What can we say, spring is over, the summer is here – it brings out the social butterfly in most of us!
Cold ones at the beach, bbq’s, dinner parties and cocktail evenings with friends. Whatever, your excuse for a gathering, matching tasty tipples with delicious food is a must!
The internet is riddled with sites on food trends, tantalizing pictures, food blogs and a black hole of inspiration.
Pinterest is a classic hub to spur those creative notions, with endless ideas and a visual feast of photos it’s a great a place to dig out a few ‘crowd pleasers’.
We want to offer you some inspiration, however, with some thinking a little outside the box – not too far out, just a little!
Here are some of our favourite Cocktail Hour food pairings, the ones that make hunger strike, the ones that make us want to host another cocktail evening!
Ok, not your first thought as a cocktail pairing but let us explain. If we were to serve you a Woodford bourbon and maple old fashioned would you want a delicate Oyster with a finger lime vinegar, our guess is no …
A big drink needs a big partner in crime and a baby slider whether it be steak, pulled pork or braised brisket would match perfectly with a sticky bourbon cocktail!
Indeed, you are imagining some crunchy ciabatta with fresh tomato, basil and olive oil, and indeed that is the king of all things bruschetta!
However, this need not be the limit for your cocktail pairing!
You can stick almost anything on a bruschetta and be deemed a genius if executed properly. Whether it be mushroom, thyme and goat‘s cheese or roast capsicum, almond and jamon, Bruschetta is always a winner.
Hell, even if you want to just stick a load of toppings on a board and let your guests build their own bruschetta!
So, there is nothing outside the box whatsoever when it comes to arancini, in fact, this idea is very much inside the box but for good reason!
There are not many folk out there who don’t like the idea of a crunchy risotto ball filled with gooey cheese.
The outside the box thinking comes when you choose your flavour, Pumpkin and sage .. done, Mushroom and parmesan …been there.
Try something different, we are talking Pork, apple and cider or Braised duck, fig and pistachio … even ditch the rice and try using quinoa and buckwheat bound with some roasted nuts and labne ….
Arancini doesn’t have to overdone, it can be as impressive as you like if you find your inner creative!
Tacos, Tacos, Tacos!
The Mexican wave is going nowhere just right now, Tacos, Tequila and Mezcal … It’s a done deal!
Again endless room for variation within the Taco realms, whether it be sweet sticky pork, crispy fried fish or braised smoked beans there is a taco filling for pretty much everyone.
Laden the table with corn tortillas, freakishly fresh fillings and let the liquor flow.
So Paella is not usually what springs to mind when talking cocktail pairings.
However, I once went to a cocktail party where I was handed a large glass of Sangria and a roaming entrée of perfectly cooked Paella, I swore there and then to remain friends with the host forever! Seriously though it was so simple and sooooo satisfying.
There was a showpiece sized Paella in the garden, surrounded by salivating guests waiting for the chequered flag to be waved.
The smell of Pimenton, saffron, fresh seafood and chorizo … need we say more!
Do you have any slightly out there suggestions for a cocktail pairing, we would love to hear your ideas purely so we can go and test them out!