I know I can't be the only one to notice that it's easier than ever to find alcohol-infused food items these days. And, in some cases, you can even buy them without an ID.
When you think about it, it was only a matter of time that, after having food in our cocktails, we should have anticipated those same cocktails finding their way into our food. Damp January, BORGs, and weed-infused pantry items have been steadily blurring the lines around our drinking habits.
You can truly "pick your poison" when it comes to booze-infused food, and it's likely to be found in a new item these days. And food and drink brands are taking note, forming their own concoctions with wine and spirits brands to create a new category altogether. None of these are accidental discoveries, either; alcohol not only changes the makeup of the food it touches (as it does in something traditional and classic like a vodka sauce), but also the identity of the brands that make these concoctions as a new kind of tastemaker.
Take Eggo's Brunch In A Jar Waffles & Syrup Sippin' Cream, a collaboration between Eggo Waffles and Sugarlands Distilling Co. They created an Appalachian sipping cream to pair with their waffles (or simply "take the edge off your morning chaos," they say). The cream liqueur blends the flavors of maple syrup, butter, with hints of smoky bacon. In this case, they took an iconic childhood classic and let it grow up to become a 20-proof boozy drink that just might be what your brunch espresso (or rather, Eggo-spresso) martini is missing.
Dunkin' is rolling out spiked versions of their iced teas and iced coffees after the success of their Dunkin' beer collaboration with Harpoon last year. Long a proponent of coffee happy hours, could a boozy Dunkin' happy hour (in the style of Taco Bell's Cantina locations) be the next way we get buzzed in more ways than one?
That's not all, either. Long a friend of charcuterie boards and snack times in general, Club Crackers just launched a Chardonnay-infused cracker in partnership with JaM Cellars. And gosh darn it, they're strange but undeniably good. Flaky, lightly yeasty, and yes, buttery, these mini wine-infused crackers make my taste buds go "?!?!" and it's been way too long since I've felt so delightfully shocked by a food item one can pick up in the snack aisle.
Ultimately, what's most delightful and frightening is not just how good all of these collaborations are (they go down very easily), but how it leads you to think: What's next? If the future looks like Chardonnay-infused butter, boozy donuts, and rum-soaked waffles, I think it looks really, really bright.
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