When most people think of combining wine with a meal, we probably think of finding the best wine for that perfect aged cheese, or a wine whose flavour complements the earthy flavour of a special, roasted meat. While a Chardonnay is perfect for a fatty fish meal, a Cabernet Sauvignon for a juicy red cut of meat, or a Sauvignon Blanc for tart dressings, wines and cocktails also have their counterparts for the last course of the meal.
Professional wine lovers will admit that the first glass of wine is best before sitting down to the table, the second glass of wine complements the flavours of the main food prepared for the meal, but the combination of a fine wine or delicious cocktail with a delectable dessert is simply incomparable. If you love this idea, then we offer four unique and special cocktail pairing ideas for four of the best and most classic desserts.
Bread & Butter Pudding with Irish Whiskey
This classic British dessert is an old-fashioned English family favourite that goes easy on the wallet. Slices of buttered bread are layered on a baking tray and sultanas are soaked overnight in a generous measure of Irish whisky before slowly being sprinkled over each layer of the bread. A mixture of lightly whisked eggs and milk is poured over the bread and is then seasoned with nutmeg, vanilla, or cinnamon and popped into the oven.
Add some lemon juice into a glass of whiskey. Use some honey sage syrup to sweeten it up. Strain the cocktail into an exquisite Dartington Cocktail Glass and add fresh ice. Next, crisply fry some sage leaves in hot oil and use it to garnish the cocktail. This will also give it some personality.
Strawberry Cheesecake and Cabernet Franc Ice Wine
Every wine lover knows that wine and cheese go together perfectly. What few people dare to experiment, however, is combining wine with cheesecake. We have found the perfect pairing between a delicious strawberry cheesecake and Cabernet Franc Ice Wine.
One of the great aspects of cheesecake is that you can combine so many unique and diversified flavours. While the cream cheese and sugar will give you the base flavours, you can add virtually any taste to complement this base. From chocolate and caramels to all types of fruits, cheesecake is one of the most versatile desserts for pairing with alcohol and cocktails.
While a chocolate cheesecake does go deliciously with a lush and dry red wine, our favourite is strawberry cheesecake combined with a Cabernet Franc Ice wine. Ice wines are a special type of dessert wine that is made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. With these wines, the freezing takes part before the fermentation process allowing for a unique sweetness that makes the wine into a cocktail all its own.
Brownie and Peppermint Brownie-tini
You can never have enough brownie in your life, and this unique cocktail and dessert pairing are both centred on that favourite dessert of children (and adults) around the world.
Any simple brownie will do for this pairing, though we recommend a fudge brownie that is overloaded with chocolate because, well, why not?
The Peppermint Brownie-tini is truly a treat as it combines chocolate, brownie mix, and vodka alongside the kicker peppermint flavour. Simply mix together your favourite flavoured vodka, a splash of Godiva chocolate liqueur, another splash of Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps, a touch of milk and of course a spoonful of dry brownie mix.
If you want this unique cocktail to have a holiday twist, consider dipping the edge of your Glitz Martini cocktail glass in melted chocolate and add some crushed candy canes when the chocolate is still hot.
Raspberry shortbread tart and twinkle cocktail
Feeling the chill in the air? If the warm summer days seem very long ago and you are dreaming of the warmth of the sun, then we recommend that you begin a cold and sluggish day with a much-needed boost of summer flavours.
A cheerful combination of raspberry shortbread tart and Twinkle cocktail set the mood for the forthcoming summer, making you want to dream of it. This way you get through the winter blues pretty well.
The dessert is made of sweet raspberries and topped with a scoop of pistachio ice cream.
Twinkle cocktail is made by mixing vodka and elderflower cordial (soft drink) inside a cocktail shaker filled with ice. After sealing the cocktail shaker and giving a short sharp shake, double strain the mixture into a large coupette. Finish it off with a topping of champagne. Don’t forget to garnish the cocktail with a long lemon twist.