Food & Gin Pairings – 10 SAVOURY & SWEET SUGGESTIONS & RECIPES FROM SAINT AMANS GIN
Pairing spirits with food is one of the simple joys of life. People tell us Saint Amans Gin, like other fine gins, is lovely to drink neat or with just a touch of tonic – and its balance and smoothness make it complementary for food pairings, because it doesn’t distort or ruin other flavours. The Saint Amans Gin ingredients encompass a wide breadth of aromas and flavours: floral, herbal, citrus, fruity, and spicy. So 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 ! Here are our recommendations and some recipes for 10 gin - food pairings. We’ve got some savoury hors-d’oeuvres as well as some dessert suggestions, many with a distinctive French touch. Bonne dégustation, bon appetit.
SAVOURY PAIRINGS FOR GIN
#1 – Les huîtres
Oysters are a big part of tradition for the end of year celebrations in France which go on through January when oysters are still at their best. Among the 18 Saint Amans Gin ingredients we have lemon and orange peel, as well as Espelette pepper – 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 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.
#2 – Le saumon fumé écossais
Scottish smoked salmon is a wonderful pairing with gin. Saint Amans Gin contains Espelette pepper, ginger, coriander, and lemon peel, common garnishes for salmon (both smoked and not) which cut through the fatty richness of the salmon,make this a delicious combination.
#3 – Les fromages: manchego, fumé, chèvre, brebis...et le raisin.
Saint Amans Gin is made with a grape alcohol 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). We recommend hard cheeses with a pronounced flavour such as manchego, smoked, sheep's and goat’s cheese. Avoid pungent blue cheese however - too much for your tastebuds when pairing with 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.
#4 – Chorizo et saucisse épicée
Manchego, chorizo… 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: Saint Amans Gin neat is the perfect match to the amuse-bouche concept of tapas.
#5 – Pâté de campagne avec genièvre ou des herbes aromatisées.
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 French classic pâté flavoured with thyme or other herbs.
#6 – Les noisettes et les amandes grillées
For the last of our savoury suggestions, we’ve got an easy one for you: grilled hazelnuts and almonds, plain or already salted.
The recipe for Saint Amans Gin includes hazelnuts and almonds, grown in abundance in SW France,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
#7 – Sorbet de framboise avec son 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. Classic raspberry sorbet, coulis on creamy cheesecake, the famous French île flottante, and the humble flan all work well.
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.
#8 – Crème brûlée avec infusion de lavande, violette ou thym
This one is a personal favourite of ours – flavoured crème brûlées are a sophisticated twist to the timeless French 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.
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...
#9 – Les glaces! : lavande, rose, violette.
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.Pour your gin or cocktail over your ice cream for extra decadence.
#10 – 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. With the French galette des rois, (also known as King Cake), the almond in particular is a prized feature of celebrations at 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 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 and many other fine gins.