When it comes to pairing food and drinks, there’s a whole science behind it. We all know that there are pairings that simply belong together like wine and cheese, but if you want your party to be different and unique, you should consider pairing food and cocktails. The latter combination is more complex because of the flavors. Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop mixology experts from trying to come up with new and exciting pairings that will enhance the dining experience of the guests. In fact, that is what inspired us to write this article.
If you’re planning on throwing a cocktail party as a way of saying goodbye to the old year, these six appetizing food and cocktail pairings are sure to impress your guests on your New Year’s Eve party. Scroll on for some inspiration!
Oysters & Martini
An exciting combination of dry vermouth, vodka/gin, and ice, a classic cocktail such as martini serves as the perfect complimentary drink to the salty, briny flavor of oysters. The stiffness of the cocktail is balanced out by the buttery, mellowy texture of the tasty seafood that are oysters, which are deemed to be ‘one of the supreme delights that nature has bestowed on man’, according to culinary expert James Beard.
If you’re looking for a stunning duo you can serve before the big meal, this pairing is a great choice as it will prepare the palate for the main course while also letting both flavors shine.
Teriyaki Chicken & Spicy Sangria
A fruity and delicious wine punch such as sangria is a sipper that is sure to complement the golden-brown chicken bites covered with a distinctive Asian marinade. Originally from Spain, this celebratory drink is the combination of brandy, apple cider, chopped fruit, and red wine.
Red wine sangria is the ultimate winter drink, especially when accompanied by holiday spices like clove and cinnamon. The sweet and spicy sipper perfectly matches the sweetness and spiciness of chicken bites covered in sticky yet oh-so-delicious teriyaki sauce. The shared flavors in this pairing are the reasons why these two magically go hand in hand, making them a New Year’s Eve party duo you simply can’t go wrong with.
Lobster Bisque & Old Fashioned
Smooth and creamy, lobster bisque is yet another delicacy of French origin that is often paired with classic drinks. The perfect way to offset the briny, highly seasoned flavors of the soup would be to combine it with a strong and bittersweet drink like the Old Fashioned. The creaminess of the bisque and the sweetness of this classic cocktail perfectly balance out each other.
Speaking of classic drinks, mixologists are often guided by classic pairings when creating new recipes.
Some experts in mixology even invent new and interesting cocktails solely for the purpose of complementing a certain meal. Whether it’s an opening of a new restaurant in New York City or a formal dinner, a professional mixologist from NYC is able to draw inspiration from a certain dish and use it to come up with his own personalized version of the cocktail. That’s exactly what Igor Zukowiec from Alchemiq did when he relied on smoked coffee beans to put his unique spin on a classic go-to that is the Old Fashioned as he accentuated the delicate dish flavor.
Goat Cheese with Honey & Lavender Lemon Mojito
This next tasty appetizer and cocktail pairing involves Provencal flavors. The soft, creamy, semi-spreadable texture of goat cheese or chèvre as the French would call it ties in perfectly with the Cuban-born cocktail’s sweetness and herbaceousness.
The Provencal, earthy flavors of the cheese spread on toast and topped with honey serve as the perfect background for the citrusy, minty taste of the lavender lemon mojito while enhancing the flavors of sugar and white rum.
Cheesy Pasta & Honey Whiskey Lemonade
There’s something about cheesy pasta dishes that makes them pair perfectly with sweeter drinks. The creamy, saucy texture of the macaroni sprinkled with flaky cheese-stuffed biscuits mix in well with the sweet flavor of honey and bourbon in the cocktail, while the lemon juice adds just the right amount of bitterness.
If you want, you can throw in some fresh herbs into the mix (e.g. mint or rosemary) for muddling. Moreover, you can use another sprig to garnish the drink if you wish to give it a more festive feel.
Nacho Cups & Coconut Margaritas
The two of the Mexican faves, the crispy, salty, hot nachos and the creamy texture of the dip tie in perfectly with the creamy sweetness of the coconut margarita. The sugary coconut cream helps thicken the cocktail, while the tequila, lime juice, and the orange-flavored triple sec make this cocktail the perfect wintery refreshment.
The white color of the cocktail is yet another reason to serve it during the festive season. As for the dip, some of the suggestions include salsa verde, avocado aioli, pepita pesto, and butternut queso. Honestly, any one of these delicious nacho dips will do the trick. Serve them in cups and get the party started!
Whether the flavors match or contrast, serving cocktails that complement the flavors of the food is a great way to please your guests’ taste buds and give them something exciting and different to try. In fact, any of these pairings listed above are sure to be a hit at your New Year’s Eve party. Now, the only thing that’s left to do is decide which one of them you like best and which one ties in perfectly with your party’s atmosphere, theme, and the general vibe you’re going for. Bon Appétit!