It’s age old wisdom that cheese and wine, beer, and spirits of all sorts go together… However, we cheese lovers owe a special debt of gratitude to monks who lived way back when for figuring out that cheeses washed with booze make everything even MORE delicious. Monasteries typically would make much of their own food themselves – the monks would cheese, grow veggies, bake bread, and brew beer or distill special types of alcohol (cue Chartreuse, Benedictine, etc.) They would then wash the cheeses with their house-made spirits to create radically pungent and delicious flavors. Check out Saxelby’s roundup of booze-washed cheeses for delicious holiday entertaining ideas. These robust and meaty cheeses are perfect fare for colder weather and festive meals! Just pick your favorite booze and find a cheese to match!
The northeast has a great tradition of cider making. Thanks to some pioneering cider makers and cheese makers, this delicious drink is making a comeback!
Pasteurized sheeps’ milk. Meadowood Farms, NY. washed with cider from Critz Farms
Raw goats’ milk. Consider Bardwell Farm, VT. washed with cider from Slyboro Cider House
Raw goat and cows’ milk. Twig Farm, VT. washed with lees of house made cider made by cheesemaker Michael Lee
Thanks to the craft beer renaissance in the US, it seems like there’s a local brewery for every cheesemaker we work with! After all, local brews and local curds make for delicious eats!
Pasteurized sheeps’ milk. Meadowood Farms, NY. washed with a rotating selection of barely fermented beer from Empire Brewing Co.
Pasteurized sheep and cows’ milk. Crown Finish Caves / Old Chatham Sheepherding Co, NY. washed with beer from Threes Brewing
Eau de Vie
While Eau de Vie isn’t quite so common in the canon of American artisan distilling, leave it to our cheesemakers to suss out a producer and wash some cheese with it – to delicious results!
caption (raw cows’ milk. Cato Corner Farm, CT. washed with Pear William eau de vie from Westford Hills Distillers)
A spirit that originated in France and Switzerland in the late 1700’s, absinthe is a liquor made of anise, grand wormwood, hyssop, lemon balm and other herbs. Despite it’s fame for being banned in the US until fairly recently, it will not make you hallucinate. Neither will this cheese, but it is addictive in its own right!
Raw cows’ milk. Vulto Creamery, NY. washed with Meadow of Love absinthe from Delaware Phoenix Distillery.
Loved the world over from Scotland to Kentucky, whisky is a natural choice for washing cheese, and for drinking when the weather gets chilly.
Pasteurized goats’ milk. Crown Finish Caves / Coach Farms, NY. washed with Kings County Chocolate Whisky.
Pasteurized goat and cows’ milk. Saxelby Cheesemongers / Seal Cove Farm, ME. wrapped in whisky-soaked grape leaves and aged by Saxelby Cheesemongers