The Greensgrow Mule with Goat Cheese
With The New Cocktail Hour on the brink of release, I find myself in a frenzy of cocktails and cheese pairings. What could be better? The weather is dreck, and a person needs bright drinks, bright dairy.
I offer you my notes from the weekend, where I served an all-local cheese board with a mostly local cocktail at the Philly Food & Farm Fest. This combination involved deep collaboration with old friends and new, in no particular order: Philadelphia Distilling, Press Gang Ginger Beer, Greensgrow Farm, and cheesemonger Matt Buddah of Weaver’s Way Coop.
The drink was inspired by farmer Katelyn Repash of Greensgrow Farm, who offered me some “sweet, tender rosemary” I couldn’t resist. Since Greensgrow is my local urban farm — home of CSAs, workshops, and nusery plants that I enjoy — I wanted to honor the farm with a special cocktail. I played off Audrey Saunder’s Gin-Gin Mule, which appears in the “modern classics” section of my new book.
My discovery: savory rosemary works better with cheese than mint (mint lingers too long on the palate, I think). The Greensgrow Mule pairs beautifully with a range of cheeses and pairings, particularly honey and goat cheese. It’s a beautiful patio drink — gin, ginger beer, simple syrup, lime, and rosemary.
Here’s the recipe, along with the list of cheeses and pairings we paired with it on Saturday. Huge thanks to everyone who helped this dream board come together. Want a taste? I have more upcoming cheese + cocktail tastings listed on my events page.
Lightly adapted from the much-loved Gin-Gin Mule recipe by Audrey Saunders (Pegu Club), this sipper uses local gin, local ginger beer, and fresh rosemary. Try seeking out as many local ingredients as you can find — or use your favorite gin and ginger beer.
11/2 ounces gin (I used Bluecoat Gin)
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
1 to 3 ounces ginger beer (I used Press Gang)
rosemary sprig, for garnish, plus 8-10 needles for muddling*
Instructions: Muddle rosemary with simple syrup and lime juice in a shaker. Add gin, shake with ice, and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime and a sprig of fresh herbs.
*For a true Gin-Gin Mule, use mint in place of rosemary.
The Cheese Board
Recreate this board using cheeses similar in style from your area: a fresh goat, a local Brie, a fudgy-wudge (think Taleggio), and a firm mixed-milk cheese.
Shellbark Sharp II
A fresh goat cheese made by Pete Demchur of Shellbark Hollow Farm, Honey Brook, PA
Farm notes: Chester County’s first artisan goat dairy
Pairings: great with honey and orchard fruit, figs, nuts
A pudding-soft bloomy made by Paul Lawler at Cherry Grove Farm, Lawrenceville, NJ
Farm notes: Visit the cows and the farm store right on rt. 206
Pairings: try stone-fruit jam or sautéed mushrooms
A gateway stinker, made by Sue Miller at Birchrun Hills Farm, Birchrunville, PA
Farm notes: raw-milk farmstead cheeses
Pairings: serve with charcuterie, stone-fruit jam, toasted sourdough
Creamery Collection Batch #11
A firm beauty made by Sam Kennedy and Matt Hettlinger of Doe Run Farm in Chester County, PA
Farm notes: pasture-raised pasteurized farmstead cheeses
Pairings: made with a trio of milks, pair with guanciale and a Spanish red