Quick take: pair an Aperol Spritz cocktail with an ash covered Chevriou 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.
As we roll in and out of heatwaves this summer, we’re picking up cocktails that are big and refreshing and work well in warmer weather like an Aperol Spritz.
July Pairing: Aperol Spritz with an ash covered Chevriou
Tips, Tricks & Lessons learned:
- We chose the Chevriou as the best pairing for the Aperol Spritz because it brought out both the distinctly sweet and bitter aspects of the cocktail but it really brought the drink alive, enhancing its good qualities, similar to the way adding salt to food can improve the flavour.
- In addition to the Chevriou, the following cheeses also work in a pairing: Brillat-Savarin, Crottin de Chavignol, Rove des Garrigues, and Camembert de Normandie.
- Cheeses that brought nothing to the table or made for a bad pairing included: Fresh chèvre (neutral), Saint Marcellin (too funky), 24 month Comté (drink becomes watery), P’tit Basque (brings out the orange and bitterness too much), Fourme d’Ambert (drink cancels out the flavour of the cheese).
- Aperol Spritz can work with a wide range of dry sparkling whites. My preferred choice for this pairing is the Martini prosecco because it’s affordable, easy to find, tastes great in the drink and I like sticking with the cocktail’s Italian roots.
- While many people say “Why bother?” with the soda water in the drink, I think it not only lengthens it in a refreshing way, but improves the balance. Any neutral sparkling water will do. I use tap water filtered through a Britta and then sparkled up with a Soda Stream.
- This is a big and refreshing drink, so use lots of ice.
- Most rocks, highball or wine glasses work for an Aperol Spritz. I prefer the large balloon glass as it allows for plenty of ice and a larger portion. This means you can serve a round on hot summer days and not be jumping up immediately to prepare a second round.
- My preferred proportions are the 3-2-1 (3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, 1 part sparking water) If you want it more bitter or more bubbly, adjust the proportions to your taste.
60 ml Prosecco (or other dry sparkling white wine)
40 ml Aperol
20 ml sparkling water
Pour over lots of ice in a highball or balloon wine glass
Garnish with an orange slice
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 Moscow Mule cocktail