In Good Spirits
What’s better than a well-mixed cocktail? A mouthwatering bite that’s perfectly matched
When it comes to exquisite entertaining, Diana Yen is the name currently on everyone’s lips. You might know her from her food styling, which has been featured in Food & Wine, Kinfolk, and Epicurious. You might recognize her from her Instagram account, @jewelsofNY, chronicling her recipe tests and the adventures of her English Angora rabbit, Cleo. Or you might remember her as the inspired author of Lonny’s entertaining posts, teaching us to make everything from a radicchio-stuffed grilled cheese and a white chocolate–cardamom fondue to the perfect cherry mojito. The founder of the creative studio Jewels of New York and author of A Simple Feast: A Year of Stories and Recipes to Savor and Share, Yen combines her passion for cooking with her skilled photographer’s eye and knack for composition. We asked her to develop three cocktail-and-appetizer pairings to serve for a fall feast. And the results are festive, lush—and (almost!) too pretty to eat.
Campari Cocktail + Oysters and Cauliflower Fritters
A lipstick-red Campari-Lillet concoction is elegant without being overly girly. Layered with herb and citrus notes, the gin-based drink is finished with a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice. To complement the rich colors and bright flavors, serve alongside oysters garnished with deep-ruby pomegranate salsa—and cauliflower fritters topped with caviar, which elevates the humble hors d’oeuvre to decadent new heights.
Sazerac + Crab-Stuffed Artichoke Petals
Redolent of leather and smoke, whiskey is the quintessential gentleman’s spirit. “The Sazerac is one of my favorite whiskey-based cocktails—and its New Orleans origin inspired this pairing,” says Yen. A swirl of aromatic absinthe and a hit of spiced syrup give it dimension and an autumnal feel, with a hearty crab-and-artichoke recipe as a further nod to the Southern provenance.
Apple-Pear Cider + Goat Cheese Tarts
Nothing fights the seasonal chill better than hot cider—and if it’s spiked, all the better. The perfect fireside companion, this mulled version benefits from the addition of pear juice, ginger, star anise, and brandy, and partners flawlessly with the savory-sweet crunch of apple-and–goat cheese tarts drizzled with thyme-infused honey.