A Twist in the Taste
Written by Meg Caswell
Food and alcohol have long been recognised as a common pairing in the world of gastronomy and cuisine. From traditional combinations such as wine and cheese to recent developments in the realm of flavoured cocktails, the marriage of these two gastronomic elements continues to inspire unique and tasty creations in the world’s leading restaurants and bars.
The pairing of food and drink is both a traditional and innovative practice. Whilst wine upholds its long-standing reputation as a staple dinner accompaniment in restaurants and households alike, matching food and alcohol is increasingly becoming a form of fine art in modern gastronomic settings across the world. Indeed, alcohol is now being enjoyed in its multiple forms, whether this be as a complementary dinner beverage, as a refreshing palate cleanser, or as a key ingredient in cuisine itself.
As lovers of adventure and innovation, Daffy’s have been making our own contribution to this taste revolution. We have been working with culinary connoisseurs from some of Ireland and Scotland’s top gastronomic establishments to create exquisite dishes that perfectly compliment the flavours of our gin. In doing so, we have discovered combinations that explore and enhance the true depth and complexity of Daffy’s, whilst at the same time learning how gin can give new dimensions of flavour to culinary classics.
Martini and Caviar
One such creation is ‘The Ceasg and Selkies’, an original and flavoursome dish contrived by the Finnieston, a renowned seafood restaurant and gin bar based in Glasgow. A quintessentially Scottish establishment that prides itself on its use of local produce, the Finnieston has taken inspiration for this dish from Scotland’s local folklore and tradition.
According to legend, the Scottish highland Ceasg were a group of mermaid-like creatures sporting the tails of salmon and the upper bodies of beautiful women, whilst the Selkies of coastal Scotland and Ireland were a race of seals with the ability to shape-shift into attractive women on land. Both mythological creatures, known for luring and seducing young men and sailors, may be likened to the archetypal femme fatale. These fantastical figures personify the notions of power, charm and beauty.
It is these qualities that the Finnieston have embodied in their creation of the ‘Ceasg Martini’ and ‘Selkies Caviar’. The ‘Ceasg Martini’ is a concoction that adds a fresh twist to the conventional gin cocktail by replacing neutral gin with ‘Oyster Washed Daffy’s Gin’ as its key ingredient. This pairs perfectly with ‘Selkies Caviar’-an absinthe caviar that can be achieved at home and in restaurants.
Gin and Seafood
Although one might typically match fish with white wine, gin and seafood make for an incredibly tasty and sophisticated combination. In a second pairing created by Molly’s Yard in Belfast, Daffy’s Gin proved the perfect partner for a dish comprising beetroot-cured sea trout, pickled cucumber, beetroot crisps, and horseradish & dill sour cream.
As an establishment specialising in modern Irish cuisine, innovative and fresh ingredients are fundamental to the menu at Molly’s Yard; coupling plates with gin helped to intensify the unique flavours that are key to the restaurant’s dishes.
Cheese and chocolate
In modern cuisine, alcohol is not simply an accompaniment, but an important component of a dish that serves to enhance and modify existing flavours. Even when matching alcohol with seemingly simple products, one can discover refreshing and unprecedented tastes. This is the case when pairing alcoholic drinks with products such as cheese and chocolate. Whilst there are many effective combinations, we found that soft blue cheeses, such as ripe gorgonzola, form a perfect pairing with gin.
In a recent tasting, Daffy’s Gin and white chocolates with dehydrated raspberries made for an incredibly delicious combination. Sipping the gin neat before biting the chocolate and vice versa gave a whole new dimension to the experience, unveiling an intensity of flavours in both components.
A new twist
We are constantly discovering new ways to give fresh dimensions to both food and alcohol. As a gin whose ingredients take inspiration from the classic and the modern, Daffy’s itself reflects this merging of original and new flavours. Whilst traditional tastes such as juniper and coriander are inherent to our gin, fresh botanicals such as Lebanese mint add an innovative twist to our product.
By further pairing Daffy’s with authentic dishes, we have been able to really explore and appreciate our gin’s complex array of flavours. And we have learnt that, whilst it has formerly been considered a traditional spirit, gin has much to contribute to the modern gastronomic scene.
Meg is a University student with a passion for adventure. She loves travelling, skiing, and the world of gastronomy. Meg absolutely adores the French culture and lifestyle, with her currently fulfilling her dream venture and embracing her ‘inner French’ in the small town of Ruffec, France.
Other interests include world cinema, modern literature and fashion. Dislikes fast food and negativity. Always searching for new cultures to discover and new adventures to pursue.