Cheese and cocktails is a great match. Cheese’s rich flavors pair well with a variety of cocktails, which can be sweet, sour, thin, or creamy, depending on the cheese. The varied base spirits bring out different characteristics of the cheese.
Who doesn’t enjoy a well-made cocktail? Cocktail is refreshing, powerful, acidic, sweet, or bitter — and with a wide range of flavor diversity. I used to try all kind of new stuff when I had a liquor store near me, I still remember the tons of shopping I did there every weekend.
There’s also an added perk for cheese aficionados, as cocktails and cheese are a combination made in heaven. With the large variety of cocktails available, you may create an accompaniment that perfectly complements your cheese platter.
The Basics of Cocktail and Cheese Pairing
Start with the Base Spirits
The base spirit is usually the most prominent flavor in a drink. The base spirit in a gin and tonic, or whiskey in an old-fashioned, would be the first ingredient.
Keeping track of the base spirit will assist you in determining which cheese will go best with your drink.
Depending on the cocktail, mild base spirits like gin can be combined with a range of delicate cheeses. Bolder spirits, such as oaky bourbon, rum, or whiskey, require a bit more thought and are best served with aged, nutty cheeses that can soak up the smoke and spice.
Match the Strengths
As we mentioned in our beginner’s guide to cheese pairing, the most important thing to remember when pairing is to keep the intensity of your drink and the cheese in harmony.
A delicate fresh mozzarella would not go well with a scotch-based drink. Why? Any intricacies in the cheese will be overshadowed by the cocktail’s intensity of flavor in each sip.
It would be better to use 10-year-aged cheddar. In general, a higher alcohol level indicates more intensity, which makes cheese matching more difficult.
Think About Texture
Cocktails, like cheese, come in a range of textures. Depending on how they’re made, they can be frothy, smooth, bubbly, and more. This gives up a whole new realm of possibilities for pairings.
Cheese + Cocktail = Cheesytail
1. Alpine-Style with an Old Fashioned
Alpine-style cheese calls for a strong drink and an old-fashioned meets the bill. The added sugar and bitters in this cocktail offer just enough sweetness to round out each bite, while the whiskey helps complement and balance the nutty full-bodied flavor of alpine-style. In here, we prefer brandy to rye or bourbon whiskey in our old-fashioned cocktails. Try it both ways and tell us which you prefer!
2. Blue Cheese with a Gin and Tonic
Although a floral cocktail and blue cheese may seem like an odd pairing, believe us on this one. Begin with a blue that is milky and fresh in appearance. Hook’s Original Blue or Roth’s Buttermilk Blue are excellent places to start.
These rich, fatty blues pair nicely with botanical gin and the tonic water gives just enough bitterness to wash away the finish, ensuring that each bite is as delicious as the last.
3. Gouda with a Negroni
The Negroni is a three-ingredient drink that has been around for more than a century but has just recently gained popularity in the United States. You’d be forgiven for thinking this delightfully bitter cocktail, made with gin, vermouth, and Campari, doesn’t go well with cheese.
Prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Any aged gouda makes up for the Negroni’s lack of richness. When the two are combined, the result is a wonderful blend of fruit and nuttiness on the scent, followed by a light, refreshing aftertaste.
4. Bread Cheese (Juustoleipa) and Daiquiri
Meet the wild card cocktail and cheese pairing of this list. A bread cheese is sort of like a grilled cheese sandwich — tries it and you’ll understand what we mean.
Although this cheese hails originally from the fjords of northern Finland and Sweden and now sits comfortably in the Midwest you can give it a tropical spin. As Jeanette explains: “Juustoleipa pairs well with rum drinks, especially if you grill it with pineapple to bring out the tropical notes in the pairing.”
5. Aperol Spritz & Brick Cheese
“We’re seeing Aperol spritz versions show up just about everywhere these days,” Monte Leone says, “and there are so many exciting alternatives for combining it.” “A creamy brick cheese, mild with a hint of nuttiness, will enhance the bubbles and bittersweet notes of this cocktail.” You need to check more Cheese Pairings that you’ll want to try.
The Widmer’s Brick Cheese, according to Monteleone, goes well with Aperol Spritz because of its “mild and buttery sweet” flavour.
If you enjoy the Aperol Spritz, you’ll enjoy these 25 Delightfully Refreshing Summer Cocktails.
What cocktails pair well with cheese?
There are a variety of cocktails that pair well with cheese! Some of our favorite cocktail and cheese pairings are:
- Old fashioned with alpine-style cheese
- Gin and tonic with blue cheese
- Negroni with gouda
- Our number one cocktail and cheese pairing rule is to match the strengths. Match delicate, light cheeses with refreshing floral cocktails. Save the smoky single malt for an aged cheddar or Gouda.
What cheese goes well with gin?
Whether it’s in a cocktail or a basic gin and tonic, gin is one of our favorite cheeses pairing spirits. Gin goes well with smooth, creamy cheeses such as blue or triple cream cheeses. Most gins have floral and botanical profiles gins that might help balance out the rich, indulgent, and slightly barnyardy flavor of soft cheeses.
What to pair with an old-fashioned?
Serve with tough-aged cheddar, aged Gouda, or an alpine-style cheese. These nutty semi-hard cheeses can hold their own against the whiskey in an old-fashioned cocktail. Toss some roasted nuts into a ramekin on the side for crunch, and you’re set for the evening.