As I have cooked my way through Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy cookbook, I’ve grown to appreciate her style. I’m obsessed with her newsletter. Even while I was writing this blog post, I spent hours distracted by her newly released Thanksgiving menu that I am determined to make this year.
All that aside, I do find many similarities in Alison Roman’s approach to cooking and the way Matt Farrow makes a cocktail. I like to describe Matt as a chef when it comes to crafting cocktails (he hates it, but it's true.) He understands balance while interpreting ingredients, he’s flexible when a substitution can be made, but also stands behind technique when it matters. All things you can see if you’ve spent hours watching Alison Roman’s youtube channel.
This way of thinking is the foundation of what we want our brand to be. Our number one goal is to inspire you to be creative. We live by the quote, “give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for life” ...or something like. We want to give you the tools so you can better understand a cocktail without relying on a recipe. We try to demystify at-home bartending so it becomes something that brings you joy. (Did we summarize all this information and put it into an easy to download guide? We sure did.)
We used that very guide to create two cocktail recipes that would pair with dishes from the Nothing Fancy cookbook.
A Reverse Balsamic Negroni with Alison Roman’s Roasted Squash with Yogurt and Spiced, Butter Pistachios
I’m not going to give you the recipe for the dish because I feel like you deserve your own copy of this cookbook. Might I suggest purchasing from your local bookstore? Instead of using citrus, the ‘tart part’ of this cocktail is a balsamic vinegar. It lends to the rich complexion that a Negroni typically takes on. This low ABV, session, Negroni doesn’t call for any hard spirit and only features bittersweet Aperol. Iconic Cranberry Thyme and Orange Blossom Tonic bring it all together for this very special Reserve Balsamic Negroni.
Reverse Balsamic Negroni
- 3/4 oz Aperol
- 1 oz Iconic Orange Blossom Tonic
- ½ oz Iconic Cranberry Thyme
- 1 barspoon of Balsmic Vinegar
- 1 orange zest
-Combine all in a mixing glass with ice
-Stir for a good 20-30 seconds to give the cocktail proper dilution
-Strain over a fresh ice
-Express the oils of the orange zest over the cocktail and add it for a garnish
A Golden Gin Collins with Alison Roman’s Beets with Buttermilk and Walnuts
Now this pairing was a little more tricky - not Alison’s recipe, she’s perfect. But the cocktail was harder than we expected. We wanted to use golden beet juice but turns out, it oxides almost immediately. Improvising is another skill that Matt brings to the table and we turned to Flavor Bible. To bring a similar earthiness that would pair well with this beet dish, we made an herbal Turmeric tea. Citrusy, herbaceous Lime Leaf Tonic paired not only with the gin but also cut through the creamy buttermilk while the white wine vinegar enhances it. Served up in a chilled glass and garnished with...you guessed it, more herby mint.
Golden Gin Collins
- 1oz gin
- 1oz Iconic Lime Leaf Tonic
- 1/2 oz Iconic Ginga Syrup
- 1oz Turmeric Tea
- ¼ oz white wine vinegar
-Combine all in a shaker with ice
-Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass
-Garnish with a sprig of mint
Find inspiration in the kitchen this holiday season. If that means cooking, we have a few other Ideas for you.
If you like this, check out more foodie blog posts like this one where we made easy dipping sauces to go with frozen Trader Joe's snacks. Last season, we made cookie glazes inspired by classic cocktails. You can also subscribe to #MattFacts, a bi-weekly email conversation from our founder Matt Farrow to learn even more!
(Photos captured by our incredible photographer partner, Lauren Peachie.)