Cocktail Pairing With 4 Classic Desserts
Cocktails are fun, desserts are fun. But know what is more fun? Desserts and cocktails together! Ever wondered why the Italians always combined food and alcohol together? They always compliment and escalate each other’s flavours and bring out the best they have to offer.
We all do remember the scene from Pretty Woman where Edward orders champagne and strawberry and asks Vivian to have them together for,” the strawberry brings out the flavour of the champagne.”
It’s true that strawberry brings out the flavour of the champagne, but which all wine and cocktail work best with desserts thus complementing each other?
Read on to know more about the perfect cocktail for your favourite desserts.
The made-for-each-other dessert-drink pairs
The cake is an all-time favourite and can never be left off from any day’s menu. Milk punches, Rob Roy and Brandy Alexander are the best cocktail buddies for chocolate cakes, teaming up best with all dark chocolate desserts, complimenting and bringing out the best from within the cocoa goodness.
While cakes with a citrus edge are the best buddies for Pisco Sour, Punch Romaine or a Coppa Ristorante Italiano.
Pies, Tarts, and Meringues
Pies are baked dishes which has sweet or savoury filling completely covered with dough. Pies are made from a variety of fillings like apple, lime, pumpkin, pecan, chicken, strawberry etc.
Tarts are similar to pies but have an open top. Meringues are made from whipped eggs and crème and have an acidic ingredient to bring about a zing to the meringue.
While key lime pie goes best with a Rhum with a view, apple pie and raspberry tart work wonders with Hill Country Tea Sparkling Rose Sangria, Carnivor Swizzle or a Cranberry Moscato D’asti.
Almost all meringues go with Ruby or Diamond Icewine cocktail while the ones with citrus teams up well with Spicy Blackberry Cucumber Spritz.
Mousses and truffles
Light sweet food aerated to be made fluffy and often flavoured with coffee, chocolate or fruit are what mousses are. Truffles are a kind of chocolate food with a ganache and sprinkled with chocolate powder.
Martinis work well with almost all kinds of truffles and mousse, bringing out their intricate flavours in the most amusing way.
Chocolate mousse can also be teamed up with Moscatel Sherry or Pecan Ratafia to balance the deepness of the chocolate mousse, while dark chocolate truffles go very well with Clove and Pear red Wine Sour, Cherries Jubilee Wine cocktail, and New York Collins.
Crème Brulee and Tiramisu
A crème Brulee is a custard dessert with caramelised sugar topping while a tiramisu is an Italian dessert with layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee or liquor with mascarpone cheese or powdered chocolate.
The classic pairing of Sauternes with Crème Brulee is to be kept in mind while pairing up crème Brulee. Take them with Smokey Joe or Sweet Grape Caipirinha to enjoy the goodness of Sauternes with Creme Brulee. Madina also works well with crème Brulee while Pinot Noir brings the best out of the caramelised piece of heaven.
Tequila cocktails, Sauternes and Marsala are the ones for tiramisus, bringing out the most it’s exquisite flavours where Sweater Weather, Port Flip, Jenz Cocktail and Chardonnay and lemon cocktail too brings about wonders in the palate.
General tips to keep in mind while pairing
- Use the flavours which complement each other
- Contrasting is the new-in, chose the flavours which either complement or contrasts each other to find new and exciting pair-ups. For example, a pumpkin cocktail can be paired with a pumpkin pie or tart while an apple or a raspberry pie can be paired up with a gin martini.
- Enhancing the dessert is what we have in mind, don’t spoil that by choosing an overpowering drink.
- Herbs are sure to add more flavour and intensity to the drink and the dessert. It also cleanses the palate and freshens up the mouth so as to try out more desserts and cocktails.
- Try out new combinations. Even though one tends to stick to the conventional pairings, just be wild and try out really absurd pairings; and who knows, one might find new exquisite pairs!
- Never stuff your mouth with the dessert and the drink for then the whole flavour would be lost. Leave some space, for only then would aeration happen and the entire flavour with all its complexities would be known.
- Alcohols tend to be really strong at times, make sure that you choose something equally strong while deciding on the dessert. For example, a strong drink can go with a salted caramel or dark chocolate.
Even though desserts and cocktails make an excellent pair, always choose and pair so as to balance both the flavours and don't let them overpower each other.
Wine lovers and dessert lovers may tend to go to try unconventional pairings but always try not to pair up in such a way that the flavours are not lost.
Edward Lee once said that dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance. We also know that wine flies when you have fun.
So team both of them up for a great time, for it is much merrier when two good things are together.