DrinkBoy Says:
Facing the challenge of creating a drink to work well with a particular dish.

There is a yearly event down in New Orleans known as "Tales of the Cocktail". This is an event where a wide variety of notable mixologists, bartenders, and cocktail authors from around the world are drawn to share their knowledge and information as well as just hang out and have a good time. At Tales of the Cocktail, they also hold a series of special "Spirited Dinners". These are dinners held at various restaurants across New Orleans, and for which the attending mixologists will create special cockail pairings to accompany the menu that is presented by the restaurants.

I've been creating cocktails for these Spirited Dinners since the beginning of Tales of the Cocktail, usually for the dinners I've hosted at Antoine's, one of New Orleans oldest restaurants. In 2006, I created the Stargazer cocktail to accompany their "Filet de truite aux ecrevisses cardinal (de saison)" or to translate that to English: "Grilled or fried trout with crawfish tails/shrimp in a white wine sauce", which is a specialty creation by Antoines.

In creating this drink, my goal was to provide a drink that would blend well flavor wise with both the slightly robust flavors, but also with the overall rounded flavors presented by the trout and wine sauce. After several different attempts, I found that the rye combined with the Lillet worked perfectly for this particular dish.