Beverly Hills Liquor And WinePairing wine and beer with food will always be timeless. But lately, a new trend is emerging among the culinary community – pairing cocktails with meals. With the upcoming holidays, it can be an incredibly fresh way to spice up the menu at your next gathering. Of course, while experimenting with flavors is all part of the fun, both with cooking and with mixing alcoholic beverages, you probably should avoid tastes that clash. Here’s a handy guide for making your holiday meal with cocktails much merrier!

  1. 1. Mixer match In cocktails, the flavor comes mostly from the mixers, not the liquor within. Be sure to keep that in mind when you're pairing your food. The mixers in the cocktail should pair well with key ingredients in the food. A lemon drop or a margarita would be a lovely accompaniment to fresh seafood, like mussels, clams or even raw oysters because of the delightful lemon essence found in those cocktails.
  2. 2. Complimenting high alcohol content Your favorite stars from the bar like martinis, margaritas and cosmopolitans have high alcohol content. You’ll need to pair drinks like these with foods that can soften the taste of the alcohol. Try serving a creamy smoked fish dip. Anything fried will go beautifully as well. If you’re going for drinks with cognac or scotch in them, try cheese to bring a sublime softening to those spirits.
  3. 3. Simplify Dishes with complex flavors need only a simple cocktail to accentuate them. If you’re making a dish with a robust taste, you’ll need a distinct and easy cocktail. A stunning rack of lamb or holiday beef roast goes wonderfully with a classic gin and tonic, or even a Manhattan.
  4. 4. Condiments not complements It’s all about balance. When you cook, you add seasonings to make the flavors meld together. Adding salt and pepper to meat brings out the fullness. We do this with wines, but with liquor, most people seem stuck for what to do. It’s all about balance, so if you’re serving fish, the soft flavor of that fish will be best enhanced by a zesty citrus cocktail. You can also use cocktails to help you mellow flavors out, so if you accidentally make your main dish too spicy, try serving a sweet cocktail to go with it.
  5. 5. Feel the layers The consistency of a cocktail should also play into your pairing decisions. Don’t overlook textures! Thicker cocktails made with liqueurs aren’t a good match for red meat or rich sauces. The thickness of frozen cocktails can overwhelm the palate, while carbonated cocktails, especially those with tonic or club soda, pair well with full-flavored foods. 6. Just desserts If presenting a cocktail with each course feels overwhelming, start small, like with desserts. A great match for the sweetness of any dessert is coffee-based cocktails. Whether just desserts, or to cap off a fabulous feast, pairing cocktails with desserts make for a sweet celebration.