It doesn't take much to get us to try a new French cheese, so when we had the opportunity to pair three cocktails with three French cheeses, we did not pass on the opportunity! As many of you know, Jocelyn became fluent in French when we spent a year living in Montreal, Canada. To solidify the language (and what many would consider the real language), Jocelyn spent her junior year abroad living in Lyon, France. Of course I went to visit and quickly learned that one of the best yet most simple meals in the world is a little (or a lot!) of French cheese on a baguette. Mmmmm.
Laurent Damiens, Director of Communication Worldwide for The French Dairy Board, is the expert of experts on this dairy we all adore. I was lucky enough to meet with him last week at the Grafton Hotel on Sunset in West Hollywood to share my cocktail recipes, and to taste his French cheeses.
To see the video of our cocktail pairing, watch here on YouTube!
Below you'll find three simple recipes that were made specifically for Comté, Brie, and Mimolette. To read more about each cheese and to become the French cheese expert at your next party, check out The Cheeses of France website that has everything you ever needed to know.
The Duke ~ Paired with Mimolette This cocktail matches beautifully with Mimolette, a gorgeous cheese created in the 1600s for Louie XIV. It's a rich and creamy cheese that works wonderfully with a complex spirit like bourbon. 1.5 ounces Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon ¼ ounce sweet vermouth ¼ ounce amaretto Orange zest Bitters Garnish with an orange wedge or maraschino cherry
Directions Combine all the ingredients in martini shaker that's filled with ice. Shake well, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange wedge or a maraschino cherry and serve!
Paired Perfection ~ Paired with Brie If you're a fan of brie then this drink was made for you. As Laurent explains, bubbly is great with brie because of the cheese's rich and creamy nature. The bubbles work to clean the mouth and to prepare your palate for the next bite...as if any of us needed a reason for this combo. ¾ ounce Hendrick’s Gin ¼ ounce St. George pear brandy ½ ounce St. Germain liqueur ¼ ounce simple syrup ¾ ounces Brut Garnish with a pear slice
Directions In a martini shaker, combine everything except for the Brut. Fill the shaker with ice and shake the ingredients to mix. Strain into a wine glass and top with the bubbly. Garnish with a thin slice of pear and serve.
Très Bon ~Paired with Comté Once we heard that comté is aged anywhere between six and thirty-six months, we knew that a dark rum was destined for this recipe. Comté has a lot of floral notes because it comes from cows that graze not just on grass, but on flowers too. Bon appetit! 1 ounce rum reserve ¼ teaspoon maple syrup ½ ounce PAMA 1 ounce pomegranate juice ¼ ounce simple syrup 3-4 ounces of club soda Squeeze of lemon Garnish with a lemon wheel
Directions Combine all the ingredients except for the club soda in a martini shaker that's filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a high ball and top with club soda.