Now that you’ve planned your menu or have dusted off all your fancy cookbooks (it’s a start, well done you), it’s time to talk drinks. So pour yourself a single-malt and consider this: checking to see if you still have wine in the cupboard really isn’t enough. Especially if your ‘cellar’ consists solely of corporate-gift cleanskin bottles from last Christmas. Cellar forever. In a bin. Or use in a recipe, but try it first—remember, if it’s not good enough to drink, it ain’t mysteriously going to transform into something good enough to cook with. Fact.
So take the time to think a little longer about what you are serving and whether it’s complementary. A heavy, peppery, full-bodied Shiraz with say, your sashimi & tempura starter isn’t really going to work all that well. You don’t need to be an expert, but do apply the general rules for food matching, and do cater for at least a beer and one or two spirits. If you’re feeling brave, pop on over to matchingfoodandwine.com for inspiration. They’ve even got a story on pairing whisky with Indian food. I know, right?
Even better, have a little fun creating a signature cocktail—the type you can serve in a jug and create a mini bar station prepped and ready to go so guests can help themselves. This will work even better in a garden party scenario when you can experiment with some punchy summer flavours. Think Rosewater and Watermelon martinis. A jug of Pimms crammed with mint & cucumber = heaven. Have some of our vintage striped straws ready and use our mini chalkboards to label your drinks. Hey presto—you have yourself an instantly fabulous mini-bar!