Up Your Dinner Party Game by Pairing Cocktails and Cheese

If you’re here, chances are you’ve been to a wine and cheese party before. Maybe even several. A couple of cheese are laid out and eventually you’ll get to taste some wines to go with them. And they will, most likely, be delicious. Same goes—especially in the last few years—for beer and cheese tastings. They are all great events. I mean, who doesn’t love booze and cheese in the same place?

The thing is, while wine and beer are great to pair with cheese, there is still one more avenue to stroll down, one more place we can go as consumers to really indulge in the finer things in life (when they deal with cheese): cocktails.

Yes, you heard right. Cocktails and cheese.

Some of you are probably like, “Yep, makes sense. Let’s do it,” while others are staring at the screen wondering how I get away with writing stuff like this. Hear me out.

french cheese board Exterior © pasca perich
New York’s The French Cheese Board/Pasca Perich

Cheeses, depending on what they’d made from, how they’re made, and how they’re aged (among other factors) can have many different layers of flavor. Yes, beer and wine both have those as well, but cocktails literally have multiple ingredients, each of which can be chosen to perfectly match the flavors found in the cheeses.

In addition, and perhaps a bit simplistically—why not? Why would you not want to combine delicious food with a well-made cocktail?

With the help of Charles Duque of New York’s The French Cheese Board and bartender Tommy Flynn of New York’s Drexler’s, we’ve put together a cocktail and cheese pairing that you can do at your next party to not only eat and drink delicious things, but up your hosting game in the process.

Below the cocktails and cheese, check out our video for how and why these pairings go together as they do.

Mimolette & Gin

mimolette cheese

“The sharp, nutty, fruity taste of Mimolette also includes sweet hints of butterscotch. Its brilliant orange color makes it the focus of any cheese platter. Mimolette is available in two selections: aged six months and aged twelve months.”*

Served with:

  • 1.5 oz Bluecoat Gin
  • .75 oz Giffard Pampelmousse
  • .25 oz Suze
  • .75 oz Lemon juice
  • .25 oz Simple syrip
  • 3 dashes Boston Bittahs

Method: Shake ingredients together and double strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a quarter slice of grapefruit.

Tomme Brulee & Bourbon

“It is made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk. The rind is singed with a flame so that it acquires a distinct appearance and a strong, sweet and smoky flavor.”

Served with:

  • 2 oz Four Roses Bourbon (any expression will do)
  • .75 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • .5 oz Lemon Juice
  • .5 oz Lemon verbena-Mint syrup

Method: Shake ingredients together and double strain into a couple glass. Serve up with a mint bouquet garnish.

Èpoisses & Scotch Whisky

pairing cocktails and cheese e  poisses
Photo Courtesy of Matt Biddulph/Wikimedia Commons

“With its strong aroma and deep orange exterior, you might expect Époisses to have a bold flavor. Instead you’ll find a smooth and silky cheese with a unique, slightly salty taste. Spread on raisin bread or gingerbread, Époisses is perfect at the end of a meal.”

Served with:

  • 2 oz Ardberg 10 Year
  • .5 oz Dolin rouge
  • .25 oz Benedictine
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 dash absinthe for depth

Method: Stir ingredients together with ice. Strain into a Nick & Nora glass. Express a lemon twist across the top and discard.

Bleu d’Auvergne & Rum

“With a pungent scent, Bleu d’Auvergne has a salty and spicy taste. A perfect addition to salads or served with apple slices, Bleu d’Auvergne is also ideal on a burger.”

Served with:

  • 1.75 oz Atlantico Platino (Reserva could work, this is just easier to mix with)
  • 1 oz Jalapeno-Pineapple syrup
  • .5 oz Giffard Banane de Brésil
  • .75 oz Lime Juice

Method: Shake ingredients together and double strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint bouquet and an orange slice.

(*Descriptions courtesy of cheese.com.)

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