Move Over Wine, Cocktails Are The New Partner For Food

If you're like a growing number of hosts, you've made room at your table for some creative dinner/drink pairings. Today, more and more people are enjoying a variety of spirits and mixed cocktails with their meals, rather than just wine. Though they are not sommeliers or master mixologists, they enjoy experimenting with new tastes, flavors and textures to spice up their culinary occasions.

"These pairings speak to the ever-growing number of consumers who are enthusiastic about cooking, cocktailing and entertaining-it is a perfect blend of what's important to today's lifestyle consumer," stated Marcus Samuelsson, national award-winning New York chef.

Many spirits, such as gin, enhance the flavor of foods and create a heightened level of taste sophistication and enjoyment. Gin is created by adding botanicals, most notably juniper, to a distilled spirit. It is this botanical composition that plays off of the notes and spices of certain foods, releasing new layers of taste sensation.

Superpremium gin Bombay Sapphire has a harmonious blend of 10 botanicals, including oris (root) from Italy and licorice from China, that make it extremely versatile and a natural food partner. The specific blend of botanicals that makes Bombay Sapphire ideal for classic cocktails, such as the Ultimate Martini, to exotic mixed drinks, such as the Strawberry & Basil Martini, makes it an excellent choice for food pairings as well.

Try these pairing ideas:

• Spice It Up-The gin is vapor infused with cubeb berries and grains of paradise botanicals, both of which work well with spicy dishes such as Roasted Lamb with Mustard Herb Crust.

• Something Sweeter-Lemon peel, another of the gin's botanicals, pairs well with rich ingredients such as chocolate and cream because the refreshing acidity creates layers of flavor.

• A Perfect Pair-Samuelsson recommends a Sapphire Dill Rickey to accompany gravlax (salmon cured with dill), a traditional Scandinavian dish common to dinner parties in the U.S.

Sapphire Dill Rickey

2 diced, skinned chunks of cucumber

2 diced, skinned chunks of kiwi

Small sprig of fresh dill

1 part Bombay Sapphire

Drizzle of elderflower cordial

Drizzle of fresh lime

Chilled martini glass

Muddle first 3 ingredients in the base of a cocktail shaker, then add Bombay Sapphire and remaining ingredients with a large scoop of ice. Shake vigorously, then double strain into your chilled martini glass.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
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