Cacciatore and Bourbon straight up (Basil Hayden, 80 proof or similar)
This coarsely ground salame earned its reputation as a snack carried by hunters to keep up their strength. Its mild-yet-hearty flavor, powered by garlic and pepper, will sustain you while you enjoy a fine sipping bourbon, the two meet on your palate like velvet. Bourbon picks up a sweetness from the charred barrels it ages in, a quality echoed in the salame. But make no mistake: This is a salty, fatty, boozy adventure.
Dry Salsiccia and Rye on the rocks (Wild Turkey, 81 proof or similar)
Notes of toasted fennel emanate as you bite from chunky nubs of this classic dried pork salame. Sip a little rye on the rocks alongside and you’ll detect an orange quality in the drink and it hits you that it goes perfectly with the fennel in the salame. The ice mellows the whiskey, encouraging the aromatic spice and citrusy florals to come through. The saltiness and the “eyes of fat” of this chewy salame offset any bitterness in the booze.
Parmesan Cheese Salame and Single Malt Scotch straight up (Glenlivet 12 year, 80 proof or similar)
You can’t go wrong with salame and cheese, especially Italy’s darling, aged Parmesan. The nutty flavor greets the porky goodness like an old friend. Lop off a slice and try it with a lower-peated single malt. A little smoke, some creamy vanilla and a bright finish go brilliantly with this aged salame. Some friends are worth keeping around.