How Bartenders Are Using Cheese in Cocktails

For many people, cheese is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It comes in an array of styles and potencies and often functions as the ultimate compliment to wine, beer, and even cocktails.

But mixed in a cocktail? If you’re sceptical, you’re not alone. Nonetheless, some innovative bartenders have found ways to manipulate cheeses into liquid forms to use in cocktails. And, to the surprise of many, this unusual ingredient works extraordinarily well.

“The world of cheese is enormous, and I believe there’s a place for it in cocktails,” says Hyacinthe Lescoët, the co-founder of The Cambridge Public House in Paris. “More than just flavor, it brings texture and depth to a cocktail, because of its fat and salt content, in a way that’s difficult to achieve with other ingredients.” She notes, however, that as a cocktail ingredient it needs to be used the right way and in the right proportion to make the drink’s other flavors shine rather than overpowering them. 

“As bartenders, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and push boundaries, but sometimes we can struggle to find creativity in the ingredients we know,” Lescoët continues. “Cheese is the new frontier because, much like spirits and liqueurs, the world of cheese is constantly growing with more and more interesting varieties of cheeses coming to the market.”

Cheese Considerations

When creating a cocktail that includes cheese as an ingredient, there are a few factors to consider to ensure you capture its best qualities. Start by deciding which type of cheese you’re hoping to use and the characteristics you want to extract from it, as well as its potency and whether it’s hard, soft, or milky. “As is the case when processing various herbs or spices, different varieties of cheese call for different ways to transform them into a liquid ingredient,” says Lescoët. “The distinction between cheeses is important.”

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