Food and Liquor Pairings 101
In the Philippines, liquor is pretty much synonymous to fun and entertainment. Filipinos are recognized for their hardworking nature. But don’t be surprised to see these same people in a bar during happy hour having fun.
Liquor can also be associated to various celebrations commemorated throughout the year, which would include Christmas, New Year’s Day, birthdays, weddings, promotions and other similar festivities.
However, all these would be incomplete without some food as well. After all, it is the one thing Filipinos love more than their liquor.
There is of course a way for everyone to enjoy them both, and that is by pairing them with each other. But there are some guidelines you must follow in order to get the pairings just right.
Things to Consider when Pairing Food and Liquor Together
It is quite naïve to think that any kind of liquor will go well with any type of food. Alcohol distributors also put efforts in gathering knowledge for perfect liquor and food pairings. In most instances, finding out which types of liquor and food best complement each other is a trial and error process.
However, there are some indicators that can help tell ideal pairings. Some of which includes the following:
- Acidity – Acidity is one useful tool you can use to your advantage. It means that liquor with high acidity such as Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc can make your experience better when you’re eating fatty foods like fried chicken. This is because it would wash out the taste of fat in your tongue with the help of its acidic nature.
- Carbonation – Similar to acidity, carbonation can also cleanse your palate whenever you’re enjoying a nice greasy dish like a slice of cheese pizza. It can instantly refresh your mouth, which then prepares you to take another bite. This is why sparkling wine and beer (even diet coke) are best paired with these types of foods.
- Bitterness and Tannin – Bitterness, which is often associated with beer, pairs well when enjoyed with a plate of smoked, fatty, meat. Tannin, on the other hand, has the ability to offset the protein and fat in your foods. This is why wines that contain it go really well when paired with red meats.
- Sweetness – Are you a fan of spicy foods? Then, you may enjoy them even more if you pair them with liquor that has a slightly sweet taste. This is due to the fact that it can enhance a dish’s aromatic spices. For those, who have a sweet tooth and often have desserts, they can pair them with an off-dry wine so it will not overwhelm their taste buds with sweetness.
- Umami – One of the best liquor and food pairings you may encounter are those that can highlight their earthy and umami flavors. For example, beer, which has high umami notes, is drunk best with dishes that feature caramelized flavors. Sherry is another type of liquor that can truly bring out the umami in your food choices.
- Oak – When it comes to pairing wines rich in oak content, you must always proceed with caution. This is because there is a high chance that it will just taste like firewood in your mouth when paired with the wrong meal. However, delicate oak notes in your wine will turn out really delicious if paired with creamy sauces.
Samples of Food and Liquor Pairings
Food and alcohol in the Philippines are two of the major influences in local culture. That’s why finding the best food and liquor pairings is extremely important extremely hard to do. To help you out with this venture, you may find some inspiration by looking at some of the pairings below:
- Rye and Sushi Nigiri – Rye, which is being considered as the cousin of bourbon, has a really bold edge. But combining it with sushi nigiri can really heighten your experience with it, as it will benefit from the seaweed’s salinity, the raw fish’s soft unctuousness, and the rice’s texture.
Pro Tip: Serve the rye on the rocks!
- Rum and Glazed Jerk Chicken Wings – A glazed jerk chicken wings’ recipe usually includes rum in its ingredients. However, drinking it separately will surely enhance your entire meal experience with the dish. This is because the liquor’s sweet notes go really well with the food’s sweet but complex profile.
Pro Tip: Serve the rum neat and at a room temperature.
- Brandy and Gooey Chocolate Brownies – Gooey chocolate brownies with a bitter chocolate flavor are best paired with brandy. There are several types of brandy you can choose. However, it will be ideal for you to select old ones that already developed a dried fruit flavor with a silken texture and caramelized notes.
Pro Tip: Place your brandy in snifter. Then, serve it neat and silly.
Again, you do not have to beat yourself when it comes to finding the best possible food and liquor pairings. It might take you some time to figure them all out; and that’s completely fine. However, you must ensure that you are getting your liquor from a trusted alcohol distributor in the country.
Alcoline, a Philippine distributor, will ensure that you get your liquor in high quality. You can be assured that it will taste great with the food and/or dishes you decide to pair with them. For more information about their services, you may contact them here: https://alcoline.ph/contact-us/.