Many restaurants are now acknowledging the balance and complexity of combining good food with drinks other than wine. The Pegu Club in Manhattan even offers cocktail pairings with its bar menu. Cocktails can enhance a great meal. Pork tenderloin, for example, is a versatile meat that can handle anything from bold fruit and spices to more subtle flavorings. Choose the right cocktail for pork tenderloin by considering the spices involved in its preparation.
A mojito is a classic Cuban cocktail with lime, mint and white rum. It will pair well with Cuban-style pork tenderloin cooked with lime and cilantro. Pork is a popular traditional meat in Cuba, and a mojito enhance the pork with its combination of sweet and sour, especially for a summer meal. It also goes well with spicy pork served with black beans and rice.
Classic Old Fashioned
Pork tenderloin with apple is a classic combination that pairs nicely with a classic old fashioned. Combine bourbon whiskey, simple syrup, bitters, a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry with ice in a whiskey glass. This bourbon cocktail standard was invented in Louisville, Kentucky, and brings out the subtleties in a roast tenderloin.
Beer cocktails have traveled beyond the pub. Oranj-a-bloom is made from Belgian white beer, lemon, lime, ginger syrup, rum, orange liqueur and orange bitters. It is a refreshing drink that provides contrast to a rich pork tenderloin dish heavy on spices such cumin, allspice or cloves.
Pork tenderloin cooked with cumin and cayenne pepper pairs well with a michelada, which is a Mexican beer cocktail. A spicy drink, it is made with dark Mexican beer, Worcestershire sauce, lime, Tabasco and black pepper. Any strong pork dish with bold flavors goes well with a Michelada, especially if it has Mexican spices.
Hot Apple Cider with Rum
Hot apple cider with rum — a warming drink popular in the cold months — is not an obvious cocktail to pair with pork tenderloin. However, apple and pork is a classic combination. Hot apple cider with rum pairs well with a pork tenderloin recipe that has subtle spices. The hot drink will enhance the meat and keep you warm on a cold winter’s night.
References and ResourcesWashington Post: Spirits: Beer Cocktails
Taste of Cuba: Mojito
All Recipes: Classic Old Fashioned
Serious Eats: Michelada
Emerils: Hot Apple Cider with Rum
ResourcesEpicurious: Dare to Pair Cocktails and Food
Real Life Entertaining; Jennifer Rubell