What Cheese Pairs Best with a Gin & Tonic Cocktail?

Quick take: pair a Gin & Tonic cocktail with a Fourme d’Ambert cheese

In our cheese + cocktail pairing project, I combine my cocktail know-how with the encyclopedic cheese knowledge of Jennifer Greco of Chez Loulou for a series of classic cocktail and cheese pairings.

With summer on the horizon, we’re gearing up for warm weather-worthy cocktails and pairing up a classic G&T with cheese for June.

June Pairing: Gin & Tonic with a Fourme d’Ambert

Citadelle gin for the G&T

Tips, Tricks & Lessons learned:

  • We chose the Fourme d’Ambert as the best pairing for the Gin & Tonic because it not only created something that was better than the sum of its parts but also added a really interesting element. This is a first bleu cheese pairing and I’m kind of hooked!
  • In addition to the Fourme d’Ambert, the following cheeses also work in a pairing: Camembert, Saint Marcellin, Brique, and an 18 month Comté.
  • G&T’s can work with a wide range of gins and tonics. My preferred choice for this pairing is Citadelle gin as its botanicals play nicely with the tonic.
  • The wide range of newer, high quality tonics and gins bring a lot of flavor to the category, so that the usual lemon or lime wedge garnish isn’t always necessary. We used a dehydrated lime to season the drink with a subtle fresh citrus aroma.  
  • No matter what form the ice takes, use lots of it. We like a classic standard block ice. Some people use crushed, some people user extra large blocks. Filtered water results in a slightly denser ice cube, which is desirable as it melts more slowly.
  • Most rocks, highball or wine glasses work for a Gin & Tonic. I prefer the large balloon glass as it allows for plenty of ice and a larger portion. This means you can serve a round on hot summer days and not be jumping up immediately to prepare a second round.
  • Even though you’re putting ice in the drink, the colder the better for this cocktail. While balloon glasses might be too big or delicate for the freezer, rocks and highball glasses should get a good chill before pouring the drink into them, as you will be handling the glass and warming up the drink in it more quickly.
  • We tried the pairing with both Fever Tree and Schweppes and both worked nicely.
  • FWIW, there are some interesting options for homemade tonic should you feel like going DIY. I recommend this one as a good option (Note: some online recipes recommend too much cinchona bark, which can lead to sickness, so be careful in choosing recipes.)
The current G&T trend is serving in big balloon glasses to better appreciate the aromas

Gin & Tonic

50 ml gin of your choice
100 ml tonic of your choice
Pour over lots of ice in a highball or balloon wine glass
Optional: garnish with lemon or lime slice

If you’re here, I already know you like cocktails. But, if you want to learn more about these or other cheeses, I recommend some time on Jennifer’s blog and Instagram or signing up for one of her cheese workshops with Paris by Mouth.

Up next month: What Cheese to Pair with an Aperol Spritz cocktail

Love it when the cheese get all runny!

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