Does any dessert deliver nostalgia and gooey decadence like s’mores? Roasted marshmallow and milk chocolate are sandwiched between two graham crackers, and the treat is best enjoyed by a campfire with friends.
“When you learn how to make s’mores for the first time as a kid, I think it’s great because it’s probably one of the first recipes that people put together on their own,” says Juan Cortes, beverage manager of The Chastain in Atlanta.
You can bring this dessert into adulthood by pairing it with booze. Here are six ways to make the most of it.
Dry red wine and chocolate are a popular combination, but Cortes thinks that sweet dessert wines deserve love, too. He suggests to pair s’mores with a sparkling Brachetto d’Acqui from the Piedmont region of Italy. “It’s just quaffable.” he says. “Something you can take to the beach or the pool.”
He finds that Brachetto works well with chocolate, as it picks up on the berry notes and cocoa but still tastes refreshing.
New World Chardonnay
“New World Chardonnays, especially ones produced in cooler climates and coastal areas, offer great richness and balanced acidity, which is a key element when looking to pair wine across a variety of foods,” says Tracey Shepos Cenami, chef de cuisine at Jackson Family Wines in Sonoma.
If you go this route, though, you might want to swap in dark chocolate.
“Using dark chocolate keeps the flavor components of the s’more and the Chardonnay much more complementary,” she says.
If you seek beer alongside your s’mores, grab a porter. Its spiced, chocolaty notes make it an ideal pairing, says Cortes.
Rosé of Pinot Noir
“In rosé, you’ll get Pinot’s soft and subtle aromas,” she says. “And the grape can make rosé very versatile. Earthy, but also cool, crisp and dry.” The bright acidity and fruit notes accentuate the summer treat.
A Bourbon barrel’s toasted staves create notes of vanilla, caramel and baking flavors, says Bailey. These same flavors are also found in roasted marshmallows.
“So, when you pair Bourbon with s’mores, you’re getting this wonderful combination of natural vanillas in both products,” says Bailey.
Simply drink the Bourbon on the rocks. “That’s going to help open it up, and you should really be able to nail down some of those wonderful flavors,” says Bailey.
For possibly the most intense pairing possible, Bailey suggests Scotch. Often aged in used Bourbon barrels, he says that you’ll get more malty notes, which pair even better with the graham cracker.
“Scotch also is going to have a little bit of that peatiness, so you get the tiniest bit of smoke,” he says. Depending on the amount of char you like on your marshmallows, it could complement your spirit, says Bailey.
Set those marshmallows ablaze, he says, and opt for dark chocolate.
“Because Scotch has that peatiness, I recommend a darker chocolate just because you really don’t want either the s’more or your Scotch to overwhelm the other,” says Bailey. “So, the darker chocolate’s really going to help it stand up to the Scotch.”