Cheese and wine are a traditional combination, but cocktails are the unsung hero of cheese pairing. With its botanical notes and refreshing crispness, gin drinks are natural to pair with cheese. Read on for our favorite gin and cheese pairings—and if you’d like to learn more about pairing cheese and beverages, check out our upcoming virtual tasting events!
Gin varietals range from floral, citrus, herbaceous to juniper forward in flavor. The spirit is flavored by re-distilling the vodka base with botanicals. The botanicals include juniper, citrus peels, coriander, cardamom, cassia bark and more. The flavors of the botanicals make gin an excellent pairing for cheese, complimenting the natural flavor profiles of a wide variety of cheeses.
London Dry or Navy Strength + Pecorino
These juniper-forward gins make a great match for rich, fatty, and salty sheep milk cheeses in the pecorino category. Even the underlying lanolin flavor of pecorino cheese matches beautifully with the strong juniper and citrus qualities. A Tanqueray Ten Cocktail or a classic Gin & Tonic are both great cocktail options. We recommend Pecorino Calcagno or Pecorino Ginepro (a pecorino actually steeped in balsamic vinegar & juniper berries, see below).
New Wave & Fresh + Bloomy Rind Goat Cheese
This gin is less juniper-forward and leads with predominantly floral and citrus qualities. This makes the New Wave an excellent pairing for fresh to bloomy rind goat cheese, especially when pairing with a cucumber Gimlet cockatil. The floral and citrus qualities of the fresher goat cheese mirror and compliment the qualities of the gin (see Capriole's Piper Pyramid below).
Genever & Double + Triple Cream Cheeses
This gin has forward flavors of lemon peel and fennel, which make it an excellent match for rich, bloomy rind cow milk cheeses that can also stand up to its rich, malty mouthfeel. We recommend making a French 75 for the more citrus-forward direction and an Old Fashioned for the more malty direction, and pairing it with Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam (see below).
Plymouth Gin + Soft Washed-Rind Cow Cheese
The plymouth gin is a powerful, juniper-forward style that can stand up to a spreadable washed rind cheese like Epoisses or spruce-bark wrapped Winnimere (see below). The recommended cocktail here is a Pink Gin.
Honey + Gin: A Perfect Pairing
Honey serves as a wonderful bridge between cheese and gin. To find a lovely herbaceous honey to pair well, you can visit our Honey & Cheese Pairing Guide. We recommend Orange Blossom or Meadowfoam Honey varietals.