Cake-, candy-flavored vodkas put dessert into martini glass

First came the popular fruit-flavored vodkas. Then came the sweet-tea vodka craze.

Now, liquor store shelves are lined with bottles of sweet, dessertlike vodkas.

Whipped cream. Cupcake. Cookie dough. Even gummy bear flavor.

These latest bakery- and candy-store-inspired incarnations would likely make your grandfather spit out his martini.

Sylvia Cosmopoulos, a corporate mixologist for Republic National Distributing Co., says the trend mirrors one seen in the culinary world: with specialty cupcake stores invading cities, s'mores popping up on restaurant menus and cake pops serving as the go-to party favor, sweets have never been so chic. Cocktails, Cosmopoulos says, are simply following suit.

"I preach to consumers that (we) as Americans love sweets, and the liquor industry is looking to capitalize on that fascination," says Cosmopoulos.

Pinnacle and Three Olives are two vodka makers that have pioneered the craze. Pinnacle's flavor portfolio includes cake, chocolate whipped, cookie dough, cotton candy, marshmallow, whipped cream and whipped key lime. Three Olives brings loopy (think Kelloggs' Froot Loops breakfast cereal), root beer and chocolate, among others, to the flavor mix.

Distillers boast that the vodkas can stand alone served over ice or be mixed with liqueurs and other ingredients for dessert-inspired sips.

"The target for these flavors is the millennial generation, aged 21 to 32," says one store manager. "Marketers consider them the most influential, and it is this group seeking new flavors at the bar and looking for adventure in their cocktail."

Here are some drink recipes that probably could take the place of dessert at your next dinner party.

>>EASY

Key Lime Martini

Graham cracker

2 ounces Pinnacle Cake vodka

1 ounce Rose's lime juice or fresh lime juice

1 ¼ ounces fresh cream

Crumble graham cracker and rim a 10-ounce martini glass with crumbs.

Shake vodka, lime juice and cream, then pour into glass.

Makes 1 drink.

Source: Bar 9, Fort Worth, Texas

>>EASY

Breakfast Martini

2 ounces Three Olives Loopy vodka

1 ounce Coole Swan Irish cream liqueur

1 ounce milk

Shake vigorously with ice and strain into martini glass.

Makes 1 drink.

Source: Sylvia Cosmopoulos, Republic National Distributing

>>EASY

Carrot Cake Martini

1 ½ ounces Three Olives Cake vodka

½ ounce Bols Butterscotch schnapps

½ ounce Carolans Irish Cream liqueur

5 raisins, muddled in shaker

1 ounce milk

Sprinkle of ground cinnamon

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into martini glass.

Garnish idea: Rim glass with cheesecake frosting from a can, a few raisins and sprinkle brown sugar.

Makes 1 drink.

Source: Sylvia Cosmopoulos, Republic National Distributing

>>EASY

Strawberry Shortcake

1 ½ ounces Three Olives Cake vodka

½ ounce Carolans Irish Cream liqueur

2 strawberries, muddled in shaker

3 ounces milk

Shake over ice and strain into martini glass or tall glass.

Garnish idea: Whipped cream and a strawberry sliver.

Makes 1 drink.

Source: Sylvia Cosmopoulos, Republic National Distributing

>>EASY

Monty's Red Velvet Martini

2 ounces Pinnacle Whipped vodka

1 ounce Irish cream liqueur

1 ounce cherry juice

½ ounce cream

Shake vigorously with ice and strain into martini glass with chocolate on the rim.

Makes 1 drink.

Source: Monty's Corner, Fort Worth, Texas

Cake-, candy-flavored vodkas put dessert into martini glass 08/14/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 4:30am]

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