Indulge in the exquisite harmony of flavors with our guide to pairing smoked cocktails and cheese platters. At Smoked Fashioned, we believe in elevating your home bartending experience with sophisticated yet simple-to-make drinks. In this taste journey, we combine the rich, smoky notes of our signature cocktails with Cheese's diverse textures and flavors.
The Art of Pairing
Pairing smoked cocktails with Cheese isn't just about mixing and matching; it explores how complementary flavors can enhance your sipping and tasting experience. The key is to balance the intensity and characteristics of the cocktail with the right type of Cheese.
Smoked Old Fashioned and Aged Cheddar
Start with our classic – a smoked old-fashioned. The recipe, a seamless blend of bourbon, bitters, and sugar, is a tribute to the traditional old-fashioned ingredients with a smoky twist. Pair this with aged cheddar, whose sharpness and slight nuttiness beautifully cut through the rich smokiness of the cocktail.
Ingredients & Steps for Smoked Old Fashioned:
- 2 ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey
- 1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- Smoked wood chips for flavor
Muddle the sugar and bitters, add the bourbon, and stir. Smoke the mixture using wood chips, infusing the drink with a delicate, smoky flavor. We have a more in-depth recipe for the smoked old fashioned, the classic with a twist. You can check it here.
Gouda and Applewood Smoked Whiskey
For something smoother, try an applewood-smoked whiskey cocktail. Its sweet, slightly fruity undertones pair delightfully with the creamy and mild Gouda. The smokiness of the whiskey, complemented by the gentle, buttery nature of Gouda, creates a harmonious blend on the palate.
Crafting the Perfect Applewood Smoked Whiskey:
- 2 ounces applewood smoked whiskey
- ½ ounce sweet vermouth
- A dash of orange bitters
Combine the ingredients and stir over ice. Smoke with applewood chips for a nuanced flavor profile. If you're looking for other interesting recipes with applewood, we have a bunch here.
Other great combinations
These are two of our favorites. But the truth is that Cheese and smoked cocktails are super flexible when experimenting with pairings. Here are some fantastic ideas you should test it out:
- Cherrywood Smoked Manhattan & Gruyère: The sweet and slightly tart notes of a Cherrywood Smoked Manhattan pair exquisitely with the nutty and slightly salty flavor of Gruyère cheese.
- Hickory Smoked Negroni & Parmigiano-Reggiano: The robust, earthy flavors of a Hickory Smoked Negroni beautifully complement the rich, savory taste of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Applewood Smoked Whiskey Sour & Goat Cheese: The bright, tangy profile of a Whiskey Sour, smoked with applewood, creates a delightful contrast with the creamy and slightly tart goat cheese.
- Mesquite Smoked Tequila Sunrise & Aged Gouda: The deep, smoky essence of Mesquite pairs well with the caramel sweetness of Aged Gouda, enhancing the fruity notes of the Tequila Sunrise.
- Oak Smoked Bourbon Sidecar & Blue Cheese: An Oak Smoked Sidecar's complex, intense flavors blend harmoniously with the bold, pungent taste of blue Cheese.
- Maplewood Smoked Mint Julep & Brie: The sweet and refreshing qualities of a Maplewood Smoked Mint Julep are a perfect match for the soft, buttery texture of Brie.
- Pecan Wood Smoked Sazerac & Camembert: The rich, nutty tones of Pecan Wood bring out Camembert's earthy, creamy characteristics in a Smoked Sazerac cocktail.
- Cedar Wood Smoked Martini & Feta Cheese: The crisp, aromatic profile of a Cedar Wood Smoked Martini pairs well with the briny, tangy taste of Feta cheese.
- Alder Wood Smoked Bloody Mary & Pepper Jack: The spicy, savory flavors of an Alder Wood Smoked Bloody Mary are complemented by the creamy and slightly spicy Pepper Jack cheese.
- Beechwood Smoked Vieux Carré & Smoked Cheddar: The subtle, balanced smokiness of a Beechwood Smoked Vieux Carré pairs wonderfully with the sharp and deep smoky flavors of Smoked Cheddar, creating a cohesive and robust taste experience.
Pairing Tips and Closing Thoughts
When pairing smoked cocktails with Cheese, consider the intensity of both. A general rule of thumb is to match intense and lighter flavors with strong flavors with lighter options. For instance, a robust, mesquite-smoked bourbon might pair well with a pungent blue cheese, while a soft brie or Camembert could complement a delicately smoked whiskey.
Remember, the best part of creating smoked cocktails is the experimentation. Feel free to play around with different wood chips for smoking – each type imparts a unique flavor to the drink, just as each Cheese brings its character to the table. The possibilities are endless, from hickory's boldness to cherry wood's subtle sweetness.
As you delve into the world of smoked cocktails and Cheese, remember that at Smoked Fashioned, we are here to make your mixology journey effortless and enjoyable. Our top-quality smokers and cocktail tools, designed for the home bartender, allow you to easily infuse your drinks with a wide range of global flavors. Whether it's a casual evening or a sophisticated gathering, these pairings will impress and delight your guests, offering a taste of the world in your glass.