MxMO – Pairings

October 16th, 2007

Mixology Monday - Pairings

This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Natalie “The Liquid Muse” Bovis-Nelsen, who has chosen the rather interesting topic of cocktail pairings, or finding cocktails and food that work particularly well together. This presented an interesting challenge to me as I tend to drink wine when dining, leaving cocktails for after-dinner, afternoons and, well, every other time except when I’m eating!

Salmon wrapped in Parma ham with a basil vinaigrette

I decided that I would try to find, or adapt, a cocktail to work with one of my favourite meals – salmon wrapped in Parma ham with a basil vinaigrette. I don’t consider myself particularly gifted in the kitchen, but I do enjoy cooking for friends and this dish has always been received well. Typically I serve it with a nice crisp Pinot Grigio, which works nicely with the food, so I wanted to find something with vaguely similar characteristics.

Gin seemed appropriate, as did vermouth. A Martini was the first thing that sprang to mind, however I didn’t want the strength that a classic Dry Martini brings – to work with the food it needed to be toned down a little. I ended up combining Noilly Prat dry vermouth and Noilly Ambre with some Hendrick’s gin to create what I can only call, given my lack of imagination when it comes to naming things, a Martini Variation.

Martini cocktail with Noilly Prat, Noilly Ambre, Hendrick's Gin and Hermes Orange bitters bottles in the background

Martini Variation

Although I’m not 100% happy with the way the drink works with the food, this cocktail is by no means a bad one. The hefty presence of vermouth ensures it is a relatively light drink, and the slightly sweet nature of the Noilly Ambre also helped keep the gin from dominating. I wouldn’t call it a perfect pairing, but it’s definitely something I would like to refine and experiement with further.

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Posted in Gin, Mixology Monday, Orange Bitters, Recipes, Vermouth

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3 responses to “MxMO – Pairings”

  1. Dr. Bamboo Dr. Bamboo says:

    I’ve never seen Noilly Ambre, but if I run across it, I’ll definitely pick some up…I want to try this! (especially since I have copious amounts of the other 3 ingredients)

  2. Marleigh Marleigh says:

    That glass is so cool! I generally don’t go in for non-traditional glasses, but that’s really awesome.

  3. Jay Jay says:

    Craig, I’d not seen it either until I came across it at a local spirit shop. From what I understand, outside of Marseillan where it is made it’s very rare. I hope you can find it though, as it’s really lovely stuff.

    Marleigh, it’s made by the folks at Urban Bar, who make some really stunning glasses. It’s a heavy glass, but absolutely gorgeous. It’s also almost impossible to knock over!

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