Monday, November 24, 2008

Pairing Cocktails With Thanksgiving

A "Revolutionary" Idea...

While taking a quick jaunt around the cocktailian blogosphere, I came across The Cocktail Revolution, a DC-based blog with an interesting slant: "Each week we will expose the government’s tampering with the free market and the highlighting excessive tyrannies of the modern nanny state. Additionally, in keeping with the conservative tradition we will examine the classics and find new meaning in the experience of the past."

Sounds cool, no? I like this cerebral approach to pleasure and inebriation.

Jeff Fulcher's latest post called "What to drink with Thursday's Cornucopia" brings up the topic of (gasp!) cocktails with the Thanksgiving meal rather (or in addition to) merely wine or beer. Fulcher references a MxMo cocktail-and-food pairing, which I hosted on this blog, last year (I'm quite enthusiastic about cocktail pairings, personally) and also presents a quote from Eric Felten at the Wall Street Journal who boldly states "Thanksgiving is not a cocktail holiday" and that they have no business beyond the aperitif. Obviously, I disagree with Mr. Felten completely. Wine, beer and cocktails can easily be part of any celebration. It just takes a little 'know how!'

Jeff's post is an interesting topic, and a timely one, with everyone preparing for "indulgence Thursday." I'm posting my thoughts (from the comments page on Jeff's blog) below. Why not join the inter-blog conversation?

While I am a wine lover, and out of habit / convenience / enjoyment do tend to drink wine with a meal more often - especially at home - I would like to also sing the praises of a well crafted cocktail pairing. Rule #1: The Cocktail must not be too sweet. This seems to be the first mistake of an inexperienced chef / bartender team. Herbal notes, citrus notes tend to work well with most dishes. They are best when the flavors of the drink are subtle... ie: enhance the dish rather than over power it. Rule #2: Choose appropriate spirits. With something like salmon, I would tend to go for a vodka based drink. Think about it --- vodka is drunk routinely in Russia, Poland and like countries. Normally, it is drunk neat, but slight enhancement would be lovely. I, personally, am fond of gin drinks with cheese, and cognac or whiskey drinks with a chocolate torte, for example. Rule #3: Don't be afraid to experiment! When I teach my cocktail classes, I always stress that COCKTAILS ARE FUN! Eating and drinking is not only sustenance but recreation. Don't get too uptight or stuck on "what's supposed" to go with what. This ain't brain surgery, no one will die. Get creative... you may find a combination you love!

No comments: