The artwork of wine and meals pairing comes with some famous (but made to be damaged) guidelines of thumb: White is going with fish, crimson with beef, pinot with the game, and so forth. However, when pairing cocktails with meals, the “proper” choice is much less clear. Some fits appear like naturals — think margaritas and tacos or martinis and oysters — but how do you choose a drink from the cocktail listing so that it will supplement the entree you ordered?
“I sincerely suppose understanding spirits and attempting spirits that you may not be familiar with is a big key,” said Andrea Duran, beverage manager for Eloisa Restaurant and Bar Alto. Good information, then, for the cocktail-curious: You’ll have the danger to look and pattern infinite versions — and foods specifically prepared to supplement them — at this 12 months New Mexico Cocktails & Culture Culinary Festival, which runs Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2, in Santa Fe. The festivities include the offered-out Taco Wars chef opposition, culinary and mixology workshops, a fundraising bike trip, rooftop yoga, and the Bartender of the Year opposition with tastings and an art show. Also, new this yr is Culinary Week, which runs June 3-nine and functions eating place specials, lessons, and occasions.
The weekend’s grand tasting event is the Chef & Shaker Challenge, held from 7 to ten p.M. Saturday, June 1, at the Drury Plaza Hotel. Chef and bartender groups from nearby restaurants create meals and cocktail pairings, every using a distinct predesignated liquor, guests and judges pick out their favorites. The event is a fundraiser, with a part of ticket income and each triumphing chefs’ $250 prize going to Cooking with Kids and Santa Fe Youth Shelters & Family Services on behalf of the eating places, and a live public sale raising cash for the Helen David Relief Fund, which aids bartenders laid low with breast cancer.
Duran, who was named the 2018 Bartender of the Year on the event final yr, couldn’t screen the precise cocktail that Bar Alto manager Edmundo Mendoza could be serving up the use of SilverCoin tequila this yr; however, he stated the liquor could be utilized in both the drink and the meals pairing. Duran stated that pairing drinks and dishes for your person doesn’t stack taste on flavor — like drinking a chocolate martini with a rich chocolate cake. Instead, try pairing dark chocolate with vibrant and fruity or a chocolate cocktail with a popcorn-flavored dessert.
“It creates beautiful stability,” Duran stated. “Don’t be afraid to experiment. You need with the intention to flavor all the flavors and feature them soften together in your mouth.” The fashion of cocktail and food pairings has been developing in large cities, said Natalie Bovis, who grew up in Santa Fe and produced the Cocktails & Culture Culinary Festival and Culinary Week through her culinary marketing and activities corporation commercial enterprise, The Liquid Muse.
“In my personal mixology profession … I have continually seen cocktails as the liquid element of the culinary global,” Bovis said. “So, a cocktail paired with meals makes perfect sense. I’ve executed a whole lot of cocktail pairing dinners in Los Angeles and different cities, and the exciting part is that we can craft a cocktail to suit a dish some distance higher than wine can be paired with it.” While wine is a completed product when it arrives, a cocktail pairing gives the individual making the drink control over its alcohol content, acidity, sweetness, and richness.
“When pairing, I always start with the dish and see what factors about it can supplement or contrast with the drink,” she said. “Sometimes, I use some of the identical components, and once in a while, I use complementary ones.” For example, at one dinner for which the chef prepared an elk dish, Bovis created a chocolate Manhattan using rye whiskey, a light chocolate liqueur, a port in place of sweet vermouth, and mole bitters. “It paired amazingly nicely — no longer sweet, simply rich and boozy sufficient to reduce via the uncommon gaminess of the beef and embolden the cherry glaze sauce,” she said.
While the form of liquor (or its use of origin) can inform the drink or the dish it has to accompany, what’s introduced to the cocktail is simply as essential. “You can transform any spirit,” Duran stated. “You could make a darkish spirit truly fruity and delicious or a light spirit clearly heavy feeling. It doesn’t rely so long as you have got an idea wherein you’re going on on.” Still, there are a few naturals. Like fish or chook, a mild dish is going nicely with a tequila Blanco, gin, cachaca, or different lighter liquor, Bovis said. A heavier dish, including meat, lasagna, or a rich dessert, works with brown spirits like whiskey, cognac, and darkish rum.