Cocktail Pairings for Warner's Wonders | September 2021 curdbox

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Editor's Note: We are excited to introduce our new cocktail blogger, Ruth Evelyn! Ruth (a.k.a. @danceruth) is an internationally renowned blues and swing dance teacher with a cocktail obsession. Currently, she's a mainstay bartender at backbar in Somerville, MA (recently named by Time Out as one of the coolest bars in the world). This month, she brings us her take on this month's curdbox with a mix of original and classic cocktails. If you want to join our merry band of cheese lovers, head on over to our subscription page to sign up for your monthly box!

Opening my curdbox was like getting an extra birthday present out of season—cheeses and snacks are the best! Wine and beer are more traditional pairings to cheese, but as a bartender I’m excited to pair cocktails with the cheeses.

The Cozy Study

Jasper Hill Creamery’s Willoughby was heavenly—buttery and earthy, oozing complexity and comfort. To go with it I created a spirit-forward cocktail, “The Cozy Study.” This cocktail contrasts the peat notes of the cheese, and compliments the fruity flavors. If you like Old Fashioneds or Manhattans, this will probably be a cocktail for you.

The Cozy Study, an original cocktail by Ruth Evelyn (@danceruth)
The Cozy Study

2 oz Larceny Bourbon

5 oz Cochi Di Torino

.5 oz Grenadine*

10 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters

Give it a short stir then serve over a big ice cube, if you have one. (If you don’t, use a few smaller cubes.)

*Avoid “Grenadine” that is just corn syrup and food coloring. I used Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Grenadine recipe: Combine over heat: 2 cups pomegranate juice and 2 cups cane sugar. Then add 1 tsp orange blossom water, 2 oz pomegranate molasses, and 1 oz vodka (to extend fridge life).

The Penicillin

Finding Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove in this box was like meeting an old friend. This goat cheese has long been one of my favorites. Honey is a great pairing for goat cheeses, and I also like Scotch with this cheese, so Sam Ross’ modern classic cocktail, Penicillin, immediately popped into my mind. It didn’t disappoint! The smoke and ginger made the floral and herbaceous notes of the cheese pop more, and the citrus notes of the cheese met up well with the lemon juice in this cocktail. Many people don’t have spicy ginger syrup (in the original recipe) on hand, so I used a bitter instead to modify this recipe. Bitters are great to build as a home collection, since they last a long time and don’t need to be refrigerated.

Ruth's take on the Penicillin


2 oz Scotch (I used McClelland's Islay Single Malt)

.75 oz lemon juice

10 drops ginger bitters or .5 oz ginger syrup

.5 oz honey syrup*

.25 oz float Laphroaig

Shake, and strain.

*Combine equal parts honey and hot water to create a honey syrup.

Tropical Autumn

Tasting the grainy notes of the Ocooch Mountain Cheese by Hidden Springs Creamery, an alpine-style raw milk cheese, I immediately wanted to complement it with a big, juicy cocktail. I created this one, with the sweetness of rum and pineapple tempered by the roundness of Amaro Nonino amaro. The Pineapple notes of the cocktail bring out the nutty notes of the cheese.

Tropical Autumn, an original cocktail by Ruth Evelyn (@danceruth)

Tropical Autumn

1.5 oz Rum (I used Bully Boy Rum Cooporative Volume One)

1 oz Pineapple Juice

.5 oz Amaro Nonino

.25 Lime Juice

Shake, and strain.

The pairings in this box, particularly the Guava Toasted Corn Crackers and the Turmeric Garlic Popped Water Lily Seeds, were amazing with all of the cocktails. I’m definitely going to find more of them for future cocktail snack pairings. I’m so excited to discover the treasures in my next box!

If you're new to Curdbox, use the code RUTH for $5 off your first box.

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