For our November 2018 “Feast Around the World” feature, we asked five of the state’s top chefs to create festive meals to serve this season. What we got was a cornucopia of global flavors. No celebration is complete without beverages, of course, so each chef recommended at least one drink pairing that would go perfectly with his or her meal. These cocktails, beers, and wines are also fantastic seasonal sippers on their own.
The Spirit of Peru
As the margarita is to Texas, the pisco sour is to Peru. The two are actually pretty similar, both being made with a distilled spirit (pisco is a clear brandy), something sweet, and citrus juice. Says chef Maribel Rivero of Yuyo, in Austin: “Peru has a distinctive lime—very small, sweet, and sour, which should have a green outside and light-green inside. Mexican limes are the closest match.”
Yuyo’s Pisco Sour
2 ounces Peruvian pisco (preferably BarSol Quebranta)
¾ ounce lime juice (preferably Mexican limes)
¾ ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
2 drops Bittermens
Orange Cream Citrate
Shake first 4 ingredients in a cocktail shaker, without ice, for 20 to 30 seconds. Add 4 to 6 ice cubes and shake again for 5 to 10 seconds. Strain half into a chilled glass. Swirl or scrape any foam off the sides of the shaker and back into the remaining liquid. Strain this into the glass and garnish with bitters.
Kissed by the Sun
Dallas Chef Stephen Rogers of Sachet recommends that you spice things up at the table by serving wines from Greece and Turkey. Let his picks help inspire your selections.
Wine Art Estate’s Techni Alipias White (Drama, Greece)
This wine is a blend of sauvignon blanc (80 percent) and Assyrtiko (20 percent), with fruity, tropical aromatics of citrus and mango. “It matches well with the earthiness of the lentils and slight piquancy of the muhammara,” Rogers says.
Chamlija Papaskarasi (Thrace, Turkey)
Rogers compares this wine, which has aromas of black cherries and plums, to a pinot noir or cru Beaujolais. “It’s a lighter style of red,” he says. “It will match the subtle gaminess of the boar ribs.”
Gavalas Vinsanto (Santorini, Greece)
“This is one of Greece’s best dessert wines!” Rogers declares. This sweet wine boasts notes of figs and caramel. “Fans of tawny port will find this wine special.”
Mix Things Up a Bit
For her modern meal, chef Denise Shavandy, of Café Modern, in Fort Worth, encourages variety by offering a cocktail, beer, and wine.
The cosmo is back—just substitute sparkling wine for the vodka, Shavandy says. “It isn’t a party without some bubbles! This is a festive holiday cocktail with cranberry and hints of orange. It would pair well with the oysters and get guests into the party groove.”
Brewery Ommegang’s Abbey Ale
This Belgian-style dubbel ale’s rich and fruity flavor profile is derived from licorice root, star anise, sweet orange peel, coriander, and cumin. “The winter spices would pair well with the rack of lamb.”
Pinot Noir From Willamette Valley
A light pinot noir from Oregon will be a crowd-pleaser, she says. “Most will have more subtle fruit than California pinots, with hints of cranberry and earthiness that will pair well with the saffron couscous and beet salad.”
With Texas’s wealth of craft breweries, it’s easy to plan an entire holiday meal around just beer pairings. These are some of San Antonio (Cured) chef Steve McHugh’s favorites for his feast.
Buried Hatchet Stout
From Southern Star Brewing, in Conroe, this stout is almost as dark as the coal in your stocking. It hits you with aromas of coffee and chocolate up front, followed by malty sweetness and nuttiness.
Made by Save the World Brewing, in Marble Falls, Apocalypse is a Belgian-style quad (ale). McHugh likes to pop it open and share it with friends.
Cerveza De Mezquite
Located on the outskirts of Austin, Jester King Brewery has a national reputation for wild-yeast fermentation. Its brewers add mesquite beans to this agreeable ale, which has a subtle natural sweetness, with tart undertones and a little smoke.
A Toast to Fall
“I was thinking of something for cooler weather, when you want a nice, boozy drink,” says Kiran’s general manager Pip Cardnell, who recently created this cocktail. “I started messing around with spiced liqueurs because they have Thanksgiving-esque flavors, and rye because it feels synonymous with fall. You can sit down with one to watch the game, have another with dinner, and just keep going.”
The Perfect Pearing
2½ ounces Whistlepig Old World Cask Finish rye
¾ ounce St. George Spiced Pear liqueur
1 bar spoon Bigallet China-China Amer
5 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut bitters
Stir, strain into a coupe, and garnish with a large cinnamon stick.