On a conspicuous Prospect Heights corner, a glittering bronze awning ironically claims itself a dessert "speakeasy.” The retro-fitted bar—think chrome cigarette machines and an antique cash register—lures in passersby with the promise of sweets-and-spirits pairings. And though owner Kimberly Wetherell’s alcohol-infused desserts are more Betty Crocker than bootlegger, the vintage charm clicks nonetheless.
ORDER THIS: Cocktails ($12) rich in Brooklyn history. A nod to the nabe’s original name, the Breukelen Zoo is a juggling act of Cointreau, syrupy, licorice-licked absinthe, soft, floral lavender and tangy citrus, brightened with a spritz of lemon. Skip an aperitif coffee and curl up with the Kopstootje No. 2, a play on the traditional Dutch beer-and-shot combo, which shakes walnut and juniper liqueurs with chocolatey stout and condensed milk into an addictive adult root-beer float.
GOOD FOR: After-dinner drinks anddessert. Cozied couples dominate the low-lit bar up front and tufted red leather sofas out back, so make sure to come with a buddy in tow. Pass on the sugar-drowned, beer-soaked churros, and split the generous, rum-laced blackout cake ($12) instead. It’s not for the faint of heart: The spongy layers are dutifully dense, and the boozy ganache tastes like homemade fudge. When you’ve had your fill, sit back and let Ella Fitzgerald’s velvety voice lull you into the wee hours.
THE CLINCHER: When you want to continue the night back at your place, the “baketenders” oblige with spiked sweets for the road, such as a bourbon-sweet-potato Bundt cake, a port-poached pear galette or a Tequila Sunrise upside-down cake. But the best suckers on the carry-out menu are playful cocktail lollipops ($1.50) like the margarita, infused with lime juice and Espolón Reposado and sprinkled with salt and lime zest. You’ll never want to settle for plain-Jane sweets again.