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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Food/cocktail pairing?
Food/cocktail pairing?
Chief Bartender
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 04, 2006
Posts: 128
From: Sacramento, CA
Posted: 2008-06-21 11:02 am   Permalink

The wife has challenged me to do a food/cocktail pairing dinner. Any suggestions for where to look for ideas? Any helpful hints? I figure sticking with one liquor is probably best -- all bourbon or all rum for the evening. Anyone done anything like this and wishes to share their experiences?

 
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woofmutt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2598
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2008-06-26 01:39 am   Permalink

"Anyone done anything like this and wishes to share their experiences?"

Not an actual dinner built around cocktails but some similar nights...

"I figure sticking with one liquor is probably best -- all bourbon or all rum for the evening."

Just for giggles and grins let's say you go with rum. A dinner menu built around various rums would give you a lot to work with especially as rum is a classic cooking ingredient.

A dinner with cocktail parings might be a little heavy on the palette. The ideal cocktail (especially a tropical drink) is a well balanced concoction usually full of subtle flavors and should be the center of attention. There could be some conflict of attention getters with food, unless you stuck to basics such as grilled meats and vegetables, not overly complicated salads. So here's two ideas:


Rum Tasting Dinner

For a muy especial night/dinner focused on rum do a "tasting" and pair straight rums with the courses.

If your guests aren't all that knowledgeable about spirits have a little bit of rum history to share with them, either in a little spiel at the beginning or in small bits with each rum. The featured rums can be quality rums that are more affordably priced.

If your guests are already somewhat rum savvy track down some high end ones they may not be familiar with.

Wine glasses would work for serving the rum, there's room for air and swirling, and it'd just look good. Since the focus would be on the flavor of the rum a serving of an ounce or less would be sufficient.

As for food, first get to know the rums you plan to serve. Just like wine you should be able to figure out food and flavors the rum would compliment.

You may want to begin the night with a well made cocktail that lets the rum stand out. A similar "dessert" drink would make an interesting alternative to a rum dessert.



Rum Cocktail Party

Pick three excellent rum cocktail recipes and prepare them one at a time in front of your guests (if possible) explaining the history of the drink, the procedure, what rums you're using and why.

Do some online research and see if there are any interesting quotes or passages about the particular drink you're preparing.

It'd probably be best to feature a complicated cocktail (numerous ingredients, odd preparation or serving), a cocktail that anyone should be able to make perfectly, and one that's in between (such as something simple that's served flaming). It'd also be ideal to feature drinks that vary significantly in flavor and sweetness.

Consider your guests when selecting your cocktails. If it's mostly people who know their way around a bar seek out the unusual. If it's people who barely know how to order a cocktail give them basic pointers on measuring, garnishes, etc.

With each drink have an appetizer that works well with that drink. The appetizers could also range from the simple to complex, lighter to heavier (so it approximates a meal).

Have the featured cocktails and appetizer recipes printed up on a sheet of paper for your guests to take home.
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Chief Bartender
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 04, 2006
Posts: 128
From: Sacramento, CA
Posted: 2008-07-01 12:57 pm   Permalink

Woofmutt - thanks for the information.

My food/liquor pairing is going forward. It's not going to be tiki (at least this one won't be) as it will focus on my recent Bourbon obsession. Menu is going to be southern/southwestern, which should be interesting as this Jewish city boy raised in the Southern California suburbs is going to attempt a dish made with grits. Entree is going to be beef.

Planned drinks right now are:

Old Fashioned
La Periodista (made with peach-infusted whiskey instead of brandy)
probably: Mint Julep
One other drink I haven't settled on yet.

No Manhattan? I'm undecided about that. I'd rather do an Old Fashined and they are kissing cousins. Plus, sweet vermouth makes whiskey taste soapy to me. Go figure.

More later, and after the dinner, if anyone is interested.


 
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