For some, ham is the chosen protein when it comes to the piece de résistance at the holiday dining table. In week two of this collaborative holiday pairing effort, we pull suggestions from beverage directors, brewers, chefs and restaurant managers about what to sip when ham takes the table.
David Shenaut || Beverage Director || Raven and Rose
The leader of all liquids at this classic cookery and fine cocktails joint in Portland deems pork more than suitable with a bright cider. “Pork loves fruit with bright acid, such as apple and dark berries, so there are lots of great options,” Shenaut says as he reflects upon the local cider scene, suggesting Finnriver Farm and Cidery’s Sparkling Black Current cider. For those who want to start the holiday party with a cocktail in the same vein, Shenaut recommends mixing up Clear Creek Distillery apple brandy, Starvation Alley’s Cranberry for Concoction cranberry juice and a touch of honey, topped with dry sparking wine and an orange.
Sara Harvey || Chef de Cuisine || Capitol Cider
One of the chefs behind the Seattle cider bar loves cider, of course, during the holidays, especially Alpenfire Pirate Plank Bone Dry due to its high, warming tannins and bright, dry acid notes. Another favorite is the Liberty Ciderworks Manchurian Apple Single Varietal. “This cider sits well as it brings tart apple flavors to the tip of your tongue without getting sour,” Harvey says. “The sweet and smokey flavor of ham, along with the salty nature of cured meats make the cold refreshing flavors of apple cider a wonder pair.”
Sean Hiatt || General Manager || The Civic Taproom
If a beer is what you are looking for, Hiatt, general manager of this lively new Portland taphouse addition, recommends Laurelwood Brewery’s Tree Hugger porter. With a big, roasty and full-bodied flavor combined with a subtle hop flavor for a dry finish, “the qualities pair well with the smoky and salty flavors of the ham,” Hiatt says.
Drew Phillips || Brewer || McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
According to brewer Phillips, the Oregon-based company’s own Onward Caravan Turkish Coffee Ale pairs well because the “chocolate and herbal cardamom notes cut and compliment the sweetness of a honey glaze.” Organic green cardamom and coffee beans from Kenya are used to recreate the specific coffee flavor and spiciness in this roasty ale. Consider this local brew if honey baked ham is the seasonal favorite for dinner.