Cheers July/August 2012

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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BACK 2 BASICS By John Fischer hide. If, however, your menu includes Beef Short Ribs with a Bourbon Glaze, well then, you might have a match because the richness of the ribs can be matched by the body and power of the Manhattan. Brightness: n this case, we're talking about acidity. In the drink, it's probably from citrus juice and in the dish it could come from a number of sources. If you're serving a Yellowtail Ceviche, the best cocktail to serve with it should be equally light and bright: maybe a French 75. If it was a small bite during cocktail hour, I might even give a little wink by serving a Lemon Drop alongside. Sweetness: whether you know it or not, you have suff ered from "Successive Contrast." In simple terms, it's orange juice after brushing your teeth. Any accompanying beverage has to be at least as sweet as the food. And think of how much we do to accentuate the sweetness in food by caramelizing onions, reducing sauces and browning meat and the drink needs to match it. Bridging: in the wine world, this means Not Just Olives P 50 replaced by our interest in matching wine with food. Now the craft beer movement has some beer lovers (correctly) claiming that beer can be even better with food than wine. Renter the cocktail. Following the pattern established by wine and beer lovers, airing food with cocktails can be a little tricky, although there was a time when Americans would sip a Manhattan throughout their entire meal. Th is utter disregard for how the beverage and food complemented each other was cocktail. A Manhattan could match well with a few canap├ęs or spiced pecans. But try to match it with fi sh or chicken, and the fl avors of those dishes will run and | JULY/AUGUST 2012 the cocktail crowd will eventually start trying to fi gure out applications for them. But cocktails have characteristics that make them great leading men and ladies, but not necessarily ensemble players. Strength: both of fl avor, and potentially alcohol if it's a stirred spirits-only using the same wine in both the dish and the glass. With cocktails, we have a few more options. Micah Melton, cocktail sous-chef at Th e Aviary in Chicago says that, "You could use drops of acorn tincture on top of a dark, spirit forward cocktail to pair with Iberico ham," because the pigs are fed acorns as part of their diet. Here are a few last words of advice. An all-cocktail pairing menu can be a little daunting for both the mixologist and guest. Th ink about using cocktails along with wine and beer. Also, watch the portions. Seven full-sized cocktails as part of a tasting menu are too much for anyone. And fi nally, lighter cocktails such as the Aperol Spritz and Sherry- based ones can be more in scale with food fl avors as well as easier on the liver. the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He has worked as a wine director in many New York restaurants, including the Rainbow Room, where he was cellar Master. John Fischer is an associate professor at

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