Maura Magazine | Recipe: Waffle Vodka Bread Pudding

Recipe: Waffle Vodka Bread Pudding

There’s a special look that is shared when a customer approaches a liquor store clerk for the purpose of buying something like waffle-flavored vodka. The patron inquires about whatever soccer game is playing on the TV behind the counter; the clerk offers friendly, bland inquiries about recent life events. But each side chatters away with the unspoken knowledge that they’ve made each other’s nights—the clerk for stocking the perfect ingredient for ridiculous kitchen projects, and the customer for giving him the opportunity to start a story with “You’ll never believe what someone actually bought today.”

I’ve been fascinated with the alcopop and flavored-liquor industry since my first can of Four Loko—which I drank for research (I swear), and which led me to black out and drunk-dial my boyfriend at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday. I started drinking when things like Smirnoff Ice and Mike’s Hard Lemonade were the sweetest alcohol-laced offerings at the bodega, and frat parties mixed Kool-Aid with Everclear to feed to the freshmen. But vodka was vodka and beer was beer, and if you wanted them to taste different you had to take things (like packets of powdered Gatorade) into your own hands. [...]