A couple of weeks ago I got a text from my connection. “The new stuff is in, usual order?” “ Does it include the new Lemon-Ups?” I replied.  “Yep” was the response I got, “Meet me in the parking lot of Freddy’s tomorrow at 5:30.”

The next day I picked up my order of 18 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

Every year I embark on a research project with my analytics team at work. With dubious statistical discipline, we attempt to determine the best alcohol and Girls Scout pairings. I refer to our methodology as dubious, only in that the variables on the alcohol side of the equation are potentially unlimited. 

This year more than 20 beverages were handpicked by the research participants and ranged from Mexican-style lagers, to dark beers, craft ciders, vodka and scotch. Each participant chose their own pairings and recorded a score from zero to 100. Pairings that scored under 20, often induced nausea causing the participant to withdraw from additional tastings. Scores over 80 indicated that this would be a tasty snack, that they would gladly have again.

Outliers were eliminated and all considered pairings must have had at least three participants record scores for that pairing.


Summary of Results:

  • 96 different booze and cookie combinations were attempted over more than 300 documented taste comparisons
  • The most sampled beverages were Quarenta Tres, Guiness and a Rioja
  • Trefoils were the most sampled cookie with 27 taste tests completed
  • S’mores and Samoas were the favorite cookies with their taste test scores averaging 75 points
  • Quarenta Tres, the vanilla flavored Mexican liquor was the best scoring beverage at 69 points average, followed closely by Fremont Brewing’s Dark Star Oatmeal Stout with 68 points
  • The most consistently scored combination was Quarenta Tres with Samoas with a range in scores from all tasters of only 3 points.
  • The most divisive pairings included Rioja and Thin Mints with a range of 70 points, Fantastic Voyage Milk Stout and Toffee-Tastics with a range of 70 points, and Son of Man Cider and Trefoils with a range of 84 points.


And the winner of best pairing . . . Quarenta Tres and Samoas, for an average score of 93.

Quarenta Tres’s popularity also caused it to tie for second, pairing with S’mores for 83 points. Fremont Brewing’s Dark Star Oatmeal Stout also paired with S’mores for 83 points.


In a comprehensive evaluation of adult beverages and Girls Scout cookies, dark beers paired well with the greatest variety of cookies.

In the name of science about a dozen of my co-workers and I conducted a study paring 15 beverages with all eight varieties of Girls Scout cookies available in Portland, Oregon. Our tasting panel scored the pairings on a scale of 1-100. A score of less than 20 indicated that the paring likely generated nausea. A score of over 80 indicated that the taster would likely enjoy this pairing at home. Beverages were a potluck assortment of beer, wine, cider and liquor.

Key Findings:

  • The top pairing was Coconut Porter with Samoas. Tasters gave this paring an average score of 92. In their tasting notes, they wrote that the chocolate in the cookie brought out the richness of the beer and the coconut in both tied the two together.
  • Brandy paired the worst with Girl Scout Cookies and had an average score of 48. The pairing of Toffee-tasctics with the brandy received a score of 20, and resulted in one taster saying “I can’t do this anymore.”
  • All four dark beers, Guinness, a nitro stout, a coconut porter and a vanilla oatmeal stout did well with average scores above 70.
  • Surprisingly, Thin Mints were the easiest to pair. All Thin Mint pairings averaged a combined score of 75. Baileys and Adelaide’s Coconut Liquor both received scores in the high 80’s. Pinot Noir also snuck in as a great Thin Mint pairing with a score of 83.
  • Toffee-tastics were the least liked and only paired well with vodka and hard cider.

Best Pairings
Best Girl Scout Cookie Pairings

Worst Pairings

There were some unexpected surprises. For example, our tasters really liked Arbor Brook’s 2016 Pinot Noir with Thin Mints. Tasters felt that the wine went well with the chocolate and the mint faded into the background for a pleasant aftertaste. Apple cider, which did not pair well with most items, did really well with the Toffee-tastic. “It tasted like apple pie,” said one participant. Not surprising, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, went pretty well with everything.


I haven’t touched this site in about 18 months. So what would bring me out of food blogging retirement? There really should be air quotes around “food blogging.” What would be so fantastic, so mind blowing that I’d try three different passwords before I remembered how to log in?

The food at Feast was pretty great as usual. Jose Chesa made a fabulous duck escabeche with avocado, served in a waffle cone. Maya Lovelace’s fried chicken was incredible as always. But the real revelation . . . was a product that I never knew I needed, but have been missing since my first pint of Cherry Garcia in 1991.

Back then, I was sitting in the first floor of the commons room watching a movie, probably David Lynch, and sadly observing my half-eaten pint slowly melt. It wasn’t that I couldn’t finish it, it was just I wanted it to last at least part way through the movie.

Skip ahead another four years and a few hundred pints and I’m sitting on the couch watching TV with my now wife, passing a pint of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche back and forth while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s a cold Portland evening. We have a blanket over us, are all cuddled up and maybe a fire in the fireplace, but our hands are freezing from the cold carton of ice cream.

A few, make that many years later, we’re at Feast, Portland’s premier food event. Some of the best chefs in the U.S. are here.

And so is Tillamook Ice Cream.

And they are giving away ice cream cozies.

Perfectly sized foam and fabric insulators shaped to nestle a pint of ice cream in their temperature neural embrace. They keep your ice cream cold and your hands warm. I may never eat ice cream the same way again.