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When it comes to the holidays, deserts and drinks seem to be in abundance. Figuring out what to serve together isn’t rocket science and is a lot easier than you may think.
Think about the drink as an accessory to the desert—compliment the desert and not detract from it.
That being said, if you have a scrumptious cocktail you’ve been itching to show off then a simple desert is the way to go…maybe even a cheese. For me, just because it’s “dessert” doesn’t mean it has to be a super sweet finish to the meal. Then again, I am fonder of the savory side of things
You can go a couple of different ways with this and it depends on the chocolate content of your desert, e.g., chocolate chip cookies, fudge and chocolate cake.
For something with a relatively low chocolate content like chocolate chip cookies, you have a broader range of stuff that will taste great. Think cream based cocktails that remind you of milk ala milk and cookies. White Russians are a great idea.
Higher chocolate content deserts like brownies, fudge or a rich chocolate cake benefit from red wines, coffee based drinks and drinks with a citrus edge. Orange and chocolate love each other. Promise. Peppermint infused drinks also go well with just about all chocolate desserts
Pies such as apple pie, pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie go well with similarly spiced cocktails. Think of drinks that include hints of cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg. This gives you a wide range of drinks and can help you liven up old standbys.
Nut pies are inherently more “meaty” and can take a stronger pairing. High alcohol content cocktails work well with these types of pies as well as more savory deserts like Bacon Baklava—really a recipe. Salty deserts like salty caramel and dipped pretzels can also stand up to a dry martini or similarly strong drink.
An almost foolproof way of telling if things are going to play nice is to smell them together. I know that sounds weird but it works in not just food/drink pairings but also when you’re digging through your cupboard in a panic because you have to throw dinner together and you have to wing it.
Since so much of our tasting comes from SMELLING, if things smell good together then there’s a good chance they’ll taste good together, as well.
In the end, try it and see if it works. Just make sure you try it before your big party.