Ahhh, the finer things in life. Now I’m not talking about Ferraris in Venice or North Pole and Arctic island tours in Murmansk or any of that Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous stuff. I’m talking about the realistic finer things. Like a moment when the food and the drink align to bring the partaker to that place where the other senses shut down to allow for maximum appreciation for what is being consumed.
You do not have to be a part of the “upper crust” to engage in this type of indulgence, so stop “loafing” around and get your bottle opener ready!
This beer cocktail is a Brown Ale based on one which I found at The Ruling Glass. The recipe has been modified in regard to some of the brands used but the core beverage is still present!
It starts with a bottle of Newcastle English Brown Ale. After adding a 1/2 ounce of Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur from Italy, with 1 ounce of the ridiculously smooth Russian Standard Vodka, the combination of the “Axis” and the “Allies” was complete. The finished product was an interesting combination as the sweetness of the Hazelnut Liqueur was strong at first, but waned quickly as the Newcastle took over with its English charm.
Even with only a conservative ½ ounce of the sweet hazelnut liqueur, the beverage in question was still on the sweet side. And, in an effort to balance that sweetness out with edible treats, I turned to a dear, dear old friend of mine, cheese.
I was recently given the gift of a block of cheese that, with the name alone, had my attention from the very beginning. This brick of deliciousness is called Tickler, and, despite its whimsical name, is an extra-“mature” cheddar from Devon, England. The cheddar is aged for 18 months and over that time period, the cheese is monitored periodically to make sure that it is good enough quality to bear the Tickler name!
Now cheese is fantastic on its own for sure, but cheese alone is a lazy way out when it comes to food pairing. So, I sliced up a Granny Smith apple into thin slices, placed it on bread with the Tickler cheese, and proceeded to make the tastiest grilled cheese sandwich I’d had in a long time!
With the “upper crust” and all of the other crusts gone, the extra mature cheddar paired brilliantly with its age old compliment of green apples in a rich, tart treat that is both incredibly simple to make and packed full of flavor.
So, if you’re like me and on occasion you hanker for a hunk of cheese to go with your brew, get out your cheese knife, heat up the griddle, and put away the silver spoon; because this delicious finger food and drink combo is meant for the masses, not just the “upper crust”!