Friday, October 24, 2008

Whiskey and Figs

Wednesday night André and I made pizza for our friend Devin. For dessert, on Lance's suggestion, I paired the Eagle Rare bourbon I have been nursing since last Christmas (thanks Karen!) with fresh mission figs.

It was a good suggestion. I like the idea of pairing spirits or beers with simple desserts, but it's easy to overwhelm the sweetness and flavors of the drink with something too sugary like chocolate or baked things. As much as I love tooth-rottingly sweet things, this is the one case where I believe they are inappropriate. Once I thought Aventinus dopplebock would be great with oatmeal cookies, but to my palate the rich cookies made the beer taste flat and bland in comparison.

Something mildly sweet like bourbon (or probably Aventinus) is way better with something that's sweet enough to complement, but still lets the drink taste sweet and luscious when enjoyed alongside. Like these figs. Sweet but fresh. Delicious and weird. Voluptuously textured. The bourbon's buttery and vanilla-y qualities created a sort of pie crust effect, and the slow, thick mouthfeel contrasted with the clear, wateryness of the fruit in a way you wouldn't get when drinking whiskey with something containing butter or cream. Devin, please come back soon so we can do this again.

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