Match of the week
Baron Bigod cheese and Sipsmith orange and cacao gin
I really didn’t know which match to choose from the spectacular 10th anniversary dinner which Sipsmith held in their distillery last week. Most of the pairings were cocktails (I also loved the combination of roast Iberico pork fillet with a Red Cat, an invention of master distiller Jared Brown’s*) but I’m going to go for the line-up of four cheeses which was paired with four different gins
The outstanding combination was Baron Bigod a luxurious Brie de Meaux style cheese from Suffolk with Sipsmith’s orange and cacao gin. It’s a gin I’d have run a mile from if I’d heard it described but was actually ridiculously good.
According to their website it’s distilled orange blossom, cacao nibs, vanilla, coffee, and black cardamom blended with a syrup made from orange zest and raw cacao nibs - more orangey than chocolatey in the event They say it makes a 'decadent' Old Fashioned though I was pretty happy sipping it on the rocks.
The other cheese pairings were Bath Blue with sloe gin (I’ve pulled the same trick with Stilton), Comté with Bramble gin liqueur and Petite Rouell Cendrée (a Pyreneean goats cheese) with Bees Knees which I think must be one of their limited edition gins as I can't find it online. Or maybe this cocktail.
Anyway it proves that flavoured gins and gin liqueurs definitely have a place alongside a cheeseboard should you care to push the boundaries with your guests.
* a blend of 50ml gin, 20ml dry vermouth (though he modified it to 10ml dry, 10ml sweet to pair against the dish) and 10ml-20ml juice from homemade cocktail cherries
I attended the dinner as Sipsmith’s guest.
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