How to Pair Food and Cocktails for a Dinner Party

Good food and good drinks go hand in hand, and when combined properly, they can result in a marvelous dining experience. A new age trend of pairing dishes with cocktails is a science, but with a little guidance and some mixology know-how, you too can present your guests with amazing flavoring experience. If you’re interested in learning more about combining cocktails with food, take a look at these tips – after reading them, we’re sure you’ll be pairing them like a pro!

Match the flavor of the meals and cocktails

When creating exciting pairings, there are many ways to go, and one of the methods is to match the flavor of the meals and cocktails. For example, greasy and fatty dishes like barbecue mix well with strong, alcoholic drinks such as whiskey and bourbon cocktails. The reason why drinks with higher alcohol content are mixed with greasy foods is that they absorb the fat more easily, and the smoky flavor of bourbon blends perfectly with the smoky flavor of grilled meat. Another way you can match the flavor of the cocktail to the flavor of your meal is to take one flavor that is dominant in the dish and then make a cocktail around it. A drink with cranberry will mix well with cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, while a cocktail such as French 75 will pair perfectly with dishes that have a lemony aroma to them.

Create contrast with different flavors

Another way you can create a tasty cocktail-food pairing is by using different flavors to create contrast. Now, the key to creating perfect pairings lies in the choice of cocktails that enhance the flavor of the dish instead of overpowering it, and just as heavier dishes go well with lighter drinks, lighter meals mix with drinks that are stronger and heavier, thus creating the perfect contrast. Raw oysters and whiskey wouldn’t make a good pair because this strong drink would overpower the dish. On the other hand, sloppy duck sandwiches would be an excellent dish to pair with this drink. A spicy dish full of aroma would require a refreshing cocktail such as Mai Tai, and if you happen to be serving a dessert, instead of opting for sweet cocktails, a lighter cocktail would be a better choice as it would create contrast and help balance out the sweetness of the dish.

Keep an open mind

Since the list of potential cocktail ingredients is limitless and there’s always something new you can try, it’s important to keep an open mind and always be willing to experiment. Although you could stick with classic pairings, innovative combinations are what is going to spice up your party and get all the guests talking. Many New Yorkers who want to take their party to another level choose to hire the top mixologist in NYC who is experienced in food and cocktail pairing and never fails to deliver tasty cocktails that also look amazing. By using fresh juices, fruits and herbs, hand-cut ice, and premium craft garnishes, they’re able to produce innovative craft cocktails that are certain to become the topic of the evening.

Implement aromatics to bond cocktails with food

An interesting way to pair cocktails with food is to add aromatics which you can use to match the flavor of the drink to the flavor of the dish. You can either muddle the herbs, or you can simply use them to garnish the glass and make it look more appealing. Other than that, adding herbs to your drinks will also provide your cocktails with a layer of complexity and give them the aromatic touch. Juleps and Mojitos are enriched with fresh mint, gin mixes well with rosemary, and sage can be paired with tequila. Use these herbs to match them to the flavors in your dishes and create amazing combinations.

Although the traditional food and wine combinations are relatively easy to master, pairing food with cocktails can be tricky, but it’s also a lot of fun. Now that you know a couple of mixology tricks, you can easily start pairing your cocktails and dishes like a pro.