Just when you thought it was time to shed that winter weight, you were guilted into buying one of the nearly 4 million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies expected to sell this year – and what better way to wash them all down than with a perfectly paired beverage?
Enter Richard Breitkreutz, the Corporate Beverage Director behind BR Guest Hospitality, which includes New York staples like Strip House, Dos Caminos, and Troy Liquor Bar.
“When pairing food and wine or beer, I typically look to match flavors, but also have some sort of contrast,” Mr. Breitkreutz said over lunch at Strip House. “For example, high acid helps cut through rich unctuous dishes, slightly sweet, spicy wines and beers help put out the heat of spicy dishes. I am typically not really a sweet tooth, but who doesn’t love a few Girl Scout cookies – especially if they are paired with an adult beverage.”
Both cookie varieties – a coconut and peanut butter confection respectively – doused with a rich coating of caramel and chocolate call for an equally chocolate beverage like a Chocolate Stout Beer or a Banyuls vino. “Banyuls is a fortified wine, similar to port, that is from the south of France,” said Mr. Breitkreutz. “It’s really a classic pairing with chocolate.”
The classic shortbread, usually served as a tea accessory, would pair well with Moscato d’Asti or French Pear Hard Cider. “In this case, I was looking for a more delicate pairing that would not overpower the cookies,” Mr. Breitkreutz said during our meeting. “Both the Pear Cider and the Moscato are pretty and light.”
Savannah Smiles are the zesty, lemon-flavored cookies dusted with powdered sugar, and are your one chance to sneak in a glass of champagne. Demi-Sec Champagne and Craft (not German!) Hefeweizen are the top recommendations. “Both of these pairings let the lemon from the cookie really shine through.”
This newcomer to the Girl Scout Cookie family is a buttery-based cookie with sweet, crunchy golden toffee bits. This pairs best with a Tawny Port or Malty IPA. “Tawny Ports and toffee are another one the classic parings. The toffee, caramel notes of both really sing together. On the other hand. malty IPAs will cut through the sweetness and create a nice, complex pairing.”
Another new addition to the range, Rah-Rah Raisins, could be perhaps the least-fun-filled cookie of the bunch. The whole grain oat oatmeal cookies are full of plump raisins and greek yogurt-flavored chunks. In this case, go for a Baul Madeira wine or Trappist Ale. “Madeira and cheese pair fantastically. This is what made me think of this with the yogurt and raisins, but the Trappist Ale is a great match as well thanks to the body of the oatmeal base.”
BEWARE! While thin mints are fiercely defended by a select few, the aficionado Mr. Breitkreutz dismissed them altogether. “The mint will overpower most flavors, so I wouldn’t recommend any wine or beer pairings for them.”