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NRN's senior food editor explores what's coming for food and beverage this fall, from hyper-local sourcing to "starter drinks."
Sweet, spiked dessert drinks
Beverage directors and wine merchants alike have noticed young adults’ current penchant for sweet wines — not just slightly off-dry Amarones, but very sweet wines. Moscato dessert wine, for example, is now so popular that Old Chicago has added it to its wine list.
Some restaurants are taking this trend even further by adding alcohol to desserts. The Counter, a 32-unit better burger chain, has started offering wine milkshakes, for example. The most popular of the three flavors, the Pinot Noir, is made with cherries, chocolate, vanilla ice cream and Pinot Noir wine. The Sweet Peach is sweet white wine mixed with peach nectar and vanilla ice cream, and the Mimosa is sparkling white wine, orange juice and vanilla ice cream. The shakes are reportedly a big hit.
So are the beer floats at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, Colo. Varieties include raspberry-Champagne sorbet with some New Belgium 1554 Black Ale poured over it; black cherry-Nutella swirl ice cream with Samuel Adams American Kriek; and New Belgium Lips of Faith-Tart Lychee beer paired with lemon-thyme sorbet and vanilla bean ice cream.
There’s no reason to expect an end to this trend as restaurateurs find new ways to indulge their customers’ sweet tooth and their penchant for strong drink.