Are you enjoying a cocktail at your favorite local gastropub? Are you a bar star that loves entertaining at home? A cocktail is a perfect way to enjoy your favorite spirit, and we have some great ideas for something to snack on while you do it. A lot of thought goes into picking out the right wine for your favorite meal, and we thought it would be fun to take that same attention to detail and apply it to your favorite cocktails. So here it is: 10 Bar Snacks to pair with your favorite Classic Cocktails.
Considered the grandfather of all cocktails, the Old Fashioned might predate the word cocktail itself. The combination of whiskey, bitters, water, and sugar was first made reference to in a New York paper. This was in response to a letter to the editor asking for a definition of the word cocktail in 1806.
They say if you drink a bartender’s Old Fashioned, you taste a bit of their soul.
Snack: Roasted Sweet Potato
Roasted Sweet Potato is a taste that perfectly compliments an Old Fashioned. Sweet, salty, and savory notes with lots of depth and substance make them an excellent pairing for this cocktail—bonus points if you add Parmesan crips for some salty and bright flavors.
Dark and Stormy
Made with Gosling’s Black Seal Dark Rum, Ginger beer, and muddled lime, the Dark And Stormy is a classic and simple Caribbean cocktail. Easy to make by the virtual butt load, this is a great cocktail for entertaining guests.
Snack: Guacamole and Chips
This combination is especially lovely for Dark and Stormy, due to the extremely spicy Ginger beer. The garlic and avocado from the guacamole provide a soothing contrast to the sharp and sweet notes from the cocktail.
“I like to have a martini, two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.” Dorothy Parker does justice to the Martini. This drink is clean and simple at its best, with its savory and peppery (or bright and citrus nature, depending on how you like them served and the spirits you go for), accented by olive or lemon twist garnish. Whichever way you choose, we suggest stopping short of ordering yours bone dry. While overwhelming amounts of vermouth can make for a bad drink, no vermouth makes this drink just like cold watery gin in a big glass.
Snack: Raw Oysters
This is a classic pair and is our immediate go-to for romantic evenings at home. The salty brine and the sometimes floral and fruity taste of the oysters are perfect against the dry nature of the Martini. We especially suggest a Martini with a lemon twist for this pairing, as the bright accent to the drink makes this extra delicious.
The pink color of a Cosmo leads some to put this cocktail in the category of sugary, campy drinks. The truth of the matter is that the Cosmos is delicious. It’s as worth your time as any classic cocktail, like a Gimlet or Daiquiri. When made correctly, this vodka-based cocktail is tart and complex and has a light cranberry blush.
Snack: Dark Chocolate Mousse
Because of the tart nature of the Cosmos’ lime and cranberry acids, as well as its sweetness, we think it works well when paired with something deep and rich in taste but light in texture. This works especially well with chocolate that has strong malty and caramel flavors.
This is a meal in a glass if you think about it: it contains sugars, grain from the whiskey, protein from the egg whites, and Vitamin C from the lemon juice. The bitters are just for taste. I love a whiskey sour on a winter night.
Snack: Trail Mix
We thought something light, savory and salty would suit a meal in a glass, since its viscous and frothy texture and full-body needs something unobtrusive. The dried cranberries in the trail mix will be a nice treat every few bites.
The enigmatic Negroni. This Italian cocktail is a strange and wonderful combination of bitter orange, aromatic herbs of sweet vermouth, and the floral and juniper notes from gin. Zest an orange over it, and you’ve got a cocktail so good that Hemingway named one of his dogs after it.
Risotto covered in breadcrumbs with a melted cheese center. A killer snack on its own, we think that a Negroni’s depth lends something special to Arancini.
Bam. Tequila, Triple Sec, Simple, Lime Juice, a touch of salt. A margarita might be our favorite cocktail for its simplicity and effectiveness. We can drink a lot of these. We shouldn’t, but we can.
It would be lazy and irresponsible to name any obvious Mexican appetizer or snack to go along with this. Everyone knows that tacos, nachos, and the like go well with Margaritas, but I don’t like getting paid to be obvious. Instead, I offer the Samosa as an Indian alternative to its classic pairings. Choose vegetarian or a meat of your choice and allow the coriander and curry spices to bring things out of your Margarita that you wouldn’t normally taste.
Like the Margarita, the Mojito is a drink most often consumed in sunny places. It’s mint, white, or gold rum and lime topped with soda in a collins glass. Rumour has it that these glasses of liquid sunshine have yet to reach remote parts of Scotland where the sun hasn’t been seen for years.
Snack: Fried Eggplant with Marinara Sauce
Look, I don’t like obvious pairings, okay? The Eggplant and Marina combo help bolster the somewhat light body of the Mojito. Crispy textures from a breading (we suggest a rice flour) and the acids from marinara will contrast perfectly. Enjoy the sunshine!
Barely a cocktail and completely delicious, pour as much orange juice and bubbly as you like into the largest glass in your house.
Snack: Coconut Shrimp
Though you might immediately think of brunch with Mimosas, Coconut shrimp are a light, crispy, and silly snack that is often served with orange-chili sauces. While the coconut goes great with orange, upgrade this combo by using some pineapple juice in your mimosa and get ready for the beach!
Do you like The Kinks? Do you wear nothing but tweed? Then complete your look by carrying this most English drink around your favorite garden. Smoosh a bunch of apples, citrus and cucumber into a glass with 2 ounces of Pimm’s and a sugary, light soda and voila! You are now an aristocrat on the lawn.
Snack: Cucumber Sandwiches
I promise this isn’t a joke. They go well together. Say hello to Algernon and Lady Bracknell for me this afternoon.
Thanks for checking our list of top 10 bar snacks to pair with your favorite cocktail. Now get out there and try some of these cool pairings!