Mule Drink Pairings 101
Pairing cocktails with cuisine should not be hair-pulling, instead mouth-watering.
With a chief ingredient like ginger beer, mule drinks are a modifiable option to mix ‘n match (the base spirit) with all cuisine.
The key: to balance the strength of flavor in the spirit with the seasoning of the protein. For example, lamb biryani takes the two to the limit – striking the taste buds when combined with a Moscow Mule.
Like any food spread, mules should be presented in a variety (pack) too. And so, we are sharing six suggested pairings to compliment your mule of choice.
White fishes seasoned with citrus nicely compliment a Moscow Mule. One rule of thumb: to lean towards simple preparations for the light neutral protein. Recipes with rich, creamy sauces provide a cringing contrast to the mule. Less is more for seafood as it excels in faint flavors.
Ginger root and lime juice are often the stars of the show in Thai, Vietnamese, and other Asian cuisines. When a cocktail and a cuisine have common core ingredients such as these, they will undoubtedly be a match-made together. Couple the peanut noodle salad (via Pinch of Yum) to a Tropical Mule for a sickly citrus explosion.
This pairing may seem like a battle of strong flavors. However, ginger is a pervasive ingredient in many curries – even if your palate cannot immediately pick it out. Therefore, stick to lighter curries in terms of the protein used: fish, chicken or vegetable. Heavy meats like beef and lamb are going to bring unwanted gamey flavors – competing with the mule.
Cheese & Charcuterie
A cheese and charcuterie spread is synonymous with a wine tasting. Still, the key words here are cheese and meat. A mule is a kicking drink, so you must mirror that in your board choices.
Goat cheese is a great pairing choice to highlight the gingerness of a mule. Ditto for farm cheddar aged (ten years) block, and maybe a golden-fried piece of salty Greek halloumi or ball of Italian Burrata.
On the meat side, the saltier, fattier – or both – the better for your board. A hot chorizo sausage will make a Southern Mule strangely refreshing. Melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto or cured Iberian ham cannot be missed with its next-level saltiness to round out the subtle vanilla and sweet yellow corn notes in the bourbon drink.
The combination of a fatty protein (preferably al pastor), an acidy pickled vegetable, and a solid stripe of homemade hot sauce on top is one to please, but when chased with the heft and sizzle of ginger beer – with tequila and lime – now we are talking.
Ginger beer not only goes well with all spiced or highly-seasoned foods, but it also cooks well in sweetened glazes and sauces like barbecue rubbed wings or ginger beer and tangerine glazed ham (via BBC Good Food). Did we mention ginger beer can be made at home to? No fermenting required.