The premise tantalizes: donuts garnished with booze-infused glazings and buttercreams. (See our May 5, 2021, Side Dish for the back story.) The execution is a mixed bag. Happy Hour Donuts’ yeast donuts alone are great, plenty puffy with a little chew and interior density, not overly sweet.
But we just don’t taste enough alcohol to live up to our anticipation of what the brand should deliver, based on three flavors we try from a weekly half-dozen that runs $17 plus a $3 delivery fee. The Champagne appears most regal, with pretty gold sprinkles that look like tiny ingots embedded in a thin, pinkish, mild icing. Blind tasted I just wouldn’t have pulled Champagne out of thin air to describe the finish flavor — more of just a good donut.
The cinnamon-sugar-cloaked spiked churro, by contrast, tastes dulce de leche sweet, its churro buttercream laced with vanilla vodka, Irish cream and cinnamon whiskey — but again not enough to really tell my palate I shouldn’t serve this to a kid.
The bourbon butterscotch cinnamon roll finally delivers enough whiskey essence to tip off my senses, the note fading quickly into the strong cinnamon-roll-filling glaze drizzled over the Irish Cream frosting. Co-owner Gabby Main had told me the aim is for eaters to taste the alcohol without it overpowering. So long as it doesn’t compromise the overall balance I could go for a little more booze in the first two.