Cocktails go with more cocktails, right? Or perhaps not just cocktails now.
In Melbourne we recently celebrated Negroni Week, and while I doubt this would be considered a holiday of any national significance, it certainly gave the city’s drinking elite a chance to drink something different for the week. But it also gave us an opportunity to do something even further out of our comfort zone: to match cocktails with something more than just more cocktails. To match with them food.
The concept of the degustation is nothing new, of course. In wine, the degustation is the go to event for every restaurant and winery pairing; in beer it is quickly becoming a staple as craft beer continues its meteoric rise; and even in tea, Flag & Spear and In The Art of Entertaining are combining all sorts of foods with a host of exotic teas at their imbue events. So why not spirits?
On the last day of Negroni Week 2016, The City Lane were invited to attend one such degustation event at Nieuw Amsterdam in collaboration with Campari – a matching of a host of food with several different flavours of Negroni, all of which featured their own spin on the cocktail. As you would expect for the special pairing of any flavours, the results were great, but it did raise the bigger question as to why we don’t match other cocktails with food. Other than a olive, what does a martini go with? Something? Anything? It’s well known that a gin and tonic benefits from a change in garnishes, but what if it went one step further?
Of course, there are obvious drawbacks. Spirits with anything can only make the road to inebriation shorter, and the idea of doing that over a four course dinner would be enough to make anyone keep their finger close to the uber app, but if beyond the experimentation stage the spirit and food combination could serve as a well balanced course, the results could be something remarkable.
For now, we’re going to have to be stuck with Negroni matching once a year during Negroni Week, but perhaps we shouldn’t close the door on this spirit and cocktail matching thing completely. The next great combination could be just one drink away.
Tell us in the comments below what your favourite cocktail and food combination is.