So Sweet: 9 Delish Dessert Drinks

Valentine's Day may have come and gone not even two weeks ago, but we're still suffering extreme dessert fatigue. Don't get us wrong — we certainly enjoyed those decadent chocolates we got from our S.O., and the crème brûlée we practically inhaled during our February 14 date was to-die-for. But, add to that weeks of predictable cupcakes, cookies, and candies, and we've now found ourselves opting for the check rather than that typical cheesecake come dinner's end.
So, if the traditional offerings for your last course don't excite you anymore, put down the fork or spoon, and raise a glass instead to a different way to do dessert. Ahead, we're featuring nine incredibly delicious cocktails (plus their recipes!) that will have you thinking outside the plate after you've polished off your meal. Pretty sweet, right?
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Photo: Courtesy of The Aviary.
Tom and Jerry

When it comes to classics, nothing beats the Tom and Jerry. But, The Aviary switches things up with the addition of rich Amaro Averna and the use of rye rather than brandy. Be warned, though: We're starting things off with a concoction that's far more complicated than the version your mom used to make around the holidays. But, if you have a spare scale and iSi cream charger lying around and the time to craft a three-part cocktail, we say go for it — especially considering the recipe below makes enough to satisfy a small army of people. Still, if you don't feel like going through the fuss, pop into The Aviary, where the drink is served in the establishment's custom-made mug. Fancy.

Vanilla Milk:
1,983 grams whole milk
7 grams salt
65 grams sugar
5 vanilla beans, split and scraped

Place into sous-vide bag, and cook for two hours at 80 degrees. Cool, bag into two-ounce portions, and set aside.

Alcohol Base:
45 grams rye whiskey (The Aviary recommends Journeyman)
25 grams Amaro Averna
45 grams Zaya rum
2.3 grams Angostura bitters
.6 grams salt
28 grams simple

For every 338 grams booze base add 558 grams cream into an iSi cream charger. Charge once with a cream charger, and hold at 80 degrees.

Egg Mixture:
6 eggs
95 grams sugar
7 gram salt

Blend until smooth, place into an iSi, and charge three times with cream chargers. Hold at room temp.

To finish: Pour warm milk bag into glass. Add egg mixture directly into milk about halfway up, then top off with warm spirit base. Stir to incorporate. Top with five drops Weatherby's fig and fenugreek bitters — or any sweet, nutty bitters you enjoy — and grated nutmeg.
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Photo: Courtesy of Darlene Phan.
The Aviator

For those seeking a little less dessert and a bit more cocktail, The Aviator from Table, Donkey and Stick fits the bill. Rittenhouse rye is paired with the herbaceous, citrusy infused wine Kina l'Avion d'Or (similar to Lillet Blanc) and vermouth, and the cinnamon syrup adds just a touch of spice. With the addition of hot water, this drink becomes a more-than-suitable replacement for post-dinner coffee or tea. Well, at least we think so.

1 oz Rittenhouse rye
1 oz Kina l'Avion d'Or
1 oz Dolin Rouge vermouth
2 dashes cinnamon syrup
3 oz boiling water
Star anise pod (or orange peel) for garnish

Add rye, Kina l'Avion d'Or, Dolin Rouge, and cinnamon syrup to a glass. Heat water, and add three ounces, or to taste. Stir, then garnish with a star anise pod or orange peel, as pictured.
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Photo: Courtesy of Isabelli Media Relations.

If for you dessert tends to mean something lighter — fresh fruit, panna cotta, a Pavlova — the Sgroppino from Azzurra is your new last-course go-to. And, it's easy: Just three ingredients, and you're all set. Pop in to the restaurant to test-drive the cocktail, mix one for yourself, or whip up a full bowl for a quick and simple punch for your next shindig. Cin cin!

1/2 cup high-quality lemon sorbet
2 oz vodka
3 oz prosecco

1. In a chilled cocktail shaker, combine lemon sorbet and vodka.
2. Shake vigorously until smooth.
3. Stir in prosecco.
4. Pour into chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with lemon zest.
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Photo: Courtesy of Marcin Cymmer.
The Crazy Beautiful

When you're looking for something sweet that won't weigh you down, give this sparkling confection from Doc B's Fresh Kitchen a shot. The St. Germain liqueur adds a lovely note of elderflower, while the bubbly brings lift to the pear spirit and keeps any cloying sweetness at bay. Sprinkled with the candied hibiscus, this is a cocktail that’s a little crazy and totally beautiful.

1 1/2 oz Grey Goose Le Poire
1 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz Domaine Chandon Étoile
Candied hibiscus for garnish

1. Shake Grey Goose Le Poire, St. Germain, simple syrup, and ice until incorporated.
2. Strain into a frozen martini glass.
3. Add Domaine Chandon Étoile.
4. Sprinkle with candied hibiscus, and enjoy!
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Photo: Courtesy of Marcin Cymmer.
The High Tide

Earthy-and-sweet ginger liqueur and bright lemon softened beautifully by egg whites — what’s not to love about this light, refreshing drink from Pearl Tavern? Plus, the Peychaud’s Bitters garnish in the frothy whites gives you the perfect opportunity to impress your friends with your design skills when you’re entertaining at home. Seriously, don’t be afraid to get a little “latte art” with this one.

1 1/2 oz Domaine de Cantón
1 oz Ketel One Citroen
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 egg white
Peychaud's Bitters for garnish

1. Dry shake (no ice) all ingredients together until the egg white is broken.
2. Add ice, and shake again.
3. Strain into your coupe glass.
4. Space small drops of Peychaud's Bitters in the froth, forming a circle design. Using a toothpick, pull the dots to create a wave design. Enjoy!
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Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Ess.
Sleepless in Logan Square

This warm cocktail combines all of the things we love: bourbon, coffee, wine, amari, and whipped cream. Blandy's rich Madeira Bual gives this java-based beverage toffee and vanilla flavors, which are met by the Amaro Averna's bittersweetness. Our favorite part? The Fernet Branca topping. The Dawson's original features an amaro-infused marshmallow; the version below makes for easier at-home creation. Keep in mind that this whipped-cream recipe makes enough of the fluffy stuff for more than one cocktail, so reserve it for later — or craft yourself a few toasty beverages.

Fernet Branca Whipped Cream:
1 cup Fernet Branca
1/2 simple syrup
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Whisk Fernet, simple syrup, and heavy whipping cream rapidly until mixture thickens. Set aside.

Alcohol Base:
1 1/4 oz Amaro Averna
1 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
1/2 oz Blandy's Madeira Bual
5 oz hot coffee
Oil from orange swath expressed

Combine all ingredients in a mug. Top with Fernet Branca whipped cream.
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Photo: Courtesy of Marcin Cymmer.
Roz's Hot Tottie

Does winter's brutal chill have you down? Let this cocktail from Doc B's Fresh Kitchen be your refuge. The crème de banana, apple brandy, and cinnamon rum add some sweetness here, but the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice cut it nicely. Finishing off this cocktail is a light, apricot tea, which ties all of those familiar flavors together. Think of this as comfort in a glass.

Apricot tea
1 oz crème de banana
3/4 oz apple brandy
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 bar spoons cinnamon rum
Cinnamon stick for garnish

1. Steep apricot tea, and pour hot brew into your martini glass.
2. Shake together crème de banana, apple brandy, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon rum.
3. Strain your mixture into piping-hot apricot tea.
4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, and enjoy!
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Photo: Courtesy of Neil Burger.

It's our favorite time of the year: Shamrock Shake season. But, when we also want our creamy, minty concoction to be truly Irish, we can't exactly tote a bottle of hooch along to Mickey D's (or so we've been told...). So, we turn to Rebar's Shamrocktini, which combines Jameson, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, and crème de menthe. We also like that the martini glass arrives with edible gold flakes lining the rim — which is just a touch more classy than those clear, plastic cups, no?

1 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 oz Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz crème de menthe
Gold flakes for garnish

Combine ingredients, and shake with ice. Strain into a martini glass garnished with gold flakes.
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Photo: Courtesy of Jenna Liberman.
Sherry Cobbler

The sherry cobbler is a cocktail classic, but Blackbird's variation is unique with the addition of Amaro Ciociaro, a slightly orangey, bitter Italian liqueur. Don't let that scare you, though — this is one serious after-dinner drink. The orange and blackberries lend brightness (though you can make this cocktail with any type of berry you like), while the nuttiness of the Oloroso sherry brings warmth to this comforting, delicious concoction.

2 oz dry Oloroso sherry
1/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz Amaro Ciociaro
Dash Angostura bitters
Muddled blackberry
Muddled orange slice

Shake all ingredients hard briefly. Strain into small metal tin, fill with crushed ice, swizzle a bit to incorporate, and chill exterior. Add straws, and garnish with a berry and an orange peel expressed and inserted.

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