The ultimate guide to pairing food and spirits

While we are always trying to pair beer or wine with our food, why not match our favourite spirits too?

Historically, spirits have been consumed either as an aperitif or digestif, however, with the broad range of spirits available, you can afford to be a bit more adventurous and make them the star of your next dinner party menu.

Gee David, SouthTrade International Drinks Expert, shares a few perfect pairings to get you in the spirit of things.

Old Fashioned and chicken liver

If whipping up a cocktail is a bit of a chore, why not try a pre-bottled version? Gee suggests Starward’s Old Fashioned, which gives a new world twist on the classic tipple.

“This whisky forward number pairs with the rich mouth-coating parfait,” he explains. “This medium body whisky is smooth and has aromatic notes that work exceptionally well with the chicken meal.”

Gin and salmon

“The juniper-led flavours with a citrus twist of the gin perfectly compliment the light palette of the salmon and seasonal fruits to make a delectable pairing,” Gee says.

For a match made in heaven, he suggests a Hayman’s gin French 75 cocktail with some cured salmon.

Sloe gin and lamb

A Sloe Gin is the perfect match for lamb, especially when it's made into a Meditteranean spritz. Select a Sloe Gin like Hayman’s, which is known for it’s bitter and sweet notes, to complement the rich, lean and tender cut of the lamb, especially when served with a thin gravy or jus, Gee tells.

Gin and fish of the day

Gee says that a gin and lemon tonic suits a pan-fried white-flesh fish. In particular, he recommends one such as 78 Degrees Gin, which has a great botanical infusion to provide balance and intensity to the fresh and flavoursome taste of the fish. 

Manhattan with pear tarte tatin

Instead of your regular dessert wine, Gee suggests pairing a classic Manhattan with a dessert such as pear tarte tatin.

The zest and spice of the cocktail is perfectly matched to the orchard fruit, cinnamon and vanilla from the tarte tatin.

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