My cocktail is designed to pair with Mediterranean cuisine, primarily those with a strong Italian basis. My aperitif is designed to pair with a lovely appetizer of prosciutto with fig, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Start by placing the gin, elderflower liqueur, and Poire Williams into a wine glass. Add enough ice to fill the glass about a third. Add the rosemary and julienned grapefruit peel and give a quick stir. Fill the glass with ice and add the sparkling mineral water. Stir again to distribute all the ingredients evenly and beautifully. Add a straw and serve
To make julienned grapefruit peel, carve off a couple swaths of grapefruit peel with a y peeler about 3 inches long. Then use a knife to cut the swathes into thin strips. Conversely, you may use a julienne peeler but they have a habit of getting jammed.
One of my favorite flavor pairings is grapefruit with rosemary. Rosemary pairs incredibly well with pork and oily flavors and I really wanted to start with a dry cocktail to contrast the richer flavors of this first course. The extra citrus kick of Tanqueray no. TEN is a natural choice for an aperitif given its botanical profile. The citric acid and carbonic acid of the sparkling mineral water help cut through the richness and help to stimulate the palate for the upcoming meal. Pear and fig are natural complimenting flavors that go with pork and have a mild floral component that pairs with elderflower and chamomile. I enjoy having complimenting flavors with contrasting sweetness when regarding food and drink pairing.
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