The following was produced in partnership with the Klondike® Brand.
The Klondike® Bar could very well be dessert’s platonic ideal. Creamy vanilla ice cream enveloped in a thick, crunchy, chocolatey shell. Simple. Delicious. Classic. They’ve likely been one of your favorites for a while. Yet you’ve evolved, and so have Klondike® Bars. They now come in more flavors than ever, and the question is no longer just what you’d do for a Klondike® Bar but what you’d like to drink with one. That’s one of the great perks of adulthood — you can have your dessert and drink it, too.
To help identify a perfectly paired quaff for every new flavor of Klondike® Bar, we turned to some of our most beverage-savvy friends. If this is your first time pairing booze with dessert, here are a few pro tips to help you start:
“Don’t overthink,” says Natalie Migliarini of Beautiful Booze. “Consider one or two aspects of a dessert and start matching.”
Dan Becker and Jon Sims of The Full Pint say, “The best way to compare is to taste your beer first as a reference point, then bite into the ice cream, take another sip, and see what changes.”
It’s also important to have options. “Great food experiences are exciting and provocative, not comfortable and safe,” Victory Brewing Company brewmaster Bill Covaleski says. “Have two beers: one you think is the obvious choice and something more out there. Don’t just drink one beer and make it all or nothing.”
So, what would you drink with a Klondike® Bar? On to the pairings.
Pairs Best With: Blonde ale or fruited wheat beer
Why? “The subtle, natural berry flavor, plus a hint of honey and vanilla, make the blonde ale a natural pairing,” says Green Flash Brewing Co. brewmaster Erik Jensen. Whereas a fruited wheat beer simultaneously intensifies the beer and ice cream flavors. “You kind of lose the chocolate flavor while you’re chewing on it, but it comes back and presents itself as a finish.”
Pairs Best With: Imperial stout, porter, or a sip of the hard stuff
Why? “The ice cream somehow cuts the sweetness of the beer and you’re left with a coffee or roasty contrast,” says Becker. “It works really well with the strawberry in particular,” adds Sims. “It’s like an affogato but the carbonation brings it closer to a root beer float, which is appealing to almost any palate.” Becker also cops to pairing his Neapolitan with a small glass of scotch late at night. “It was fantastic.”
Pairs Best With: An IPA
Why? Synergy and dynamic tension, according to Covaleski. “The chocolate coating and crunchy bits hit the same flavor notes as the caramel malty sweetness in IPA, yet the floral, piney, citrusy hop bitterness was enveloped by the creamy ice cream and made to be more dessert-like. After an initially startling taste, they did a dance and seemed to need each other as yin and yang.”
Brownie Fudge Swirl
Pairs Best With: Milk stout
Why? A full-bodied milk stout with sweet, heavy chocolate and subtle coffee notes accentuates the bar’s chocolatey, fudge-y goodness. “Bite into that Brownie Fudge Swirl, get that going, then push in the beer, and you end up changing the Klondike® Bar a little bit, giving it a Belgian chocolate character,” Jensen says. “I’m serious about this! I sat at the bar working on this for a good hour.”
Mint Chocolate Chip
Pairs Best With: Australian shiraz
Why? “Eucalyptus notes complement and hold up to the mint flavor rather than drown it out or make it taste weird. Plus, it balances well with the dark chocolatey coating and chips since it’s a little dry and also light,” says Migliarini. Plus, it’s versatile.
Pairs Best With: Demi sec champagne
Why? “I tried to go complementary. Not overwhelm or underwhelm the sweetness of the bar but find a happy medium. The bubbles cut some of the richness, but the sweet wine brings up the sweetness of the bar a notch,” Migliarini says. “It’s a great palate cleanser between bites.” There are also practical reasons. “You ever have one of those days when you’re just trying to get by? A long day at work or running after your kids or cleaning the house? This makes any occasion a celebration.”
Pairs Best With: Dry stout, coconut coffee porter, or barleywine
Why? “A drier dark beer will cut some of that gooey, sugary goodness,” says Becker. “I wish it were a little later in the day because that sounds delicious to me right now,” Sims adds. Becker also thinks a barleywine would add a layer of complexity. “You’d have a very malty beer without the roast and you’d end up with a chocolate caramel marshmallow nut combo.”
Pairs Best With: Muscat d’Alexandria
Why? “It’s like an aperitif. Light, without a lot of sugar but with enough to carry things through. There are notes of honey and white flowers but a bright acidity that lends a beautiful balance to the pairing. It’s a perfect match,” says Kelly Mitchell, aka The Wine Siren. Don’t buy it? “My husband is a dyed in the wool football fan, fist-pumping, beer-drinking, doesn’t believe in wine dude — and this was his favorite.”
Pairs Best With: Brut rosé and four raspberries
Why? “My instinct was bubbles,” Mitchell says. “And that was okay but missing something. I was like, ‘What am I doing wrong here?’” The solution: tart berries to help translate the layered flavors and texture of the ice cream. “One tiny taste of the fresh, luscious, juicy raspberry, followed by a bite of that dark chocolate, magnificently rich ice cream, and then the brut rosé — I found heaven.”
Pairs Best With: Oktoberfest lager
Why? Covaleski was close to tapping an amber wheat bock ale for its intriguing spice but, ultimately, the Oktoberfest emerged as a natural winner. “Both it and the Klondike® Bar had harmonious notes of caramel and the dry, nutty finish of the beer kept the whole experience rather refreshing.”
All beer, wine, and spirits mentioned in this article are intended for individuals age 21 and up. Fatherly and the Klondike® Brand remind you to please drink responsibly.