Happy Hour always conjures up visions of exotic (or not), brightly colored (or not), drinks in a variety of distinctly shaped glasses. Some are embellished with fruit or olives and even a happy paper umbrella (hmm …not). Cheese, however, has not traditionally graced this picture… I began to wonder…“why??”
As you know, cheese (depending on factors such as source of milk, type, and the aging), will develop many different layers of flavor. Wine and beer also have these layers and make for a classic harmonious pairing.
But cocktails literally have multiple ingredients, each of which can perfectly match the signature nuances found in cheese!
For example… think of mozzarella and burrata. Creamy, mild and often served with tomatoes and basil. So why not transfer these flavors to a drink? Try pepper infused vodka muddled with basil and topped off with tomatoe juice… or, likewise, pair with a simple Bloody Mary.
The iconic Valencay, or similar goat cheese, typically has tangy citrus notes as well as hints of grass and herbs. Here the perfumed and herbal quality of a gin matches perfectly!
Another great combo is a rich, aged, earthy cheddar combined with the smokey notes of Scotch. The Rob Roy cocktail and St. Andrew’s cheddar clearly work to echo the Highlands.
With the Holiday Season fast approaching, think about adding cheese offerings to your cocktail party spread. Adventure, conversation… not to mention happy guests. So the question now becomes … “why not!?”