Make Cheese Spread More Festive With A Splash Of Booze

With the many ways that you can enjoy whipped feta and sharp pimento cheese today, it's easy to see that spreadable cheese is having a moment. The cold and creamy answer to the hot comforts of queso or fondue, spreadable cheese is perfect with crackers, crunchy vegetables, or toasted baguette slices and devilishly easy to make at home. As an added bonus, you can take this appetizer to the next level by incorporating one special ingredient — alcohol.   

Whether pairing cheddar with ale, blue cheese with brandy, or whiskey with gouda, cheese and alcohol has always been a gourmet flavor duo. Spreadable cheese is no exception, welcoming a few tablespoons of quality spirits or a splash of hoppy beer with relish. Plus, there are plenty of flavor combinations you can cram into one spread, like a fig, honey, bourbon, and camembert mix or a white wine, herb, and goat cheese blend.   

How to go about making your own spreadable masterpiece

First, consider what main cheese you want to be the base of your spread to help decide what alcohol you should reach for. If you opt for a strong, blue-veined cheese, like camembert or blue cheese, think of pairing it with a sweeter, fruity liqueur like brandy or schnapps. Port is also a nice option for these cheeses as well. For a tangy goat cheese or feta-based spread, consider using a dash of mead, which has rich honey notes that can compliment the briny cheese. White wine works well with any creamy cheese you have on hand, like brie.

You can also take this in the pub cheese direction, and combine a block of nice sharp cheddar with a bit of your favorite ale or wheat beer, adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce to bring home the heat. A splash or two of it might be nice in a pimento cheese spread as well. 

To bring these cheeses and tipples together, use a food processor to finely shred or cream your cheese with a bit of butter or cream cheese which helps make it more spreadable. Then you can add a generous spoonful of your desired alcohol, plus any other mix-in you desire. Keep it to a spoonful as raw alcohol will carry a stronger punch than cheese that has alcohol cooked in it, although you can add a bit more beer than hard liquor.