10 Smart Underrated Food-Cocktail Pairings

Food and wine pairings are widely discussed, but cocktail pairings are generally forgotten. 

Given the wide range of powerful flavors in a cocktail, pairing can seem difficult, but if you know the basics and aren't afraid to experiment, it's easy.

Bourbon whiskey, sugar, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters mixed over ice with a twist of orange peel make the Old Fashioned easy to make. Despite its simplicity, the Old Fashioned is a spirit-forward cocktail, so mix it with food that can buffer the whiskey's fire to bring out its nuances.


1. Old Fashioned and charcuterie

Many consider filthy gin martinis and oysters acquired tastes due to their robust flavors. If you enjoy powerful flavor pairings, they match well.


2. Dirty gin martini and oysters

Due to its ginger and lime flavors, the Moscow Mule can drink difficult to match with food, but selecting a dish that shares these flavors is crucial. Thai food is a good fit because it uses these two components.


3. Moscow Mule and pad Thai

Another classic with powerful flavors, the Negroni might turn off first-timers. With equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, it's a powerful drink.


4. Negroni and aged cheese

The French 75 sounds like a 75mm French artillery cannon, but it's actually a delicate and delightful cocktail. This wine goes well with light, delicious cuisine.


5. French 75 and smoked salmon

Basically, the Manhattan is rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Although it has few ingredients, it's a rich and powerful drink that can overshadow delicate meals.


6. Manhattan and steak

Dessert-like cocktails can be paired with sweet and creamy desserts or savoury ones. The White Russian pairs well with savory foods, especially rich or spicy ones, although tiramisu is a great combination.


7. White Russian and tiramisu

Margaritas are usually paired with Mexican food, but you may get inventive. Interestingly, the Margarita pairs well with fresh sushi, creating a complementing and contrasting flavor combination.


8. Margarita and sushi

Light and approachable mojitos with fresh tastes compliment food without dominating it. Mojitos, made with white rum, fresh mint and lime, sugar syrup, and soda water, pair well with Jamaican-style jerk chicken.


9. Mojito and jerk chicken

The savory character of a Bloody Mary makes it a popular pairing, especially with brunch meals, but not always. Bloody Mary toppings range from lobster tails to cheeseburgers, and although some work well, others might be gimmicky without any thought to flavor.


10. Bloody Mary and pepperoni pizza

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