Alcohol-infused jams, candy, ice cream — even pickles — are a specialty food trend, according to products showcased at the Special Food Association’s Fancy Food Show, which ran June 29 through Tuesday in New York.

Craft beer, distilled spirits, wine and sake were ingredients in several of the SFA’s “Sofi” specialty food award finalists and winners, announced Monday night. (Click here for a full list of the 2014 Sofi gold winners and finalists.)

Gold Sofi winners included Bourbon Nib Brittle from Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co.; Triple Ale Onion Savory Spread from Wozz! Kitchen Creations; and Tonton Hibachi Sauce with Sake from Argo Century.

Sofi finalists included Brown Sugar Bourbon & Pecan Ice Cream from Batch; and Spicy Maple Bourbon Pickle from Brooklyn Brine Co.

Along with Sofi award winners, plenty of other exhibitors featured some type of booze in their product recipes. They included onion cabernet preserves from Fruit of the Land and riesling ice cream from Mercer’s.

The time is right for food with alcoholic ingredients, said Veronica Janssens, owner of Batch, which incorporates Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam bourbon in its ice cream.

“Everyone is experimenting with spices and alcohol,” Janssens told SN.

Thanks to international travel, more home entertaining and exotic recipes featured on the Food Network, consumers are embracing the unique flavors alcoholic beverages add to food.

“Consumers have more sophisticated taste buds,” Stacey Kurz, co-owner of Fruit of the Land preserves, told SN.


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