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Marsala Mushroom Sirloin (Photo: Business Wire)

Cooking with alcohol intimidates one in four Americans, according to a new survey by Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar ®, America’s favorite neighborhood grill and bar.
Chicken & Shrimp Tequila Tango (Photo: Business Wire)

Chicken & Shrimp Tequila Tango (Photo: Business Wire)

In fact, if it came down to it, men would be more comfortable cutting down their own Christmas trees and women would rather risk making a basket-weave pie crust from scratch before adding spirited flair to their at-home creations. It’s why Applebee’s restaurants are bringing back the popular Spirited Cuisine menu, a collection of dishes infused with the complex flavors of wine, bourbon, beer and now tequila.

“Cooking with alcohol can be a little intimidating for the average foodie,” said Applebee’s Vice President of Culinary and Menu Innovation Peter Czizek. “That’s why, as the world’s largest casual dining restaurant, Applebee’s is the perfect place to introduce our Guests to this classic way of cooking uniquely deep and balanced flavors.”

Highlighting the menu are two new Spirited options: the Marsala Mushroom Sirloin and Chicken & Shrimp Tequila Tango, along with three other dishes savored by Guests: Double Barrel Whisky Sirloins, Napa Chicken & Portobellos and Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip. When cooking down the alcohol, all five entrees are left with the sort of cool or savory complex flavors that tantalize taste buds.

The survey found further comedic confusion and hesitation on the part of the public when it comes to cooking with alcohol.
  • A majority of those surveyed were most scared by a dinner-hosting scenario in which the main dish erupts in flames – almost three times as many as another scenario of serving up a carnivore’s feast to a vegetarian guest.
  • Half of respondents didn't know the correct definition of "deglaze," with 10 percent thinking it meant licking a glazed doughnut’s icing clean off.
  • One in 10 people surveyed thought "flambé" meant either the most flamboyant lamb in a herd or Bambi's French cousin.

More About the Spirited Cuisine Menu Items
  • NEW! Chicken & Shrimp Tequila Tango: Juicy chicken breast and plump shrimp are perfectly seasoned, then topped with tequila avocado sauce and chopped cilantro. Served on a bed of Mexican-style rice and sautéed peppers & onions for a truly sensational blend of flavors.
  • NEW! Marsala Mushroom Sirloin: A juicy grilled 7 oz. sirloin is topped with tender mushrooms sautéed in a rich Marsala wine sauce. It’s all placed over a creamy rice blend with caramelized onions and our Parmesan cheese blend, then sprinkled with lemon-zest and fresh parsley.
  • Napa Chicken & Portobellos: A rich cabernet demi-glace smothers a grilled chicken breast topped with onions, Portobello mushrooms and Parmesan cheese blend over a bed of sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, red onions and crispy red potatoes – all Unbelievably Great Tasting & Under 550 Calories.
  • Brew Pub Pretzels & Beer Cheese Dip: A contemporary spin on a classic British dish, craft beer and white cheddar cheese are cooked slowly to allow the beer’s flavors to permeate the cheese completely. Fluffy on the inside and crispy outside, the pretzels are finished with sesame seeds, coarse salt and crushed red pepper.
  • Double Barrel Whisky Sirloins: Deglazing the pan with smooth bourbon adds an oak flavor and light, smoky notes into two blackened 4 oz. sirloins. Served with a delicious mountain of garlic mashed potatoes and topped with red peppers, mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Also returning is Christian Delpech, the world’s premier flair bartender and face of last year’s Spirited Cuisine campaign. Delpech will once again perform expert aerial flips with bottles, utensils and ingredients in a series of television ads for Applebee’s.

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