First date jitters? We’ve all had them. As an honorable man, you’re expected to know where to go, what to order to eat and the best part about it, what to drink with it.
PAIRING ISN’T SNOBBY, IN FACT, WE DO IT ALL THE TIME.
We pair things because we have a preference in taste, (like Beer and pizza, they just go hand in hand!), but it’s worth to take the time and think whether a particular drink goes well with what we’re eating. It may make the food taste better, or, in some instances, makes the drink taste better. The goal of pairing food with drinks is to heighten your senses and perhaps bring out something that we wouldn’t have tasted if we hadn’t tried them together. This is key to a first date and could be a great ice breaker to get you two talking…
Here are Duel’s 7 perfect liquor food pairings for first dates.
1. GIN & SEAFOOD
A martini with a dozen oysters, what could be better? Gin is a great combination with seafood. Gin pairs greatly against the sweetness of a classic shrimp cocktail, a grilled calamari or a chilled seafood platter/oysters because Gin has many different taste combinations with juniper-heavy, some citrusy or herbal, and the latest trend of a cask-aged or smoked Gin flavors. A gin martini on the rocks looks great and the mixture of the gin, olives and seafood is a perfect combination.
2. VODKA & SMOKED, PICKLED OR CURED
There’s a reason that countries like Russia and Poland love Vodka, it pairs well with anything smoked, pickled, or cured, essentially, all their dishes! Vodka, non-flavored, pairs with fish when it is smoked, any smoked fish and vodka are just meant to be together. Other pairings are smoked meats, pork tenderloin, steak or venison tartare and pierogi. It also pairs well with Greek food, those Mediterranean flavors pop with Vodka.
3. WHISKEY & STEAK
Step aside Cabernet Sauvignon, Whiskey is the new red. Whiskey and food tend to sometimes fight and not get along. They’re like the two sisters that stopped talking for something or other, and need to be kept separated, but in the end, they know they love each other and help each other cook, but rarely seen together at the dinner table. But a pairing that we enjoy at Duel is Whiskey with Steak. Let whiskey take the step of Cabernet Sauvignon’s shoes on your next date. Order the steak (medium rare) and the smoothest, well-aged, smoky whiskey on the menu. The marbled beef should work well with the Smokey finish of the whiskey (Taken neat).
4. BOURBON & BBQ
Bourbon with it’s oak charred flavors goes perfect against America’s other favorite item, BBQ. Take a perfectly charred Brisket with a small-batch Bourbon, and the flavors are astounding. Bourbon goes well with Chocolate as well, but we have a favorite for that as well…
5. TEQUILA & MEXICAN FOOD (DUH)
It has to make sense. Tequila (traditional Mexican liquor) & Mexican food (tacos, queso fundido, ceviche) obviously would go hand in hand… This one is a no brainer. But a better pairing is a darker, more complex añejo(aged a minimum of a year), paired with Mexican dishes with mole sauce. The chocolate of the mole with the aged properties of the tequila, make it for a perfect pairing.
6. MEZCAL & CHOCOLATE
Mezcal has unique properties that lend themselves with chocolate. The choice on chocolate is a dark chocolate, perhaps something with a little kick or sea salt.
7. CAMPARI & CHEESE
We pair up two of our favorite things: Campari and Cheese. Cheeses like Pecorino, or cacciocavalo and the likes (Strong/hard cheese) are great to be paired with the bitter taste of Campari. You can go a step further and order a Negroni (Gin/Vermouth/Campari) and enjoy those great cheeses.