Another indication that drink pairings are extending beyond wine these days: the steakhouse chain Gaucho Grill is launching a new afternoon tea and cake tasting menu for the summer matching Argentine cakes with traditional Mat teas and Argentinian wines. The six pairings will be available at two of their restaurants, at Gaucho, Piccadilly and at the O2 Centre from 1st August.
The pairings being offered, which will cost £10 for the cake and mat option or £13 for cake and wine, are:
Mat is strongly flavoured tea=style drink, which is popular in a number of south American countries and is made by infusing the leaves of the yerba mat plant in boiling water. In Argentina the infusion contains twigs which the Argentinians believe not only provide thickness to the drink, but contribute nutritional and mineral benefits which are transmitted by the soil through the roots and the leaf stems.
It is traditionally drunk from a hollowed out gourd, also called a mat, through a metal straw called a bombilla or bomba which has a flat sieve-like end which prevents the leaves from being sucked up