Spirited: Dessert Speakeasy in Brooklyn, NY
The chalkboard out front greeted me with the message: Have your drink and eat it too.
On the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and Bergen Street stands Spirited, a dessert speakeasy owned by Kimberly Wetherhell. The idea for Spirited dates back to 2010 but it wasn't until 2012 when she baked liquor-infused Thanksgiving pies -- filling 40 orders at $40 a piece -- that she knew the idea was a viable one.
From decision to conception it's taken a year and a half for Spirited to open its doors.Two weeks in and Sprited is full of...well, spirit! "It's like throwing a party every night," says Executive Baketender® Kimberly Wetherell. Her experience in the entertainment industry comes in handy in running a house of cake and cocktails.
You could go into Spirited and order all willy-nilly off the menu, but a lot of work has gone into pairing desserts with cocktails for optimal enjoyment. "How do you pair a dessert with a cocktail?" I wondered. Well the desserts are made first. Then there's a tasting so the cocktails can be created. If there are any tweaks needed to better match the notes of the two, those changes are made during the third step of the process.
The Big Bad Brooklyn Blackout Cake (Owney's Rum-infused bittersweet chocolate layer cake with Sorel chocolate filling and rum spiked chocolate frosting) is Wetherell's proudest accomplishment on the Spirited menu. "I made it so I would enjoy it since I'm not a chocolate person". Well, I am a chocolate person. And the Blackout didn't stand a chance. It's moist, has the right level of cakey and gooey with that burn on the way down familiar to those of us who've indulged in black cake.
The elixir created to pair with the Blackout is The Rosemor (Dry Gin, Benedictine, Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liqueur, Fresh Orange, Pineapple, Lime and topped with Laphroaig Float). Goes down smooth and refreshing. The spirits used in the cocktails (and the desserts), be it gin, whisky , rum or moonshine are locally made or produced.
Wetherell, admittedly a "berry person" when it comes to desserts is also proud of the Black & White Russian (Kahlua and Industry Standard Vodka icing) found on the bakery takeaways menu. Along with the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, she wanted to make sure the Black and White Russian stood out and stood up to the Brooklyn, NY name and reputation.
Oh and the Craft-Brewed Churros (Cinnamon-and-Bourbon-sugar-dusted churros with Brooklyn Brewery seasonal ales, fresh fruit and Barrow's Intense Ginger Liquer caramel or chocolate dipping sauce). Fried dough for the win. There's no shortage of images of them on Instagram...
With a chill slowly but noticeably creeping into the air, the flavors of the season will be pumpkin or sweet potato everything. You have your holiday necessities, I have mine. For personal reasons I inquired if eggnog will have a place on the Spirited menu during the holiday season. Can you say eggnog custard pie? They'll be made with rum or whisky or brandy or whichever spirit is available. I. Can't. Wait. Those Thanksgiving pies that really jump started this whole operation? They'll be available for preorder beginning in mid-October. October is also the scheduled roll out date for the fall menu and extended hours. Day drinking will be encouraged when hours are extended earlier to 2 PM. Currently, Spirited opens at 4 PM Tuesday to Sunday.
Also look for a Spirited happy hour with a shot and a cookie deal and dessert flight offerings. But for now, enjoy the late summer menu!
638 Bergen Street
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