Cookies and milk? Amateurs.
Like many weak people this time of year, the Bourbon Babe is currently overrun with Girl Scout cookies. And the pile of boxes near the bourbon stash got me to thinking: Which cookie(s) would go best with bourbon? It’s not such a crazy question – many bourbons pair well with the dessert course. Clearly, a taste test was in order.
Of course, the testing process was highly subjective. To begin with, I didn’t test every Girl Scout cookie, only the four varieties that anyone cares about: Thin Mints, Tagalongs (peanut butter and chocolate), Samoas (caramel, chocolate, coconut) and the classic Trefoil (shortbread).
To keep things manageable on the bourbon side, I selected three brands that I know pair well with desserts: Rock Hill Farms, Johnny Drum and 1792 Ridgemont Reserve.
My husband and I then tasted each of the cookies with each of the bourbons. Some of our predictions about which would go best were dead on, but some of the results really surprised us. Read on.
THIN MINTS with…
Rock Hill Farms: We both thought this would be a great pairing, since Rock Hill Farms goes wonderfully with chocolate. But we underestimated what the bourbon would do to the mint. BAM! This was pretty much a fiery flavor explosion.
Johnny Drum: The fruit notes in this bourbon did not play well with the mint. Ick.
1792 Ridgemont Reserve: We have a winner. This bourbon smoothed out the mint of the cookie and lengthened its chocolately finish.
Rock Hill Farms: Just… no.
Johnny Drum: Even more no. Bad oily finish.
1792: Three strikes and you’re out, Trefoil. There’s just too much butter and oil in the shortbread to work with any of these bourbons.
Rock Hill Farms: My favorite pairing with the Tagalong. The Rock Hill Farms gave a little more depth to the chocolate of this cookie, which usually takes a back seat to the peanut butter.
Johnny Drum: This was my husband’s favorite. Johnny Drum has a distinctive banana note in its aroma, and he could actually taste the banana with the peanut butter.
1792: This was pretty good too, actually.
Rock Hill Farms: Very good.
Johnny Drum: Not very good, but not its fault. Because of its sweet notes, we thought Johnny Drum was a logical choice, but it would probably pair better with a fruit-based dessert.
1792: Now this was outstanding, and our favorite pairing overall. The caramels in both the cookie and the bourbon embraced each other, and the coconut in the cookie really brought forth the toasted notes in the 1792.
SO, TO RECAP: Overall, because it contains caramel and coconut, which show up in the flavor profiles of many bourbons, the Samoa is The Best Girl Scout Cookie To Pair with Bourbon. Trefoils go with nothing. And Elvis, if you’re reading this: Johnny Drum and Tagalongs. You’re welcome.
(Food styling by Chad Carlton)