The Expert-Approved Cheese To Nibble With Your Next Gin Martini

gin martinis with olives
gin martinis with olives - Plateresca/Shutterstock

If you love the sharp and smooth sip of a cold gin martini, you'll want an equally bold and botanical cheese to pair with it. Take it from Matthew Rose, American Cheese Society certified cheese professional and partner at Fairfield Cheese: Pair your gin martini with cheese that has some creaminess and an intense, robust flavor. "Blue cheeses tend to be on the creamier side, but also have a more porous texture that really encourages the intermingling between cheese and beverage," Rose told Daily Meal in an exclusive Q&A. These qualities offer a contrasting mouthfeel to the sharp gin martini while bursting through the gin's botanical flavors. According to Rose, no cheese is more up to this task than the king of blue cheeses: Roquefort.

"I love a classic dry gin martini especially paired with Roquefort, there's a reason those blue cheese stuffed olives work so well in your martini!" Rose remarked. Rose specifies a dry gin martini here, given that a high-quality dry gin can evoke all the powerful botanical flavor you need, along with just a hint of dry vermouth as well. Some may even argue that the best martini recipe is mostly gin with hardly any vermouth at all. Just as a briny, salty blue cheese stuffed olive is the perfect garnish for a gin martini, a bite of Roquefort cheese is robust enough to pair with the gin martini on its own.

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Roquefort's Flavor Notes In Comparison To The Gin Martini

Roquefort cheese hunk, knife, walnuts
Roquefort cheese hunk, knife, walnuts - Grafvision/Getty Images

Roquefort, the French take on blue cheese, is known for its distinctive blueish-green mold weaving through the creamy, crumbly sheep's milk cheese. It's aged in the caves found along the limestone cliffs of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, where the unique fungi that give the cheese its signature mold live. It's known as the king of blue cheeses for its pungent aroma -- but look past the first few powerful, salty-tangy bites of a Roquefort and you unlock delicate earthy flavors with the occasional caramel note.

Roquefort is one of the best cheeses to pair with gin, given that they both follow a similar journey across their flavor palettes for the consumer. Take the initial shock of a sip of gin and vermouth in a martini and compare that to the first bite of Roquefort. You're first hit with a stinging sensation, either from the dry gin or the saliferous cheese. Then, those gin botanicals begin smoothly interacting with the hefty Roquefort.

Even though Roquefort can be a more pricey cheese, you'll only need to buy a little bit to pair with a few gin martinis. Splurging on this high-quality cheese combined with a high-quality gin for your martini will make for a perfect match. Enjoy your Roquefort, one of "the boldest and briniest of blue cheeses" as Matthew Rose recommends: "best smeared on crusty bread or crackers." The forward, strong flavor notes of Roquefort cheese and a gin martini will fuse into a layered, complex, and irresistible combination.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.