(NC) - Move over wine. There's a new trend in town: complementing and enhancing your food with cocktails.
According to a recent survey of 1600 chefs conducted by The National Restaurant Association, one of the trends they spotted for 2009 is food-alcohol pairings.
No longer reserved for fine-dining establishments, food and cocktail pairings are making their way to your local neighbourhood spot. And if you haven't seen it yet, you will.
Master bar chef, Gavin MacMillan of Bartender One, travels around the world looking for the hottest trends and brings them back to Canada. He agrees: 'Canadians are more educated about food and wine than in the past, and now they want to explore other ways to make their meals better.'
MacMillan says that the popularity of food and cocktail pairings is the result of people being blown away by how much spirits can enhance food flavours in ways that they haven't experienced before.
For instance, think of traditional dishes like a lamb chop or rack of lamb - two summer time barbecue favourites. Consider how the trendy and ever-popular mojito, a fresh cocktail made of mint, lime, rum and soda, can bring out the flavour of the meat. No longer do you have to pair the lamb with mint jelly and red wine to create a decadent meal of interesting taste combinations.