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Cocktails pairing with unusual foods


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Hi Rosie,

I think the best way to address this question is to show the work I did on a recent cocktail dinner.

I started the tradition of cocktail dinners at the Rainbow Room several years ago and I did one a year sometimes inviting guest chefs. I have done a few of these dinners at a fine dining restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jesrey called Stage Left Restaurant with great success…the following are working notes from the last of those dinners, NOTE, the cocktail recipes are at the end.


CANAPES- Chef’s Selection

Served with Dale’s Champagne Cobbler

FIRST COURSE SEAFOOD-Choice of Oysters or Atlantic Salmon

Served with an Icy Gin Gimlet Straight up (Dale’s way) made with Hendricks Gin, Roses and fresh lime and European cucumber.

CHEF’S FOIE GRAS-Served with Dale’s Millennium Cocktail

MAIN COURSE- choice of Thyme Roasted Rabbit Loin served with Dale’s Old Flame Cocktail


Veal Loin with Sweetbread Ravioli served with Dale’s Merengue


Caramelized New England Diver Scallops served with the Pegu Cocktail (created at the Pegu Club in Burma when the sun never set on the British Empire)

DESSERT-Francis…I didn’t receive a menu of desserts but I would like to do my Barcelona which I created for the Olympics in Barcelona and served at the Rainbow Room.



4 oz Champagne

3/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur

2 Orange Wedges

2 chunks fresh pineapple (3/4" squares)

2 lemon wedges

Muddle the fruit and liqueur in the bottom of a bar glass. Add ice and Champagne. Stir gently and strain into a Champagne Flute. Garnish with an orange peel.

2. GIMLET (Oysters or Salmon)

2 ½ ounces Gin

¾ ounces Falernum

2 lime wedges

2 cucumber slices

Muddle lime wedges and the cucumber with the falernumin a mixing glass. Add the gin and the ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lime wedge and a cucumber slice.


1 ½ ounces Courvoisier Millennium Cognac

1 ½ ounce pineapple juice

1 ounce orange curacao

1 dash Angostura Bitters

grated nutmeg

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a twist of orange and dust with nutmeg.

4. OLD FLAME* (Rabbit)

Winner of Best Fancy Cocktail at the Bacardi

Martini Grand Prix 2001, in Malaga, Spain.

1 ounce gin

½ ounce Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth

¼ ounce Campari

1 ounce fresh orange juice

1 ounce Cointreau

orange zest

In a mixer filled with ice add all the ingredients. Shake well; strain and serve in a double Chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a flamed orange zest.

5. MERENGUE* (Veal)

1 oz. Anejo Rum

½ oz. Orange Curacao

¼ oz. Maraschino Liqueur

¾ oz. fresh Lime Juice

¾ oz. Taylor Velvet Falernum

1 oz. Grapefruit Juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with lime.

6. BARCELONA* (Dessert)

(Created this for the James Beard House during the Olympics held in Barcelona)

3/4 ounce Spanish Brandy

3/4 ounce Dry Sack Sherry

3/4 ounce Orange Juice

3/4 ounce heavy cream

1 ounce simple syrup

float of Cointreau

Freeze in the blender but not too thick. Serve in a London Dock or Sherry style glass. Float some Cointreau on top and garnish with a l

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