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Reliable flavor pairings


Craig E
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When concocting mixed drinks, do you have flavors you think pair well? I'm particularly interested in hearing of pairings that might be less obvious than something like lime and rum. Two that occur to me are

  • Green Chartreuse and pineapple
  • Mezcal and Aperol

What are your faithful partners for particular liqueurs, spirits, juices?

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Cinnamon and grapefruit.

 

Cinnamon and fino sherry.

 

Agave and sherry.

 

Aquavit and agave.

 

Gin and aquavit.

 

Citrus and gin.

Ginger and citrus. 

 

Singani and orange flower water.

 

Carpano Antica and pineapple gomme.

 

Benedictine and chocolate.

 

Chartreuse and chocolate. 

 

Great topic. If I remember correctly, the Death & Co book has a section on this. 

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DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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Maraschino and green Chartreuse

Maraschino and Campari and/or Aperol

Cynar and aged spirits (whiskey, dark rum -- hey I wonder about cognac ... sounds good)

Bright amari (Campari, Aperol) and unaged spirits (gin, rum, cachaca, batavia arrack)

Fernet and smokey spirits

Whiskey and Punt e Mes

... many more

 

Have you seen The Flavor BIble? The list for any one ingredient is very long.

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Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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On a more helpful note, off the top of my head:

 

  • Lime and nutmeg
  • Lime and angostura
  • Lime and gin
  • Chartreuse and gin
  • Pineapple gum syrup and coconut water 
  • Cinnamon and mezcal
  • Cognac and apricot
  • Gin and mint
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A personal favorite trick weapon: smokey spirits (mezcal, Islay) and pear eau de vie. Similarly, lush or spicy aged spirits (bourbons, Speysides, Armagnacs) and pear eau de vie. In fact, matching a complex base spirit to a small amount of a complementary eau de vie (pisco and apricot brandy, Armagnac and plum) is a great way to add depth to a drink while giving it an appealing aromatic top note. 

 

Irish whiskey and oude genever.

 

Jamaican rum and port. 

 

Strawberry and Maraschino.

 

We could go on. 

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DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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Cinnamon and grapefruit.

 

Aka Don's Mix, a key ingredient in a lot of Tiki cocktails.

 

A lot of really good combinations have already been mentioned...

Adding a few more to the list.

 

Mezcal and maraschino

Chartreuse and rhum agricole

Absinthe and rhum agricole

Absinthe and rye

Gin and cucumber

Campari and pineapple

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Could you please use these in a sentence...I mean in a drink?  My refrigerator holds a large volume of each.

 

So sad that grapefruit are out of season.

 

There's the ca. 1908 Bacardi Cocktail from Boothby, which calls for 2:1 white Cuban rum (though I prefer more aged) to sweet vermouth and a barspoon or two of pineapple syrup. (Not to be confused with the many other drinks named Bacardi Cocktail through the years.)

 

I also like a cobbler-style drink of Carpano, pineapple gomme, and crushed ice, maybe fortified a bit by a spirit of your choice or bittered to taste. 

 

Edit: since Chartreuse loves pineapple, a Bijou riff might be worth a try, though one'd have to get the sweetness under control. 

Edited by Rafa (log)

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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  • Green Chartreuse and pineapple

This is just an awesome combo, but I cannot help but wonder how someone figured it out.

 

Only thig I would add to this thread is the enormous affinity between Campari and both passionfruit syrup and peach syrup. Both can yield awesome results.

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Two pairings that bore me to tears are Campari + grapefruit, and Fernet + ginger (thank god, nobody mentioned them). So predictable and not so interesting.

 

More combos I like:

 

Islay scotch and maraschino

Cynar and coffee

Orgeat and Angostura bitters

Calvados and Peychaud's

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I don't find Fernet and ginger boring, though it was ubiquitous for a time. They bring out good things in each other. Campari + grapefruit makes grapefruit more interesting and Campari less detectable. 

 

Cynar and apple brandy. 

 

Aged agricole and lemon peel (a rum sour with Clement VSOP, Petite Canne syrup, lemon juice, and lemon peel shaken in is divine). 

 

Peychaud's and strawberry. 

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DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

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