Cocktail & Food Pairings: Meyer Group’s top tips for your next dinner party

Wine may be king when it comes to alcohol and food pairings, but what if your drink of choice is a cocktail? Cocktails are more than a brunch or finger food drink and when done well they can make excellent food pairings. Here are some things to consider when serving cocktails at your dinner party along with some great pairings to keep in mind.

Things to Consider When Planning Your Dinner Party

Before you decide on which foods to serve and the cocktails that go with them, it’s a good idea to think about specific cuisines. Where a spirit originates from will indicate the kind of cuisine it will pair well with. For example, tequila pairs well with Mexican dishes such as chicken fajitas and fish tacos.

You should also think about whether you’re looking to match or contrast the strong flavours in your food to achieve balance. Sometimes richer foods can be offset with a light drink or vice versa. Another important consideration is the alcohol content of your cocktails. If you plan to serve cocktails throughout your dinner party, be sure to keep the alcohol content of each one relatively low so that your guests can still enjoy their food. If any of your guests don’t drink alcohol or will be driving home, you could always create alcohol-free alternatives, so they don’t feel that they’re missing out.

Fried Foods & Champagne-Based Cocktails

Fried food pairs surprisingly well with champagne-based cocktails such as a French 75, which is a cocktail made from gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar. So if you want to serve your guests this deliciously light, classic cocktail that dates back to the first world war, then grab your frying pan and whip up something tasty like fried oysters or even simple fried chicken.

Gin Gimlet & Sushi

A gin gimlet is a simple cocktail made up of gin and lime juice that has been popular since the 1920s. This refreshing, palette-cleansing drink pairs well with sushi or sashimi, making it perfect if you’re planning to serve Japanese cuisine at your dinner party.

Paloma & Mexican foods

The Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail that also contains pink grapefruit and lime juice, giving it a zingy, slightly bitter but refreshing taste. This means it pairs exceptionally well with spicy food in particular, popular Mexican dishes such as tacos and enchiladas.

Dessert & Sazerac

The sazerac is a classic cocktail originating from New Orleans and is ideal for serving at the end of your dinner party with dessert. A sazerac contains rye whiskey, sugar, bitters and absinthe or aniseed liqueur with a lemon twist. It has an intense flavour that makes it ideal to drink alongside vanilla or chocolate-based desserts.

Another possible drink pairing for dessert or to serve alongside after-dinner chocolates is a mezcal-based cocktail, which works well with dark chocolate and desserts with a hint of spice.

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