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Food Pairings

coffee and cheesecake

Irish Coffee + New York Cheesecake

Fan of an after-dinner coffee or Irish Coffee? Rich, creamy cheesecake paired with a medium roast coffee and a splash of your favorite whiskey makes for one decadent dessert! Prefer a lighter roast? Opt for a light dessert like cookies or more acidic desserts like fruit tarts. Dark roast fans can pair their beverage with heavy desserts with chocolate, caramel or ice cream.
potato pancake

French '78 + Potato Cakes

Chef/Proprietor Patrick O’Connell, from acclaimed restaurant and hotel The Inn at Little Washington, offers a European-inspired potato cake paired with an herbal riff on the classic French ’75. This creamy and crispy dish pairs well with the herbaceous, effervescent cocktail. Find the recipe for the potato cake in the latest issue of Spirited Virginia magazine, and check out the recipe for the French ’78.
risotto

Hootenanny + Risotto

The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center executive chef, Stephen DeMarco, pairs a savory veal and risotto dish with an apple pie moonshine-based cocktail. This sweet, fruity cocktail is the perfect match for a creamy and tangy risotto. Find the recipe for the Veal Chops with Gorgonzola Risotto in the latest issue of Spirited Virginia magazine, and learn how to mix up the Hootenanny Aperitif.
oysters

Vieux Carre + Oysters

Executive chef Patrick Willis of Lemaire, the fine dining restaurant at Richmond’s Jefferson Hotel, serves a Virginia oyster stuffing with the classic Vieux Carre cocktail. The brininess of the oysters and creaminess of the béchamel sauce pair excellently with this cocktail's bitterness. Find the Oyster Stuffing in a Half Shell recipe in the latest issue of Spirited Virginia magazine.  
Boulevardier cocktails

Boulevardier + Creamy Pasta

Creamy dishes like fettuccine alfredo, with shrimp or chicken, or turkey tetrazzini, naturally complement the tartness in cocktails like the Boulevardier. The warmth of the whiskey paired with comfort food makes this combo perfect for fall or winter nights. Sophisticated yet easy to make, this cocktail elevates weeknight dinners to another level.
Summer Spritz and Cheese Tray

Spritz + Cheese Tray

The saltiness and rich mouthfeel of blue cheese, Romano and aged cheddar pairs well with an Aperol Spritz, the classic European aperitif. This also goes well with salami and prosciutto. Or, if you prefer soft French cheese and baguette slices, try a Parisian Spritz, which uses elderflower liqueur. Antipasti like olives, artichokes or pepperoncini round out a tray of small bites for your guests to enjoy with a Gin Spritz. Of course, al fresco is the best way to enjoy these spritzes and European appetizers.
pizza and cuba libre cocktail

Rum Cocktails + Pizza

It's pizza night! Nothing goes better with a pizza than a big glass of cola with ice. Just add a splash of rum for a Rum and Cola, the perfect cocktail pairing. Going light with thin crust pizza and veggies? Use diet coke and a white or light rum. Going for the gusto with deep dish and pepperoni? Use full-flavored cola and a dark or spiced rum. (Squeeze in some fresh lime juice for a Cuba Libre.) Looking for adventure? Serve everyone's "love it or hate it" pizza topping—pineapple—and use pineapple-flavored rum.
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Cocktail Recipes