla Vodka served in a martini glass and ﬁnished with adrizzle of caramel syrup and apple-crumb topping.
Key to the apple crisp cocktail is the crumb topping.Tony Roma’s used the broken bits and pieces of crumb topping from the menued dessert’s ingredients. “We were able to use product that would have been loss or waste to create a signature drink,” saysCommer, who suggests working with vendors to repurpose existingingredients on a larger scale.
Commer is experimenting with low-fat vanilla yogurt to turn high-calorie drinks like the mudslide into a more smoothie-likealternative that “still satisﬁes a sweet craving, but without the hugecalorie intake.”
At Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill, a frozenraspberry twister combines lemonand raspberry Smirnoff with ices of the same ﬂavors. Raspberry liqueur provides the ﬁnal touch at the table.
J A C K A S T O R ’ S