That’s okay. It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, pescetarian, omnivore, an intuitive eater, or if you enjoy an entirely burger-based diet, International Vegan Cuisine Month is for everyone.
Read on if you want to know how you can celebrate it Flaviar style: by pairing tasty vegan Spirits with the tasty vegan dishes.
Let’s start at the beginning. What exactly is the point of International Vegan Cuisine Month?
The goal of the American Vegan Society is to raise awareness and show everyone how easy it is to switch from eating animal products to eating only plants.
Obviously, they don’t expect everyone to go vegan overnight. But if at least a couple of people can learn that vegan dishes can be just as tasty as animal-based dishes, that’s already something. And if in February you pick up a new vegan recipe or two, eat more plants, pay more attention to your diet, and connect with others while you do it, it probably wouldn’t hurt anybody, right?
Okay, now let’s talk vegan Spirits. Even if you’re not vegan, you know that veganism is not just about not eating animal products; it’s also about not drinking them — and we’re not talking about milk here. (It’s also about not wearing them, using them as furniture, etc., but this is a topic for another time.)
What Spirits can vegans drink?
Vegan Spirits, ha, ha. Okay, so many Spirits are vegan (intentionally or not), but you need to be on the lookout for non-vegan ingredients that might be used as ingredients in the Spirit itself or during processing.
Beware of common non-vegan ingredients including milk, cream, whey, casein, lactose, honey, eggs, isinglass, gelatin, cochineal, carmine, and chitin.
Which Spirits are vegan and which are not?
Honestly, this one can be confusing even for the savvy Spirit aficionados. The easy answer would be that a Spirit is vegan if no animal-based ingredient is used in the production process.
Sometimes that's hard to tell because manufacturers aren’t always required to list all the ingredients used in the process on the label.
You can count on most of the Beers, Wines, and Ciders made with a traditional brewing process to begin, however, because they settle naturally and don’t need an animal-based filtration agent, sometimes an animal-based ingredient is still used during the production process. Your best bet? Try to research ingredients for each Spirit individually.
What about vegan cocktails?
You’re in luck here, as there are countless recipes for vegan cocktails out there. Basically, once you get your Vegan Spirits down, the cocktail shaker is your oyster.
We’re especially fans of Pomegranate Margaritas, Berry Sangrias, Classic Daiquiris, Negronis,... The list goes on and we could talk about this all day. Bottom line: grab some vegan Spirits and go nuts.
Vegan Spirit & dish pairings
Congrats, you’ve made it to the main course du jour: vegan Spirit & dish pairings.
Just because we tend to focus more on Spirits around here, you might think we don’t care just as much about what’s in our Taco as we do about what’s in our premium Tequila. But we do.
If for no other reason, because the right food with the right sippers brings out the best in our Spirit. Here are some ideas for tasty vegan dishes that you can pair with vegan Spirits:
Lagavulin 16 Whisky + Baba Ghanoush
An award-winning peaty and robust profile of Lagavulin 16 Year Old that brings clouds of salty smoke and rich sweetness needs a dish that knows how to make an entrance.
This classic Lagavulin will go great with the distinct flavors of Baba Ghanoush. This Middle Eastern eggplant-based dip is easy to make and perfect for enjoying a sophisticated date night in.
Patron Tequila + Vegan Ceviche
Patron Tequila is one of the most famous Tequila brands in the world. We suggest you explore the classic agave flavors with some vegan ceviche.
Instead of fish, use hearts of palm in your ceviche and add traditional Mexican ingredients like avocado, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice. You’ve just got yourself the menu for a Friday night fiesta with your friends.
Appleton Estate Rum + Vegan Poke Bowl
Let’s say it’s a hot summer day: prepare a vegan poke bowl for a refreshing lunch by mixing rice and various vegetables in a bowl. You can include edamame, green onions, radishes, avocado; it’s up to you. Season with lime juice and vegan hot sauce.
Cheers to the perfect day at your very own vegan Club Tropicana.
Aviation Gin + Cucumber Sandwiches
Spread some vegan cream cheese on the bread slices, sprinkle some lemon, and add cucumber slices. Bam, you’re ready for G&T o’clock.
Elijah Craig 18-Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon + Grilled Vegetables
This combo will convert even the most die-hard steak lovers among you.
Picture this: you’re giving vegan February a go, it’s dinner time, and you’re winding down with a healthy plate of grilled, meaty vegetables. Grill some portobello mushroom steaks with avocado chimichurri sauce and serve with charred broccoli.
To make your night complete, pour yourself a glass of smoky and oaky Elijah Craig Bourbon.
Let us know in the comments which vegan combination was your favorite. We’d love to hear your menu suggestions for a vegan night in, too!