Pairings | Gin
The best food and wine pairings for Valentine's Day
If you're planning a special meal for Valentine's Day you may be wondering which wine to pair with your menu. I've picked some favourite Valentine's Day foods and suggested some matches that should work well with them.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with this delicious seafood supper
The Chinese New Year, which starts on February 1st, is one of those annual events that really captures the imagination. It is celebrated in such a colourful and joyous way and Chinese food is so delicious, quick and simple to make that I hope you won't be able to resist having a go at it, inauthentic though it absolutely is.
Some exciting drink pairings for cheese
We automatically think of matching wine and cheese or beer and cheese but there are many drinks that work just as well and can give a real ‘wow factor’ to your cheeseboard.
Six food pairings for gin that might surprise you
Given the immense popularity of gin the chances of you sitting in a bar downing a gin-based cocktail are pretty high. But at some point you're going to need something to eat so what kind of food can you pair with it?
Five great cheese and wine pairings
You know how difficult it is to find a good wine and cheese match? Well here are five I’ve recently tasted that hit the spot perfectly. Four were at a tasting at the recent Bristol Wine Fair that was conducted by the food and wine writer Andrea Leeman. The other was a serendipitous one I came across the other night when we were eating with friends.
6 of the best drink pairings for avocado toast
Judging by my Instagram feed practically everyone is eating avocado toast at least once a day but what do you drink with it?
A cocktail pairing dinner at The Seahorse
One of the main events at the Dartmouth Food Festival this weekend was a dinner at Mitch Tonks Seahorse restaurant cooked by London chef Mark Hix. The unusual factor though was that every dish was matched with a cocktail.
How to make a perfect G & T
In case it's escaped your notice today is International Gin and Tonic Day - a rather bizarre notion but then every food and drink seems to have its own day these days. However it does provide an excuse to re-run this article on how to make the perfect gin and tonic, under the guidance of the great Salvatore Calabrese:
Six of the best drinks to carry in a hipflask
Since we’re incarcerated for the forseeable future with only a daily walk as light relief it struck me we need to go back to the days when people carried a hipflask of something warm and sustaining, particularly given the current icy conditions.
How to choose the right tonic for your gin
It’s hard enough to keep on top of all the new gins that are coming out without having to master the burgeoning world of tonics too.
How to make simple, great cocktails
You may find the idea of making cocktails daunting but bar consultant Kate Hawkings says it's simply a question of stirring a couple of good ingredients in a glass. Here are four of her current favourites.
Win 3 bottles of Canaima gin and all you need to throw an Amazonian drinks party!
We’ve a really special prize this month both for gin lovers and those who are concerned about the fate of the Amazon.
Win a case of six gins from The Whisky Exchange
We’re guessing that like practically everyone on the planet at the moment you’re a bit of a gin fan so we’ve got an AMAZING prize for you this month. THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
What to drink in a heatwave
With temperatures well into the 30's this week it's not a bad idea to cut down on the alcohol. Here's how to make your drinks a little less boozy
Tales from South Africa: Falling back in love with Sauvignon Blanc
Having spent my first two days in South Africa in regions that specialise in Sauvignon Blanc (Elgin and Constantia) it won’t greatly surprise you I’ve been drinking a fair bit of it. The greater surprise, as someone who has become Sauvignon-weary is how much I’ve been enjoying it.
5 Reasons to buy Saint Amans Gin
Anne MacColl-Turpin and Jean-Louis Turpin are artisan producers of grape alcohol based French gin, created, distilled, bottled and shipped from the Saint Amans Gin Barn in SW France.
My top drops in August
I’ve not been sure what to do with this section since I moved most of my recommendations to my Substack newsletter Eat This, Drink That (which helps to support this website by the way if you feel inclined to take out a subscription).
Cranberry gin sling jellies with spiced cream
A simple and delicious Christmas dessert from my mate Sarah Randell, food director of Sainsbury's Magazine, which combines two of my favourite things, jelly and cocktails.
Gin(s) of the month: Barentsz and Theodore gin
It takes quite a lot for me to find room in my drinks cupboard for new gins these days but both these have earned their place. I like them because although they’re distinctive they’re not pointlessly so - or overloaded with ingredients that detract from their basic DNA
Gin of the month: Hepple gin
So many botanicals are bandied around these days that it’s easy to forget that the essential heart of a gin is the juniper. And few distillers handle it better than the Moorland Spirit Company, makers of Hepple gin.
Oysters and a Half Shell Gin martini
Having always understood you shouldn’t drink spirits with oysters I was surprised to come across the recommendation from oyster specialist Wright Brothers of accompanying them with a gin martini made from their Half Shell gin.
Gin of the month: Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
You like gin? You like shiraz? You’re in luck! Australian distillery Four Pillars has combined the two in a gin they’ve called Bloody Shiraz, the perfect bottle with which to celebrate Australia Day.
Heston’s Lazy Sunshine Gin
What to make of Heston’s Lazy Sunshine Gin, his latest collaboration with Waitrose?
CEDER’S alcohol-free ‘gin’
I’ve been a bit sceptical about the alcohol-free gin category - or alt-gin, as I gather we must now call it - but this couple of products from a South African and Swedish husband and wife team trading as CEDER’S (which apparently has to be written in capital letters) are really quite impressive
Baron Bigod cheese and Sipsmith orange and cacao gin
I really didn’t know which match to choose from the spectacular 10th anniversary dinner which Sipsmith held in their distillery last week. Most of the pairings were cocktails (I also loved the combination of roast Iberico pork fillet with a Red Cat, an invention of master distiller Jared Brown’s*) but I’m going to go for the line-up of four cheeses which was paired with four different gins
Korean meatballs with mango, lime and ginger gin
Oooofff, Korean food is spicy! Even when I toned down the gochujang chilli paste in the meatballs I made on Saturday night they were a challenge for most of the wines I tried with them (a characterful Babylonstoren rosé powered through). But the best match by far was a gin and tonic made from Romy's Edition Mango, Ginger and Lime gin, a collaboration between Bristol-based Six O’Clock Gin and Indian food writer Romy Gill.
5 reasons to drink York gin
So the first company to step up to the open mic slot is York gin in York. Here are the 5 reasons they say you should seek them out:
Drink of the week: Warner Edwards Harrington Sloe Gin
If you’re going to stay with someone - or even just have a meal with them - over Christmas, it’s good to take along a bottle of some kind and if you don’t know their taste in wine why not make it gin?
Why the Negroni is the Marmite of the cocktail world
"The Negroni is the Marmite of mixed drinks" writes Ian Cameron. So why does it put so many people - including restaurant critic Jay Rayner - off?
Hawksmoor's Marmalade Cocktail
Unless you've been living in outer Mongolia you can't fail to be aware that the Paddington movie goes on release today. Cue for a marmalade cocktail!
Gin and cucumber sorbet
If you're looking to mark World Gin Day this weekend why not rustle up this refreshing gin and cucumber sorbet which was created by Simon Dawson of Bell's Diner in Bristol.
Gin of the month: Albury sloe and damson gins
There are not one but two gins of the month this month - both limited editions from the same distiller Silent Pool in Surrey. One’s a damson and the other a sloe gin and they come in 50cl bottles at - gulp - £30 a bottle.
Game terrine and London dry gin
I’ve already written about how well game terrine pairs with oloroso sherry. Now I’ve discovered an equally good, if not better pairing: London Dry Gin.
The Ivy Gin and Fevertree clementine tonic
It’s two for one in the bottle slot today - a terrific new gin and the perfect matching tonic.
Tanqueray Mexican Collins
I don't often post branded cocktails but this is part of a collaboration between two writers I admire - Anna Jones and Abbie Moulton - who have put together a whole load of clever food and cocktail pairing ideas and recipes called The Modern Cocktail Guide. It's available here as a downloadable pdf
Square Root Non-Alcoholic Gin and Tonic
If you’re embarking on dry January you may wonder how you’re going to do without your G & T without buying an expensive alt-gin, as they’re often referred to these days.
Gin of the month: Audemus Esprit d'Eté
If you've developed a bit of a collector's habit when it comes to gin here's a truly limited edition one of which only 200 bottles were originally made
Japanese gin - but oddly not from Japan
Ask the man in the street where Japanese gin comes from and he’d look at you pityingly. "Japan, of course!" But actually this 42% ultra-premium gin comes from Cambridge, England.
Gin and tonic with peppered smoked mackerel
Gin isn’t just an aperitif, it’s also a surprisingly good match for food as I’ve already suggested in this post. Last week I discovered yet another way to enjoy it - with peppered smoked mackerel.
8 great drinks to match with Stilton
No Christmas would be complete without a slice of Stilton or its unpasteurised cousin Stitchelton. But what to drink with it? The usual answer is port - and that of course is classic - but here are some other drinks that make great pairings
Hepple gin and venison tartare
We think of gin even less than whisky as a pairing for food but with the incredible popularity of gin these days - and the need for the many new entrants to the field to create a distinctive image for their brand that could be about to change.
Dishoom's East India Gimlet
I love this twist on one of my favourite cocktails, the gimlet, from the hugely successful Indian restaurant Dishoom.
The Corpse Reviver
"What better drink to toast ghouls and witches (or to drown out all the Hallowe'en nonsense) than a Corpse Reviver No.2?" writes award-winning mixologist Jared Brown.
A deliciously fruity but simple cocktail from Hawksmoor at Home that makes use of in-season raspberries.
What to drink with dal
Generally of course dal wouldn’t be eaten on its own but with a curry or a biryani but given it makes a pretty good midweek dish on its own or with rice you might fancy a glass with it. Here are some options
Tortilla chips, salsa fresca and a virgin mojito
My first meal of the new year was a Mexican which might sound unusual in London but not much is open on New Year’s Day. We went to Wahaca which has a number of restaurants around the capital with some good non-alcoholic drinks options.
The Hanky Panky: the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail.
We asked our mixologist friends Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller of Mixellany to come up with the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail. This is it.
4 New Orleans cocktails for Mardi Gras
If you want to celebrate Mardi Gras in style you can do no better than go for one of the classic New Orleans cocktails which, according to my learned friend Jared Brown of Mixellany, are the Ramos Gin Fizz, Hurricane, Vieux Carré and the Obituary.
Sloe gin and Stilton
The port and Stilton combo has become a bit of a cliché. Not that it doesn't work - it's hard to fault - but if you want to really impress your guests and take them out of their comfort zone, serve your stilton with a shot of sloe gin instead. It has much the same brambly flavour as a Late Bottled Vintage port but, despite being stronger, manages to taste lighter, fresher and less alcoholic.
Roast beef sandwich and a Virgin Mary
I’ve got a bit obsessed with Virgin Marys (alcohol-free Bloody Marys) over the last few days.
Waitrose Heston Fruit Cup
I’ve never been a great fan of Pimm’s so I wasn’t expecting much from the Heston Blumenthal Fruit Cup which has just been launched by Waitrose.
Nick Strangeway's 'Disco Badger'
Despite the naff name I love the sound of this refreshing orangey beer cocktail created by legendary mixologist Nick Strangeway for Badger Ales. Great presentation too!