Bartenders, the Foodpairing Impossible challenge is on

Foodpairing is continuing its battle against mediocrity. We challenge bartenders around the world to combine an impossible pairing in a well-balanced, intelligent & sexy cocktail. So bartenders, caution is the new watchword, we might find your bar sooner than you think.

While creating new drinks, it’s easy to continue to rely on existing recipes and tempting to work with the ingredients you know. Billions of people before you have followed this workflow, often leading to mediocre results.

The real challenge lies in building your own recipe from scratch, combining ingredients you never imagined being tasty together.

This is when you start with unfamiliar combinations of ingredients (relying on a little bit of Foodpairing science :)) and conduct some experiments. These experiments get you off the beaten track, leading to real sensorial excitement and dazzling food pairings! Trigger you to think outside the box, this is what the challenge is all about.

The rules of the game are simple: We pick a bar and hand over a seemingly impossible pairing. Two ingredients that do have an aromatic match on After delivering a well-balanced cocktail recipe in 2 weeks time, combining these ingredients, the bar gets to choose the next victim! They get to change one ingredient of the two and then pass on this new pairing.

See how Old Fashioned cocktail bar in Ghent accomplishes this first mission impossible!

Impossible pairing #1 Ketchup & Dark chocolate by Old Fashioned, Gent

After sipping a fishy Smoked Halibut cocktail in Old Fashioned, I handed them over the first poisoned chalice: a bar of dark chocolate and a bottle of ketchup.

Bartenders Steve Ockhuysen and Jurgen Nobels present the mysterious ‘Alcatraz cocktail’, with a touch of ketchup and the flavour of chocolate. Find out why these ingredients actually combine well and try making the Alcatraz if you dare.

ketchup and dark chocolate flavour pairing

Impossible pairing #2 Ketchup & Coffee by Jiggers, Gent

Old Fashioned bar passed on the challenge to their friends from the Jiggers. Jiggers made their own version of the Mexican Michelada.

michelada with coffee and ketchup prepared by jiggers in gent for the foodpairing impossible challenge

Impossible pairing #3 Apple & Coffee by Harrison Speakeasy bar, Buenos Aires

Jiggers has replaced the ketchup by apple and sent the challenge all the way up to Argentinia. Headbartender Seba Garcia created his South crispy cocktail with Apple, coffee, lime and honey.

apple and coffee by astrid & gaston

Impossible pairing #4 Apple & Olive Oil…

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To be continued…

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