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In Bars & Clubs

Dessert in a bottle.

Dessert vodkas: Have your cake and drink it, too


"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Hornitos, OR-G, Party Armor, Red Stag, Absolut, Fireball and Malibu – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

It was really only a matter of time before dessert-flavored vodkas were introduced on the market. After all, just about every fruit on the tree or vine is infused in the popular distilled beverage, and coffee, chocolate and caramel vodkas have been in existence for years. Hell, there's even bacon vodka.

So, it's unlikely that anyone is surprised by vodkas that are supposed to taste like oven-baked, circus-friendly or campfire-ready sweet treats. The trend began in 2010, and really picked up momentum in 2011, with cake, whipped cream, frosting and marshmallow vodkas gaining in popularity. Particularly with women.

Myren Grosenick is the owner of Jojo's Martini Lounge, 418 N. Mayfair Rd., and he says dessert vodkas have become exceptionally popular with his clientele. So much so that Grosenick says he will unveil a new martini menu next month that will feature multiple new martinis made with dessert vodkas.

"People like to drink these new vodkas as shots, in mixed drinks and martinis," he says. "It's tough to keep up with all the new flavors. Seems like a new one comes out every week."

Other available dessert vodkas include frosting, chiffon and devil's food.

Drinkers with a sweet tooth will particularly appreciate these flavors because they aren't subtle – rather very sweet-tasting. Elizabeth Reese says she started skipping dessert and drinking cake vodka on the rocks instead.

"It made sense to me," says Reese. "It's fewer calories (than an actual dessert), has no fat and packs a punch."

Dessert vodkas have more calories than clear vodka, but not many more. They do usually have more carbs than unflavored vodkas.

Drink recipes mixed with dessert vodkas are starting to saturate the Internet and include the pineapple upside down cake, a cocktail that's made with cake vodka, pineapple juice with variations that include ginger ale, amaretto, Frangelico or orange juice.

The apple crisp or apple pie is another drink made with cake vodka, along with spiced whiskey, maple syrup and apple juice. It's concocted in a martini shaker and served over ice with a little cinnamon on top. Pumpkin cake martinis were popular during Thanksgiving / the December holiday season and featured cake vodka and pumpkin liqueur.

Chocolate in a variety of forms particularly lends itself to dessert vodkas. Some people simply drink cake vodkas neat with chocolate bitters. S'mores drink recipes are widely available and made with marshmallow vodka, the dark 'n' fluffy includes cream, chocolate liqueur, marshmallow vodka and garnished with, of course, marshmallows.

All of the dessert vodkas pair well with hot cocoa, too.

And for anyone who wants to slip into a full-on sugar coma, cake vodka can be mixed with soda for what's called a cake 'n' cola. There's also a ginger cake drink recipe that's made with cake vodka and ginger ale. The cream vodkas have been mixed with root beer for a "root beer float" of sorts.

There is also a vodka available now that tastes like Froot Loops cereal. People are drinking it on the rocks or mixed with milk or cream for a boozy cereal experience.

Dessert vodkas are particularly popular as shots with drinkers on their birthdays. They're served straight up or combined with a variety of other alcoholic beverages and sometimes even cake mix.

"It's like every weekend I'm celebrating my birthday," says Reese.


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