The 15 Best Cocktails for Cheese Lovers
Shaken or stirred? On the rocks or neat? With Parmesan or bleu? To the delight of fromage fanatics everywhere, bartenders around the country have started mixing up cheese-laced cocktails that range from sweet to savory. As toppings, on the rim, or as garnishes, a broad variety of cheese has been showing up on mixologists’ menus.
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Here are 15 cocktails that just may inspire you to toast to cheese.
Treadsack in Houston
Bar director Leslie Ross found inspiration for her Transatlanticism cocktail in the Waldorf salad. An oversized seltzer ice cube dotted with apple peel is drowned in a mixture of gin and an herbaceous house-made tonic, doused with celery bitters, and then topped with a chunk of honey-drizzled Scottish blue cheese.
Urban Farmer Portland in Portland, Oregon
The sparkly, sweet First Course is crafted from pear vodka, Prosecco, and St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Prosciutto and blue cheese garnishes add a briny, funky counterpoint.
Rockit Burger Bar in Chicago
To create this cut-above Bloody Mary, the team infuses vodka with bacon and/or horseradish, which they stir into house-made tomato juice mix. The brunch-y beverage is finished off with a Parmesan-cayenne crust on the rim to add a nice kick to every sip.
Easy Bistro & Bar in Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Tuscan Sunrise takes its cue from the Caprese salad. Tomato water, aged balsamic vinegar, basil syrup, and muddled basil leaves are amped up with vodka and ancho chile liqueur, while a rim of grated Parmesan cheese stands in for the usual buffalo mozzarella.
Sunda in Chicago
There’s almost as much garnish as there is beverage in the beyond-epic Sumo Mary. In fact, the cocktail is a meal in and off itself: it comes topped with a grilled cheese sandwich packed with cheddar and marinated pork as well as bacon, Chinese broccoli, roasted potatoes, and shishito peppers.
Mott St. in Chicago
The Da Chicago is a heady combination of brandy, spiced orange liqueur, bitters, and wormwood liqueur. Balanced on the glass is a skewer of Garrett’s cheese popcorn for tipplers to snack on while they sip.
Ai Fiori in New York City
The vibrant-hued Beet Salad cocktail features Bacardi blended with beet juice and simple syrup. It’s finished with a smooth goat cheese cremeaux topped with a leaf of basil.
Taste in St. Louis, Missouri
Bar manager Kyle Mathis subs in mascarpone for egg whites in his Lemon of Pink, blending the creamy cheese with sunset-colored Curaçao liqueur, gin, lemon and grapefruit juices, absinthe, and rosewater to create a super-svelte sipper.
Manhattan Cricket Club in New York City
A trio of martinis on the menu feature olives plumped with strong Stilton blue cheese. If you’re still hungry after a few cocktails, you can order a side of the stuffed olives as a snack.
W Austin in Austin, Texas
Consider this martini your dessert. Cognac and cinnamon-spiked fig syrup are combined, then crowned with a rich topping of chèvre-enriched whipped cream.
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami Beach, Florida
A cube of smooth Mexican panela cheese soaked in reduced Maduro brown ale is the garnish for this south of the border–style Old Fashioned. The cocktail is a dusky amalgam of dark rum, reposado tequila, Maduro reduction, and spiced chocolate bitters.
Murray’s Cheese Bar in New York City
The expert cheesemongers at Murray’s offer three cheese-enhanced Bloody Mary variations. The Spanish Maria is rimmed with aged manchego and Spanish pimentón and garnished with cubes of queso Idiazábal. The Italian Maria is rimmed and garnished with Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the All-American Mary is rimmed with grated Wisconsin Parmesan and garnished with Wisconsin cheese curds and American blue cheese.
Ceres’ Table in Chicago
The pizza-inspired Quattro Formaggi Bloody lives up to its name by featuring a quartet of cheeses. Grated Asiago, Pecorino Romano, and Parmesan grace the rim, while ricotta salata stars in the garnish.
Searsucker in Austin, Texas
A jalapeño jam-packed with melted brie tops off the Bee’s Knees. Forged with gin, lemon juice, and honey water, the cocktail features an acidity and herbaceousness that complements its rich garnish.
Elixir in San Francisco
Basil-infused vodka, tomato juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice are the core of this savory sipper, dubbed the Garden Sun. A skewered, miniature Caprese salad—mozzarella ball, basil leaf, and a cherry tomato—makes a fitting accompaniment.