Anyone of legal drinking age can tell you that drinking and dining go hand-in-hand. But what you might not be aware of, and what some cooks and bakers might not want you to know, is that some of the best food is actually based on drinks — specifically, alcoholic beverages.
Bakers have long appreciated the sweeter side of liquor, while cooks love adding in alcohol for the complex flavor and texture it brings to dishes. It might feel odd to pour a can of beer in with your mac-and-cheese, but the flavor-enhancing qualities of liquor in food are well known and popular — beer bread is a hearty winter favorite, and mussels and clams served in broths of wine or champagne are commonplace. Booze is a special favorite in sweets, such as rum cake or grasshopper pie with crème de menthe.
In most cases, the majority of the alcohol content is burned off during the cooking or baking process, meaning you’ll reap the taste benefits but not the buzz. No-bake desserts or flambéed food, however, retains all or most of its alcohol, which means if you eat enough of it, you could actually get seriously sloshed.
This is only cause for concern if you’re enjoying your spiked snack with a glass or two of wine or another cocktail. Eating solid food slows the alcohol absorption process, meaning you’re probably not at risk of going over the limit even if the food retains all of its alcohol content; but adding liquid alcohol into the equation could mean you get a bit more tipsy than intended.
If you’re really set on getting happy hour effects in food form, though, you could probably do it. For the next time you’re searching for a place to multi-task on imbibing and ingesting, we’ve listed here the top 24 boozy bakeries and liquor-laced eateries across the country.