Sazerac Cocktails an intoxicating mix of cheese & cocktai ls Though this pairing does not get as much attention as cheese and wine, cheese and cocktails can be a great mix. We asked Liz Thorpe, national cheese expert and author of The Book of Cheese , to recommend pairings with cocktails made with Sazerac brands.

Peychaud’s Spritz Peychaud’s Aperitivo might look like Aperol, or remind you of Campari. What I love is that it can please fans of either. Peychaud’s is sharper and more bitter and herbal than Aperol, but nowhere near as aggressive (nor as high in alcohol) as Campari. Pair it with Prosecco and you have an effervescent, herbaceous and bracing aperitif to whet your palate before a meal. Sip alongside rich, buttery cheeses such as Brie, triple crèmes and even mild, cream-enriched blues. Cheeses to look for: Brie: La Bonne Vie Brie, La Bonne Vie Triple Crème Brie, La Bonne Vie Goat Brie, Saint-André, Fromager d’Affinois, Saint Angel, Sweet Grass Green Hill, Jasper Hill Harbison, Bucherondin Blues: Cambozola Black Label, Saint Agur, DaneKo Extra Creamy Blue wedge Wheatley Gibson The blend of corn and wheat in Wheatley Vodka gives a softer flavor; the inclusion not just of a pickled onion but of its brine imparts a salty, briny flavor. Together they deliver an incredibly smooth sip up front with a savory, maritime finish. This combo is made for buttery, semisoft cheeses, especially those that have gotten a saltwater washing on their rind for added meaty, savory flavor.

Corpse Reviver #2 Refreshing, astringent and strong enough to perk up the senses, the Corpse Reviver #2 has notes of citrus, cinnamon, coriander and juniper but is dominated by orange and anise flavors. For these reasons I reach for goat cheeses, with their lingering notes of lemon, orange and grapefruit.

Cheeses to look for: La Bonne Vie Goat, Cablanca Goat Gouda,

Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog, La Bonne Vie Goat Brie, La Tur, La Bonne Vie Goat Log or Pyramid, Laura Chenel Goat Cheese Medallions

El Presidente Cane Run is a white rum with subtle molasses flavor that anchors this classic Prohibition-era rum cocktail. Golden in color and slightly sweet (without sacrificing refreshment), an El Presidente has more viscosity than, say, a Corpse Reviver. This, coupled with its sweetness, makes it a surprisingly harmonious partner to spicier, saltier and crumblier blue cheeses.

Cheeses to look for: Sweet Grass Thomasville Tomme, Havarti, Butterkäse, Red Wax Gouda, Beemster Classic, Fontina, Asiago Fresco, Chaumes, Port Salut, Taleggio, Limburger

Cheeses to look for: Statesboro Blue, Gorgonzola, Point Reyes Blue, DaneKo Blue, Stilton, Roquefort, Valdeon

Bualo Trace Old-Fashioned As bourbons go, Buffalo Trace is sweet and mellow with notes of brown sugar, vanilla and toffee. But with little else to adulterate the burn of 90 proof, choosing the right cheese pairing is a tricky thing. Many cheeses would simply be run down. The solution is an aged cheese with layers of lingering flavor. Choosing complementary flavors of toast and butterscotch ensures a coupling that plays to the cocktail’s and the cheese’s essential natures. Aged Goudas and Swiss styles, with their smooth, dense texture and cooked-milk sweetness, are best.

Sazerac Cocktail A good Sazerac presents many of the same challenges as an Old-Fashioned with the added complexity of reliance on rye rather than bourbon. That means a high alcohol content but also spiciness from the rye. Alcohol and spice can be brilliant at cutting the fatty denseness of cheese — if you pick a cheese that can stand up to the cocktail. Here, dry, aged cheeses with acidity meet the rye and recede in spice/acid so you get to enjoy more of the toasty, nutty flavors inherent in Parmesan styles. Certain aged Cheddars work in a similar way.

Cheeses to look for: Beemster Classic Gouda, Beemster Extra Aged Gouda, Rembrandt Gouda, Parrano, Comté, Emmentaler, Gruyere, Pleasant Ridge Reserve

Cheeses to look for: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano, Piave, Sartori SarVecchio Parmesan, Karst Cave Aged Cheddar, Deer Creek Cheddar, Truly Grass Fed Cheddar




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