Girl Scout cookie and booze pairing events popped up around the Triad as the desserts came back in season. Corks, Caps and Taps in Winston-Salem did wine pairings and beer pairings on separate weeks, and bartenders at Preyer Brewing in Greensboro re-imagined the time-honored delights in the context of their own beers.
What’s with the appeal of taking our childhood favorites and pairing them with adult beverages? First of all, a show of hands: Did you buy a box from your child or a co-worker in the last two years? No shame; my hand is raised. If you also consume alcohol, chances are there was at least one night when you couldn’t resist pulling the cookies out of the pantry and devouring half a sleeve.
It just makes sense to take the next step and try them with a few deliberately selected, expertly concocted wines, beers and spirits. Here are my selections for the most delectable Girl Scout cookie and booze pairings. Try them, and let me know what you think.
1. Lemonades: These call for a drink that’s not too sweet and has a subtle lemon flavor. I chose Smashing Violet, which is white whiskey steeped with real blueberries — a spirit concocted by Broad Branch Distillery in downtown Winston-Salem. Add a bit of simple syrup and a squirt of lemon juice. All cocktails, I believe, should be made to taste, though I recommend trying the cookies first to determine how sweet or sour to make the drink. For a real treat, rim the glass in crushed cookies by moistening the rim with a lemon wedge and dipping it in cookie crumbs on a plate.
2. Thin Mints: You may want to match a mint- and chocolate-flavored cocktail, but I don’t recommend it. Try a dry white wine with very little flavor, like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. (Bottom shelf brands could work.) You’ll want something bright to balance the mint and chocolate without overpowering or clashing with them.
3. Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos: The perfect cookie to complement your favorite hearty stout, like one from Foothills. Flavored beer might be too jarring, but if coffee or cocoa beer is your thing, go with it. A white wine would pair well, too, like a buttery chardonnay.
4. Caramel deLites/Samoas: This might sound weird, and maybe a bit out there, but I’d go for ruby port or sherry, depending on which way you want to take the flavor. (Sweeter for port; nuttier for sherry.) Fortified wines aren’t a local trend, apart from communion wine at Episcopal churches, but they’re a yin to the yang of the caramel, chocolate and coconut.
5. Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs: A booze pairing wasn’t immediately evident, although these are my favorite Girl Scout cookies. Eventually, I settled on dark beer — nothing as dark as stout, but a porter, even a flavored one, will do. Coco Loco from Charlotte’s NoDa Brewing has a bitterness from cocoa nibs that matches the patties’ cloying sweetness and chocolate coating. You can pick up a can from Potent Potables in Jamestown.
6. Shortbread/Trefoils: Wouldn’t these be great with literally anything? I’ll let you make the call on this one, but if you can find a beer with bergamot, like Sierra Nevada Earl’s IPA, you could mimic British afternoon tea with biscuits. Cheers!