When considering drinks to pair with foods, the ingredients should contrast or mirror each other. Everybody thinks about pairing wines when putting together a high-end reception, but not many people know how to pair spirits with their meals. You can make your wedding exceptional by serving a few well-paired, high-end cognacs and vodkas.
Cognac is a brandy produced in southwest France. While the spirit is typically associated with after dinner cigars and chocolate desserts, modern mixologists and foodies have proven that cognac can be served throughout the meal quite successfully. Items to consider pairing with cognac include seafood, soft cheeses and anything that is lightly smoked. The pairing may seem odd to your guests at first, but those doubts will be erased once they get a taste of what you have done.
- Lobster Bisque: A cognac with a spicier flavor profile like D’ussé Cognac XO amps up seafood, such as a lobster bisque. The bold cognac enhances and mirrors the lobster and cream’s sweetness.
- Salmon: Smoked salmon with capers is another starter that pairs well with cognac. Place the gastronomic masterpiece on a bagel chip or cucumber slice.
- Brie: Pair a lighter cognac with a good-quality brie. While this may seem a bit unconventional, the brie’s salty finish contrasts nicely with the sweet flavors of the cognac. When served as a dessert, pair a frozen cognac with the room temperature cheese, so the thicker textures will match.
Don’t be afraid to serve vodka straight up at your reception. While it isn’t as customary in this part of the world, many countries serve the spirit in this manner. This will make your wedding feel different and special. Vodka pairs well with salty and smoky foods. However, if serving it straight is too much for your tastes, you can go with mixed drinks that have more flavor pairings. Here are some delicious vodka pairings what we suggest you try:
- Caviar: You’ll impress your guests with this natural combination of salty caviar and smooth vodka. Although sturgeon (the fish that produces caviar) has been almost fished out of existence in Russia, you can buy Northern Divine, a Canadian caviar that uses Canadian salt. It’s delicious and the ecologically responsible thing to do.
- Venison Tartare: Are you adventurous enough to serve tartare at your wedding reception? If so, you might as well serve it with vodka straight up. Ketel One Citroen adds another level of flavor with its citrus aftertaste that plays off the gamey venison tartare. If this pairing isn’t decadent enough for you, have your chef mix foie gras with the venison. Nobody will forget this brave pairing.
Cognac and vodka are more versatile than you may have previously thought. While you can pair wine, beer, champagne and other liqueurs just fine, dare to do something different to make your wedding reception stand out. Be creative and adventurous, and surprise your guests with something new for their palates.