Spring has finally sprung, but it's not quite warm enough to celebrate with the sweet tastes of summer. So we're taking this opportunity to delve into the world of salt and savoury, plus we take a look at a few combos to try
You’re either a Bloody Mary person, or you’re not. Either way, savoury cocktails are going to make an appearance as the temperature starts to heat up. Whether it’s five-plus-a-day in a glass, or a slight spice hit, it’s worth putting aside your beloved go-to sweet beverage and giving a savoury version a shot.
Playing with savoury flavours and alcohol can be a bit intimidating at first. What are the rules? How much savoury is too much?
Before you start, think about what you want to be able to taste in your cocktail. Do you want nutty flavours to shine through? Smoky? Veggie notes? Or a meaty, umami kind of cocktail?
Vegetables, nuts, spices and fancy salts are a good place to start.
And then there’s deciding what spirit to use. Savoury ingredients tend to like smoky spirits such as bourbon, some Scotches, as well as drier tasting gins.
Sweet meets savoury
Spirits with a sweeter character can help savoury cocktails find their balance. Beetroot or carrot juice works well with Campari and dry vermouth as they end up on a middle ground between sweet and savoury.
Crushed nuts will add a salty crunch to a drink, or if you’re feeling game, a spoonful of peanut butter with whiskey and coca cola makes for an interesting mix. Candied bacon also seems to be a savoury cocktail fan’s favourite.
Herbs also work well. Rogue Society’s Winter Thyme is always a hit, or basil can give a cocktail leafy, fragrant kick.
Bit of a health nut? Green juices – spinach, cucumber, lime and ginger – marry well with tequila. Or if you’re still on the fence, start with adding a slice of cucumber or a pinch of salt to your next cocktail.
A delicious place to start
Bloody Mary is the classic savoury cocktail, and a good one to try as a first attempt. Use it as a benchmark and experiment with ingredients along the way.