Drink Your Dessert

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Make no mistake—these are not your grandmother’s grasshoppers. When we asked two talents from Qui (pastry cook Monica Glenn and bartender Rachel Del Rocco), Paul Qui’s innovative fine dining restaurant, to help us kick off summer with a few creamy, boozy cocktails, we knew they’d deliver something extraordinary. “We don’t really have a pastry chef,” Monica explains. “I work with Paul and our chef de cuisine, Jorge Hernandez, in developing the pastry menu. When we were given this project, I pulled out all my favorite frozen goodies that we’ve been working on, and trusted Rachel’s cocktail-building savvy to pull it all together, which she did beautifully. ” The stunning results rely on of-the-moment flavors showcased in unexpected ways. We can’t think of a better way to end a meal, or kick off summer. In other words, we’re thirsty.

Cobbler Jam

Makes 1 Drink

Note: A cobbler is traditionally a 19th century cocktail made with fortified wine and fruit.

Monica: Strawberries recently came in season here in Texas, so I’ve been spending a lot of time preserving and jamming while the opportunity allows. At Qui we serve a strawberry-ginger-beer jam, but you can use any good-quality strawberry jam as a replacement.

Rachel:A cobbler is just the perfect spring drink, refreshing and fruity. I recently saw a woman at a bar digging out the fruit of her cobbler and that’s exactly what that is supposed to be—a sunny day, porch crusher!

  • 1 1/2 ounces London dry gin (such as Fords)
  • 1/4 ounce dry Curaçao
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • Spoonful of strawberry jam (Qui uses a house-made strawberry-ginger-beer jam)
  • Lemon granita
  • Strawberry sorbet
  • Fresh berries, for garnish

Combine the gin, Curaçao, simple syrup, and strawberry jam in a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. Shake vigorously, then pour into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a spoonful of lemon granita, a scoop of strawberry sorbet, and fresh fruit.

Beet Sidecar

Makes 1 Drink

M: My very first job was at a novelty ice cream shop called Malcolm’s, and this drink is loosely based on my favorite treat there. I love the combination of the bright, earthy beet ice cream with the warm caramel notes of the brandy.

R: A sidecar is a classic cocktail made with Cognac or brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, and Monica came up with this one substituting beet ice cream for the sweet component. It worked really well, especially with a nice, tart soda. It changed the entire drink and was just delicious.

  • 1 ounce brandy or Cognac
  • 1/2 ounce turbinado sugar syrup
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Soda water
  • 3/4 ounce slightly melted beet ice cream (see note)
  • Strip of candied grapefruit peel

Combine the brandy, syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well, pour into a wine glass, and top with a splash of soda water, a scoop of beet ice cream, and a strip of candied grapefruit peel.

Note: Roasted Beet and fresh mint ice cream is available at Lick Ice Creams for $8/pint. (2032 S Lamar Blvd).

Thai Iced Tea

Makes 1 Drink

M:Working in the service industry, I am no stranger to highly caffeinated, sweet and creamy Thai iced tea, so when Rachel suggested pairing it with our vanilla sansho ice cream, flavored with Japanese spice, it made perfect sense. You can also use regular vanilla ice cream seasoned with a few grindings of sichuan pepper.

R: Made with condensed milk, a boozy rum and spicy ice cream, this is like a Tiki-inspired breakfast-milkshake.

  • 1 ounce El Dorado 5 year (Demerara rum)
  • 1 ounce Smith & Cross (Navy Strength Jamaican rum)
  • 1 ounce steeped Thai tea
  • 3/4 ounce crème de cacao
  • 1/2 ounce orgeat
  • 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) sweetened condensed milk
  • Best-quality vanilla ice cream

Combine the rums, tea, crème de cacao, orgeat, and milk in a Collins glass. Add crushed ice and stir. Top with a scoop of the ice cream and serve.

Sbagliato Float

Makes 1 Drink

M: I have a special place in my heart for anything Italian and anything bubbly. An Americano is one of my favorite cocktails to drink and a Sbagliato (a negroni made with sparkling wine, not gin) was on our menu recently. It was a no-brainer to add a citrusy sherbet to this and make some kind of float out of it.

R: One of the first ice creams I showed Rachel was this orange sherbet and it was a snap for her to work it into this cocktail. I just wish she had needed more time tweaking this one, so I could’ve had more time tasting it!

  • 1 ounce Gran Classico (or another bitter such as Compari or Aperol)
  • 1 ounce Cocchi Americano Rosa
  • 1/4 ounce honey simple syrup (made with 2 parts honey to 1 part water)
  • Sparkling wine
  • Orange sherbet

Combine the ingredients in a Champagne flute, then top with a splash of Prosecco and a small scoop of orange sherbet.


Photography by Adam Vorhees

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