Pairing Artisanal Cheese with Gin
Traditionally, when we plan on pairing cheese with a beverage, the first thing that comes to mind is wine and occasionally beer.
Well, the time has come to expand our minds and palates when it comes to cheese pairings and add distilled spirits to the mix.
Some wonderful cocktail and artisanal cheese pairings were provided for us by Barrie Lynn, "The Cheese Impresario." Working together with wine professional and foodie Matthew Goldfarb, Barrie Lynn put together a wonderful selection of cheeses paired with cocktails created with No. 209 Gin.
About the gin ~
No. 209 Gin is a boutique spirit, artfully crafted from a blend of exotic ingredients at a distillery located on Pier 50 in San Francisco, California. It's made using carefully selected all-natural botanicals from around the world.
Its flavor profile includes classic juniper, but a special distillation process and the addition of botanicals like coriander, cardamom, angelica, bergamot orange peel and cassia (a relative of cinnamon) layer subtle, complex spice notes that puts No. 209 in a class by itself.
About the cheese ~
To pair with this delicious gin, Barrie Lynn has chosen two distinctively flavored artisanal goat cheeses: Hoja Santa goat cheese from Paula Lambert of the Mozzarella Company and Boucheron, a goat cheese from Montchevre and cheesemaker Jean Rossard.
Barrie Lynn explains the flavor profiles of both cheeses and why they pair so beautifully with the complex flavors of the No. 209 Gin.
"Lambert's Hoja Santa goat cheese is distinctively wrapped in a velvety, heart-shaped leaf from the Hoja Santa plant. This aromatic leaf imparts flavors of mint and sassafras into this creamy Chevre. Mint is fresh and clean-tasting and the sassafras is a bit like root beer on the nose and in the mouth. These herbs and leaves hold up to the big bergamot-forwardness of No. 209 Gin."
"The Boucheron delivers a full, tangy goat cheese flavor with a smooth texture. The rind, one of the cheese's defining characteristics, contributes to the lactic acid detectable on the palate. With a little wildflower honey or fig puree drizzled over the cheese, it becomes a tangy, sweet, and acidic companion to No. 209 Gin's heightened citrus and spice flavors.
These two cheeses create additional layers of pleasure as you sip on your No. 209 Gin and perfect your tasting technique...The Cheese Highway."
About the cocktails ~
Matthew Goldfarb created the following cocktail recipes using No. 209 Gin
2 ounces No. 209 Gin
2-1/2 ounces tonic water
5 sprigs fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 ounce water
Pinch of sugar
Muddle the mint sprigs, water, and sugar together. Add ice to glass, pour No. 209 Gin over ice and add mint mixture. Add tonic water and lemon juice. Stir to blend together. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
Cheese Pairing: Mozzarella Company's Hoja Santa Goat Cheese
2 ounces No. 209 Gin
3-1/2 ounces ginger ale
1/8 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated ginger juice
Fresh ginger strips to garnish
Pour all ingredients into a tall glass. Stir to incorporate and garnish with the freshly peeled ginger strips.
Cheese Pairing: Montchevre's Boucheron Goat Cheese
About The Cheese Impresario ~
Barrie Lynn, aka The Cheese Impresario is a former advertising executive whose passion for food, wine and entertaining led her to abandon the world of advertising to pursue a new path introducing others to the flavorful wonders of artisanal cheese.
She now writes a monthly column for The Beverly Hills Times and has been featured on Martha Stewart Living Radio and E! Entertainment, as well as in USA Today, Variety and Wine Spectator.
To learn more about Barrie Lynn and her "Artisanal Cheese & Wine Pairing Adventures," visit TheCheeseImpresario.com.
Information courtesy The Cheese Impresario