Bartender, Bake Mine a Double
Trending Now: Mocktail Cakes
The re-emergence of a cocktail culture owes much to television and the often-emulated tastes of characters Carrie Bradshaw and Don Draper. Booze is back, but its tastes aren’t relegated to happy hour. Cocktail and mocktail flavors are coming on strong (and in some cases potent) in cakes, pies, and dessert crisps.
The trade site bakingbusiness.com predicts “the next big thing will be taking the dessert trend and expanding it to include flavors from the spirit industry … using alcohol-inspired flavors in non-alcoholic applications.” That trend will have to rise alongside a return to full-proof desserts. Witness boutique bakery Cocktail Cupcakes in Los Angeles with such high-potency delicacies as piña colada, Harvey Wallbanger, and Jaeger German chocolate bombs. Add to that the Internet sites abuzz with recipes for all manner of boozy baked goods.
“It’s the wheel reinventing itself,” says Foodarom Senior Flavorist Anne Perreault. “In the 1950s and ’60s, bakers and confectioners often put alcohol into sweets.” What once seemed stodgy appears to have been discovered by a new generation. “Now the tendency is to bring it back but maybe with a little twist. Today, it’s a bit younger, and hipper.”
What flavors would Perreault suggest to enthrall today’s cocktail aficionados? “For sweet baked products,” she says, “I think producers could capture the tastes and the imaginations of a new generation with such offerings as sangria verde, rhubarb daiquiri, and why not sex on the beach flavor?”