It’s true, you gotta be a member, or be a friend of a member, to dine and drink at the venerable Alta Club. Luckily for those of us at Salt Lake magazine, the owners are members, so the staff frequently gathers in one of their private rooms or in the bar to noodle around about magazine articles, issues, philosophies, the future, etc. The kitchen serves club food—not at all terrible but nothing to write home about except for this one very simple and utterly brilliant dish: The Shot Glass Sundae.

We have a lot of good ice cream in Salt Lake: remember Alexis Norlin’s Normal ice cream—we served her ice cream sandwiches at our recent Farm to Glass Cocktail Party.

So simple. I always wonder why everyone doesn’t serve a version. It’s small, classic and manageable, a sweet reward to end a meal but without the baroquely over-thought architectural monstrosities so often served as a dessert. Literally served in a shot glass, a large melon scoop of ice cream topped with fudge sauce whipped cream and a cherry.

The holidays are coming: Relish the small perfections.

This would be a great dinner party or restaurant dessert. No trouble, mostly do-ahead, simple to make and inspiring a smile—an amuse-bouche for the end of the meal. Jazz it up: Use coffee ice cream with salted caramel and crushed nuts on top; or vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of limoncello and some candied lemon peel. Dark chocolate ice cream with a marshmallow drizzle and graham cracker crumbs.

Take a tip from the Alta Club: start scaling down and jazzing up dessert at the same time.

See all our food and drink dishes here.