The cocktail category is huge, and different cocktails serve a different purpose at social events. There are aperitifs that are served before a meal. There are cocktails meant for drinking with food. There are slow sippers meant as a night cap. Then there’s a whole other category of cocktails, called dessert drinks, that are rich and creamy and designed for slow sipping after dinner.
It used to be that when you mentioned dessert drinks, most people thought of liqueurs, sherry, brandy, dessert wine or coffee. Now, as consumer tastes continue to expand and diversify, the trend is boozy dessert drinks and shakes.
One of the reasons for this new dessert drink trend is because of their beauty! You can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing stunning photos of specialty cocktails. Dessert drinks don’t disappoint with chocolate rimmed glasses, and dustings of freshly ground spices. All of which are served in beautiful cocktail glasses and garnished with decadent treats.
Start with the Base
There’s a whole category of cream liqueurs that make the perfect foundation from which to build creative dessert drinks. Flavors range from cookies and cream to caramel to pistachio, which gives full-service caterers like Messina’s a whole new palette from which to craft the perfect drinkable dessert. From the tried-and-true decadence of Godiva chocolate liqueur all the way to the on-trend Amarula cream made from Africa’s marula fruit, the options are limitless.
New Takes on Old Favorites
Floats and milkshakes have been popular for generations, but now caterers are sprinkling in some gourmet flair, alcohol and presenting them in stunning ways. There’s the classic mudslide, made more Instagram-worthy served drizzled with chocolate in a crystal coupe glass. Top classic hot chocolate with perfectly toasted marshmallows and a splash of Bailey’s and you have a new take on an old favorite.
Hot chocolate can be even more impressive when different types of chocolate are served on a spoon and then swirled in steaming cups and milk and cream as stirrers. It’s interactive (and can be booze-free) fun for all.
Dessert Drinks Don’t Have to All Be Cream-Based
The juicing movement paved the way for fruit-based dessert drinks. Want to amp up a classic mint julip? Add fresh blackberries and lemon juice, puree and partially freeze to serve in martini glasses or coffee mugs. Key lime pie margaritas are a refreshing twist on a classic dessert, while a boozy bananas foster milkshake combines the best of both worlds. Bananas foster is also a nod to a New Orleans’ classic dessert that’s been on Messina’s catering menus since the 1960s. Macerated fruits like amaretto cherries are another decadent addition to fruit-based dessert drinks.
While it appears that Covid is beginning to wane, it has forever changed the way we view sharing food. Drinkable desserts are individually-portioned and therefore a great way to stay safe in large format presentations. Plus, drinkable desserts can be passed by waitstaff as well as presented at dessert stations for grab-and-go convenience.
Shaken, Not Stirred…A Fresh Take On The Martini
With the explosion of flavored vodkas, rums and cream liqueurs, martinis are now as varied as any other dessert option. In fact, the options are virtually endless. You can find martinis on catering menus with flavors like banana cream pie, banana split, cappuccino, salted caramel, key lime pie, lemon drop, peach cobbler, pumpkin spice, and even Snickers candy bars. Do you have a favorite dessert? Simply ask your caterer to mix it into an unforgettable signature martini just for your event.
Don’t Overlook The Classics
Sometimes, a mudslide, grasshopper, white Russian, eggnog, pina colada, or daquiri are the perfect nostalgic dessert drinks for the right crowd. For example, a decadent, rich, house made Irish cream or eggnog can be the perfect way to end a holiday meal. Mulled ciders and wines are a favorite fall treat, while icy fruit slushies are a welcome summer-time sweet. These favorites can all be amped up with beautiful glassware and creative garnishes.
Let Your New Orleans Caterer Craft the Perfect Drinkable Dessert
Your next catered event will be that much sweeter when you add a stunning drinkable dessert to your catering menu. Messina’s Catering and Events has provided full-service catering to the New Orleans area for more 60 years, and we’re always on the leading edge of catering trends to make your event unforgettable. That’s one of the many reasons we’ve been selected by New Orleans CityBusiness readers as one of the Best Caterers three years running.