Below we’ve assembled some unusual beverage pairings for you that go perfectly with some of our carefully selected fine charcuterie. Sometimes colourful, sometimes sparkling or surprising, some have alcohol, others do not. Their common denominator: they’ll leave no one indifferent!
Aperol Crisp & Italian Trio
Made with dry apple cider (not too sweet) instead of traditional prosecco, an Aperol Crisp is a more local version of its Italian cousin the Aperol Spritz. The dry cider brings out the more buttery, milky notes of the charcuterie with its not-too-sweet fruity undertones. It’s the perfectly refreshing drink that’ll help cleanse the palate between the different Italian Trio charcuteries during your tasting. The bitterness of the cocktail and the saltiness of the charcuterie alternate, to the utter delight of the taste buds.
NOSTRANO APEROL CRISP RECIPE
90 ml (3 oz) dry apple cider
60 ml (2 oz) bitter liqueur (like Aperol)
25 ml (3/4 oz) club soda
½ an orange slice (optional)
Put a few ice cubes in a wine glass, pour in all ingredients except the orange slice.
Stir with a spoon.
Garnish with the orange slice if desired.
Nimbu Pani (Indian lemonade) & Calabrese Salami
The spice and sulfur notes of the Nimbu Pani bring a salty dimension to this thirst-quenching lemonade that blends with the spices and piquancy of the Calabrese salami. This drink uses a few counterintuitive ingredients from what we’re used to, but you simply have to try it to see how good and thirst quenching it is. Traditionally, it would contain chaat masala (a spice blend) and kala namak (a black salt with sulfurous notes). If you have these ingredients in your pantry you are no doubt familiar with this drink! But if that’s not the case, and you don’t know where to find them, try this simplified version you can make more complex if you desire.
NOSTRANO NIMBU PANI RECIPE
Homemade or store bought lemonade
• Water (1¼ cups)
• Juice of 1 lemon or lime
• Sugar (1 tbsp.)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of ground pepper
Tiny piece of yellow onion
Slice of lemon or lime as garnish
Prepare lemonade the way you like it: water, lemon or lime juice and sugar. Add a good pinch each of salt, cumin and ground pepper.
You can add any other spices you enjoy, like celery seeds, cilantro, fennel, anise, ginger, or even cardamom.
The ultimate secret ingredient: finish with a small piece of crushed onion (yes, onion!) as you would use citrus zest.
The onion will impart the sulfurous character that kala namak and chaat masala normally give to this beverage of Indian origin.
Serve with ice cubes and a slice of lemon or lime as garnish and you’re good to go!
All you need to do is get your guests to name the secret ingredient: a guaranteed surprise!
*For an alcoholic version, add a splash of gin or vodka.
Pomegranate Cosmopolitan & Mild Hungarian Salami
Reinvent the classic Cosmo cocktail swapping pomegranate juice for cranberry. Combined with the citrus liqueur, the pronounced tartness of the pomegranate juice brings and even more lively freshness when sampling mild Hungarian salami. Under the salty and rich,meaty upfront taste of every bite of mild Hungarian salami are hidden green, fruity notes enhanced by this fruity but not-too-sweet cocktail.
NOSTRANO COSMOPOLITAN RECIPE
45 ml (1 1/2 oz) vodka
15 ml (1/2 oz) citrus liqueur
20 ml (2/3 oz) grenadine
Juice of 2 lime quarters
Pomegranate seeds as garnish
In a shaker filled with ice cubes, add all the ingredients except the pomegranate seeds.
Shake vigorously for 8 to 10 seconds.
Strain shaker contents into a martini glass using an ice strainer.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
*For a non-alcoholic version, replace the vodka and citrus liqueur with a bit of citrus rind flavoured syrup and a splash of soda.
Spicy Pineapple Frappé Mocktail & Mild Capicollo
Break with tradition and offer your guests this mocktail made with tropical ingredients and revved up with a touch of allspice! The sweetness of the pineapple and orange, combined with the punch of the allspice gives a wonderful boost to the delicately spiced mild Capicollo. Since it’s a frappé, don’t forget to slurp up the creamy foam first!
SPICY NOSTRANO PINEAPPLE FRAPPÉ MOCKTAIL RECIPE
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup orange juice
1 quarter orange or pineapple (optional)
Pour the pineapple and orange juices into a shaker filled with ice.
Add a pinch of allspice and shake vigorously.
Serve in a champagne flute and garnish with an orange or pineapple quarter.
*For an alcoholic version, once the contents of the shaker are transferred to the champagne flute, top up with sparkling wine.
Passion Fruit Bloody Caesar & Mortadella
Surprise your guests with this classic cocktail with an unusual yet subtle touch. Start with your favourite Bloody Caesar recipe and add a little passion fruit juice. The combination of passion fruit and tomato will underscore the rich character of the mortadella with its aromatic sulfur notes and umami. As store-bought passion fruit juice is usually pretty sweet, it will all marry perfectly with the spicy sweetness of the mortadella, bringing out the maple and even the celery notes! Who’d a thunk it?
NOSTRANO PASSION FRUIT BLOODY CAESAR RECIPE
2 ounces vodka
6 ounces tomato juice or Clamato
2 ounces passion fruit juice
Juice of 1/4 lime
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Celery salt for the rim of glass
Rim a highball glass filled with ice cubes with lime and celery salt. Add all ingredients.
Stir with a spoon.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you’re feeling creative, feel free to garnish your glass with a gorgeous charcuterie mini-kebab! For the mini-kebab, check out our Deluxe Bloody Caesar recipe.
*For a non-alcoholic version, simply omit the vodka and you’ll have a delicious mocktail!
No matter which of these unusual suggestions you choose, we’re convinced you’ll make a real splash. We wish you the very best in food discoveries, and most of all a very adventurous Nostrano tasting!