Pairing Spotlight: French Cheese and Cocktails
August 2009

Cocktails are one of the hippest ways to enjoy a fine French cheese - whether you’re in a gourmet restaurant or at home with family and friends. Wine and cheese is a well-known and excellent pair, but why not switch it up this summer? A sophisticated gourmet understands that a intriguing French cheese and a robust cocktail is a must try combination as the summer season winds down.

Try these intriguing combinations for a refreshing balance of flavors and aromas.

Twig and berry with Goat Cheese

A refreshing gin based drink is an excellent choice to pair with the Ile de France Goat Cheese. The cheese’s tangy flavor will be refined by gin’s natural dryness. Make a fruit infused gin-based drink to add a splash of summer fun. Cocktail: Mix gin with muddled blackberries, add fresh thyme.

Appletini with Roquefort

Flavorful Roquefort cheese comes alive with the crispness of an appletini. Many French cheeses, including brie cheese, are great complements to apple wedges as well, so consider sampling sliced apples with your appletini and including a couple varieties of gourmet French cheeses.

Cocktail: Vodka with dashes apple juice and apple liqueur. Serve in a classic martini glass with apple slices as garnish.

Manhattan with Brie

The smooth, rich texture and taste of Ile de France Brie cheese combines perfectly with the tinges of oak present in a glass of bourbon or whiskey. Take a small sip, follow it with a small bite and allow time for true appreciation of the complex flavors. Other option: Dirty martini with brie cheese.

Cocktail: Bourbon with dashes of sweet vermouth and bitters, serve in martini glass or lowball glass with ice.

Mango Mojito with St. Andre cheese

Celebrate summer with a tropical fruit based drink and a luscious St. Andre cheese. A ripe mango has a sweet, distinct taste that is a great complement to the soft, buttery texture and smooth taste of St. Andre.

Cocktail: Combine three tablespoons Rum, ¼ cup club soda, a dash of simple syrup, 1 tablespoon of mango nectar and crushed ice.

Sangria with Chevre aux epices

Sangria is one of the quintessential summer cocktails, a vigorous wine-based drink that is sure to offer cool refreshment on a hot summer afternoon. To add a little culinary adventure to your favorite Sangria recipe, try pairing it with a soft cheese such as an Chèvre aux epices – a flavorful and spicy cheese that makes an excellent pair for a red-wine based Sangria.

Cocktail: Combine red wine, sweetener, brandy and carbonated soda.

Champagne punch with Comte

If you’re in the mood from a little pop of flavor, there’s nothing like the tangy carbonated flavor of champagne. Adding a little fruit flavor will make your sparkling wine even more refreshing and appropriate. Pair your favorite champagne with a piece of flavorful Comte and the gentle flavored, bubbly wine will create the perfect compliment to the fromage.

Cocktail: Make punch by combining one bottle of pink champagne, one bottle of red wine, one 16 oz. can of frozen lemonade and one 16 oz. can of fruit punch. Garnish with fresh strawberries.