Spirited companions

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 July, 2012, 12:00am


Single malt Scotch whisky is not the only spirit that can be an appropriate partner to a range of dishes. Chilled vodka and caviar are a classic combination.

Irish whisky can match many of the same foods as Scotch, and may be especially appropriate for Irish salmon and oysters.

North American whiskey is used in a variety of sauces, and, in the United States, bourbon is widely regarded as a suitable partner for steak.

Rum goes well with many desserts, and with barbecued meats, especially if the spirit is included in the sauce.

Now that shark's fin soup - one of the few Cantonese dishes that goes rather well with cognac - is mostly off the menu, cognac companies are looking more carefully at other suitable pairings. Abalone is one of the most popular.

Hennessy, in particular, has been busy organising special cognac dinners, with its finest spirits paired with both Asian and Western food.

David Fransoret, chef at Chateau de Bagnolet, Hennessy's private house in Cognac, has experimented extensively with food and cognac pairings, some of which he presented last year at St George alongside dishes by Philippe Orrico.

Earlier this month, Fransoret presented a Hennessy XO 'Gastronomy Dinner' in Macau with chef Guillaume Galliot, executive chef of The Tasting Room in City of Dreams.