Food & Gin Pairings – 10 SUGGESTIONS WITH SAINT AMANS GIN
Pairing spirits with food is one of the simple joys of life. As we are always happy to remind people, Saint Amans Gin is a lovely gin to drink neat – and its balance and smoothness make it ideal for food pairings, because it doesn’t distort or ruin other flavours. Quite the contrary, it’s a gin that complements them. This is also because Saint Amans Gin’s recipe involves a wide breadth of aromas and flavours: floral, herbal, citrus, fruity, and spicy. In other words, it offers an array of pairing possibilities to tickle your taste buds.
If you’ve never matched up your favourite gin with different foods, now’s the time to start with our suggestions for Saint Amans Gin! Here are our recommendations for 10 food pairings with Saint Amans Gin – we’ve got some savoury hors-d’oeuvres as well as some dessert suggestions, for those of us with a sweet tooth…
SAVOURY PAIRINGS WITH SAINT AMANS GIN
N1 – Oysters
Oysters are a big part of tradition for the end of year celebrations in France. Among the 18 ingredients in Saint Amans Gin we have lemon and orange peel, as well as Espelette pepper – these are very complementary flavours to seafood in general, and will bring out all the finesse of this delicacy with the extra subtlety of juniper.
Here’s our recipe for perfect oysters with Saint Amans Gin:
INGREDIENTS (for a dozen oysters)
- 12 oysters, raw
- zest of one lemon
- zest of one orange
- Espelette pepper, to taste
- Saint Amans Gin Original
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Scrub the oysters under cold water before opening them to get rid of any grit.
- Open the oysters, dispose of a little of the water inside and put them on a large platter (on top of crushed ice if you have any).
- On each oyster, pour a teaspoon of Saint Amans Gin (around 3-5ml).
- Add a pinch of Espelette pepper – this is a strong spice, so use sparingly.
- Add the lemon and orange zest.
- Serve immediately, along with a glass of Saint Amans Gin with ice or a gin & tonic.
NOTE: We tried this recipe with medium-sized oysters, so feel free to adjust the quantities so that your gin doesn’t drown your oysters or vice versa.
N2 – (Scottish) Smoked salmon
For refined meals & hors-d’oeuvres, smoked salmon – we recommend Scottish smoked salmon! – is a wonderful pairing with Saint Amans Gin. A smoked salmon seasoned with spices also works very well with our gin & tonic, for example. Saint Amans Gin contains Espelette pepper, ginger, coriander, and lemon peel, which are common garnishes for salmon (both smoked and not) and therefore make for the perfect gin pairing with this fish.
N3 – Cheese: manchego, smoked, goat’s… and grapes too
Saint Amans Gin is a gin made with a grape base – which makes it a great combination for the classic “cheese & grapes”. For those who like extra fruity notes there's also raspberry to look out for (which makes our Gin Rosé an excellent match). Hard cheeses with a rather pronounced flavour such as manchego, smoked, and goat’s cheese (but nothing so strong as a pungent blue cheese, for example) are the way to go in order to best complement the balance of Saint Amans Gin. These cheeses match up particularly well with the subtlety of the Espelette pepper in Saint Amans Gin, as well as the herbal notes of thyme and coriander, all whilst bringing the roundness and smoothness characteristic of our gin.
The light freshness of our gin & tonic balances out very nicely with the typical cheese/grape/bread formula, especially with savoury breads such as wholewheat or rye.
N4 – Chorizo and spicy sausage
Manchego, chorizo… Saint Amans Gin works very well with the typical Spanish tapas. It’s perhaps unsurprising, given the proximity between Southwest France and Spain, that the culinary traditions of these areas match up so well. Sausage seasoned with Espelette pepper, chorizo (habitually spiced with paprika), a peppery Toulouse sausage… All are great pairings for the Espelette pepper in Saint Amans Gin, which also brings out an extra dimension of subtle sweetness with goji berry and raspberry. Perfect with our Gin Rosé & tonic. For those who like chorizo seasoned with oregano, look out for the herbal notes of coriander and thyme in Saint Amans Gin.
NOTE: Since Saint Amans Gin is a particularly enjoyable gin to have neat due to its balance and roundness, it’s the perfect match to the amuse-bouche concept of tapas.
N5 – Pâté de campagne with juniper or herbs (Country Pâté)
Saint Amans Gin is a London Dry gin, meaning it’s very juniper focused – a pâté made with juniper berries is the ideal way to bring out this particularly subtle flavour. For those who prefer a more herbal taste, why not try a pâté flavoured with thyme (also present in Saint Amans Gin) or other herbs.
That being said, any quality pâté is a great match too: whether your favourite contains herbs or not, Saint Amans Gin’s notes of thyme and coriander, as well as the subtle citrus of juniper, will go marvellously well with this French classic.
N6 – Grilled hazelnuts and grilled almonds
For the last of our savoury suggestions, we’ve got an easy one for you: grilled hazelnuts and almonds. Depending on your preference, you can find them grilled plain or already salted.
The recipe for Saint Amans Gin includes hazelnuts and almonds, which contribute to the gin’s smooth, silky mouthfeel. If you’re planning drinks with friends, don’t forget to feature these simple nibbles!
SWEET PAIRINGS WITH SAINT AMANS GIN
N7 – Raspberry sorbet and coulis
In the fruity category of Saint Amans Gin’s ingredients, we’ve got the raspberry and the goji berry – naturally, these red berries pair wonderfully with desserts with a raspberry component. That’s a go for the classic raspberry sorbet or coulis that go with cheesecake, île flottante, and flan.
If you’re looking for an even fruitier, raspberry-er hit, try this dessert with our Gin Rosé, a pink raspberry gin made with a fresh raspberry maceration after distillation.
N8 – Crème brûlée (infused with lavender, violet, or thyme)
This one is a personal favourite of ours – we recently had the pleasure of discovering flavoured crème brûlée, a sophisticated twist to the timeless classic. We were particularly taken with the lavender-, violet-, and thyme-infused crèmes brûlées, all botanicals found in Saint Amans Gin. A flavoured crème brûlée of your choice is the perfect pairing with the floral, herbal aroma of Saint Amans Gin, as well as its rounded mouthfeel.
Here’s our recipe for violet-flavoured crème brûlée. We recommend using a kitchen blowtorch for a truly authentic brûlé result:
INGREDIENTS (for 6 people)
- 425ml heavy cream
- 75ml violet syrup
- 6 egg yolks
- 65g sugar
- 30-45g brown or white sugar, for dusting & caramelising
- violets* or violet bonbons (a French classic), to decorate
*make sure your violets are edible and free of all pesticides
- Warm the cream and violet syrup over low heat in a pot. Stir from time to time, making sure to take it off the heat before it boils and leave to cool slightly.
- Preheat your oven at 160°C.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until frothy.
- Temper the yolks/sugar: slowly pour the lukewarm (not hot!) cream mixture into the yolks/sugar, stirring continuously.
- Pour the final mixture into ramekins. Make a water bath using an high-sided oven tray: put the ramekins on the tray then add water to it (reaching about a quarter/third of the way up the ramekins).
- Cook in the oven for 30-35mns.
- Remove the ramekins from the water bath to cool before leaving in the fridge to set, at least 1 hour.
- Dust with sugar, caramelise with a kitchen blowtorch, decorate with violets. Voilà!
- For the full violet experience, serve with an aviation cocktail to get the most of that delicate flowery aroma...
N9 – Ice cream: lavender, rose, violet, thyme
For all fans of floral-flavoured ice creams, Saint Amans Gin is the gin to have on hand. Indeed, for many its nose reveals its lavender, rose, violet, and thyme aromas: the perfect dessert combination for a creamy, flowery richness.
If you’re looking to go all the way in floral chic, why not have your flavoured ice cream with an aviation cocktail, which contains crème de violette.
N10 – Galette des rois, almond cake & ginger cake
And finally, the desserts that for many truly take the biscuit: cake! Saint Amans Gin is distilled with hazelnut and almond, the favourite nut-components for many cake recipes. Especially with regard to the French galette des rois (also known as King Cake), the almond in particular is a prized feature of celebrations in the start of the new year – don’t forget to add frangipane to that galette for the big almond lovers… The brioche version (typically flavoured with fleur d'oranger) will bring out the orange and lemon peel present in Saint Amans Gin. Add a touch of aromatic sophistication to the classic champagne pairing: turn it into a French 75, an elegant cocktail made using champagne and gin.
Almond cake proper is also a great match with Saint Amans Gin – for those who like an added fruity dimension look out for the raspberry notes in the gin, or have your cake with our Gin Rosé (and eat it too). For warmer, spicier tastes, we recommend ginger cakes and biscuits, which pair up beautifully with the ginger and cassia present in Saint Amans Gin.