From Cherries Jubilee to Guinness-spiked Black and Tan Brownies, get ready for the dessert and cocktail menus to collide.

As summer unwinds, September approaches, and the kiddos head back to school, its easy to feel a little down in the dumps about the onslaught of reality and routine. So what better way to send off summer and forget our distresses than with some liquor-laced goodies? When combining sweets with beers, liquor or liqueur, its important to figure out which kinds of alcohol to choose, and in which desserts to use themso let us be your guide. How to Use Beer If going the beer route, stouts rather than lagers are best for achieving toasty, chocolate-and-coffee flavors for added depth and deliciousness. Our Black and Tan Brownies call for one cup of Guinness, adding warm richness to these picnic-ready crowd pleasers. Plus, the recipe leaves an extra seven ounces of Guinness for you to enjoy a la carte! Rather go the ice cream route? This Homemade Guinness Ice Cream is just the ticket:   How to Use Liquor Though bourbon and rum have completely different flavor profiles, both are welcome candidates for giving your sweet tooth a pleasant punch. Try a rum-laced Bananas Foster, or channel your Caribbean desires by substituting coconut rum for the suggested Kirsch in this Cherries Jubilee. However, if its bourbon thats your poison, our Bourbon and Ginger Pops both cool you off and loosen you up. Just remember: Trix are for kids; bourbon popsicles are not. How to Use Liqueur   Quite possibly the easiest spirit to incorporate into a dessert, liqueurs are fun to mix in due to their wide variety of flavors. Give an extra kick to a Mocha Sundae with coffee-flavored Kahlua; glean that ideal almondy deliciousness for thisHawaiian Tiramisu with amaretto DiSaronno; or if youre feeling rather lazy, drizzle Gran Marnier, Chambord, or Pritchards Sweet Lucy over a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with fresh fruit; even a splash can really spice up a plain-Jane dessert. There are so many spike-worthy spirits out there, that the choices can seem endlessand daunting. But if theres one rule of thumb to follow, its this: Never spike your desserts with something you wouldnt drink! By Maddie Teren Brought to you by: Relish