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For a kind of cocktail competition I'm running against friends, I need a cocktail around France theme, my idea is to pair a cocktail with a French cheese.

I know that cherries do pair well with bask sheep cheese for example (we're used to eat it with black cherry jam)

Would you have a cherry flavored cocktail to advise ? Or any other cheese / cocktail association ?

Many thanks!

  • Welcome to the site, SMASHED. The French love the fresh fruit with their cheeses and drinks. perhaps a fruity cocktail may be in order. – Ken Graham Dec 6 '16 at 12:32
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My favorite French cheese is Roquefort and is often served with nuts and honey in France.

I would like to recommend an Appletini with Roquefort along with the most authentic French bread you are able to procure in your area. The French love their fruit and fruit flavored food and drinks.

Appletini cocktail: Vodka with dashes apple juice and apple liqueur. Serve in a classic martini glass with Roquefort, French bread and garnish with apple slices as garnish.

This is one that I have had in France and enjoyed it very much, perhaps you would too.

  • Thank you for this suggestion, I will not struggle with finding French bread since I live in France (and I'm French btw) I love Roquefort so I'm definitely gonna try this at my home, although for my "competition" I'll try to find something else since even in France a lot of people don't like Roquefort that much. – SMASHED Dec 7 '16 at 9:40
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Please allow me to make a second recommendation for you. This one I have not tried, but I have had the Soup au Vin with strawberries and it was absolutely great. For a twist on this blackberry wine might also go well with it (real natural blackberry wine and not the blackberry flavored ones).

Simply pair your favorite champagne with a piece of flavorful Comte and the gentle flavored, bubbly wine will create the perfect compliment to the cheese (fromage).

For the 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.

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Since you mention sheep cheese and dark fruit, I'll address that type of pairing.

You want a cocktail that reflects the item you pair with the cheese. Start with the Luxardo cherry in a Manhattan (epicurious on Luxardo cherries). Then, think about sweetening up the otherwise stiff-but-smooth Manhattan to better complement the cheese. For example, replace the vermouth with tawny or ruby port; or, replace 0.5 ounces of the whiskey with blackberry brandy.

In general, start with a solid principal (e.g., fruit pairing) and an established cocktail with some element of the pairing, then experiment using your palate as a guide. It may take several iterations, but that is the fun, is it not?

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Manhattan with Brie.
Dirty Martini with Brie. sounds delish.

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In France one would expect a good red wine with the cheese.

Maybe you can go that route with a red wine based cocktail. I don't have a proven recipe at hand but a quick google showed up with lots of results.

Lillet Rouge (a red, French sweet vermouth) is close in taste to red wine, maybe a vodka-martini with Lillet Rouge suffices, but you would need to try.

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The competition is now over and the good news is that we won the French stage by axing everything around Normandy and it turned out really well:

Here is the recipe we followed : http://www.1001cocktails.com/cocktails/5865/recette-cocktail-partie-au-calvados.html (using "brut" cider)

And I bought a nice cheese from Normandy: A Pont l'évêque. We served a small toast of nice old style campaign multi cereal French cheese with a slice of Pont l'évêque.

The cocktail and the toast were so different that they completed each other:

Nice acidity and sugar from the cocktail thanks to the lemons (we let it infuse for 24 hours and the result was reaaally good, at some point we almost decided not adding cider nor perrier) and the fatness and strenght of the cheese surprisingly came out very well.

Anyway thanks for your insights guys, and don't hesitate to try the recipe ;-)

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