What Cheese Pairs Best with a Martinez Cocktail?

Quick take: pair a Martinez cocktail with a Berger Basque 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.

The weather is cooling down, but it’s not quite winter yet so we’re looking for something rich and warming but not too heavy, so this month we are pairing cheese with a rich and perfumed Old Tom gin based Martinez cocktail.

October Pairing: Martinez  cocktail with Berger Basque cheese

The cherry liqueur in a Martinez cocktail plays nicely with a Berger Basque cheese
A Berger Basque makes for an elegant and refined pairing with a Martinez cocktail

Tips, Tricks & Lessons learned:

  • We chose the Berger Basque as the best pairing for the Martinez because the cherry liqueur in the drink went nicely with the cheese and the pairing made for an overall more elegant and refined flavor profile together.  
  • In addition to the Berger Basque, the following cheeses also work in a pairing: Laguiole (savory combo in which each stands on their own) and Chartreux (which added a spice to the drink and a length to the cheese).
  • Cheeses that brought nothing to the table or made for a bad pairing included: Crottin, Picodon, Camembert, Saint Marcellin, Comté, Hercule, Brin d’amour, Florinoix and Fourme d’Ambert.
  • In general, the softer, lactic, fresh and young cheese are not a good match for this cocktail.
  • We went with Citadelle Old Tom gin for a good combination of availability, quality and price. 
  • There are multiple variations on the Martinez, using gin, genever or Old Tom gin (our choice).
Other cheeses that work well with the cocktail are Laguiole and Chartreux

Martinez Cocktail recipe
60 ml Citadelle Old Tom gin
7.5 ml Noilly Pratt
7.5 ml Maraschino 
15 ml red vermouth

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Express an orange zest over the drink and discard peel
Garnish with a cocktail cherry

Citadelle’s Old Tom gin is good choice for Martinez cocktail

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: What Cheese to Pair with a Blood and Sand cocktail

About Forest Collins 360 Articles
Cocktail Expert Forest Collins is the creator of 52martinis, an online guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris and other small batch spirits news from France. We've also recently launched an app so you can keep all that bar info in your pocket!