Fresh seafood and flavorful cocktails go hand in hand, especially during those endless summer nights.
From fish to lobster, serving family and friends the finest at your next get together is a must. It adds more of a fun flair to the event when you create bespoke cocktails to get the party going. But what are the best drinks to serve with seafood?
For a big backyard seafood fest with fresh fish and Maine lobster, there’s nothing like having a few pitchers of classic as well as trendy cocktails mixed up and ready to go so guests can serve themselves. A rum and Coke simply won’t do when you’ve got fresh foods from the sea. Pairing them just right is the key to a beautiful experience that will make this summer more memorable. Consider this your short but helpful guide to seafood and cocktail pairings worthy of applause.
The Addition of Acid in Alcoholic Beverages Brings Out Big Flavors in Seafood
A certain amount of acid is needed to bring out the bold, beautiful flavors of seafood. Therefore, cocktails made with tomato, lemon, and lime juices are ideal. Think how these flavors make you feel. They’re cool and refreshing which play into the summertime theme. They give off a light vibe, one that doesn’t mask the tastes you should be enjoying when you have fresh fish and lobster.
Fresh Herbs Help Bring Out Incredible Flavors
It’s not just the acidity from alcoholic beverages that works so well with fresh seafood though. Fresh herbs are also fantastic. Think basil and mint. Muddling them with a pestle and adding the herbs to a cocktail gives it a level of earthiness that works well with the season. You can also garnish cocktails with sprigs of rosemary, basil leaves or mint leaves. Herbs like these are healthful as well as a beautiful match for a fresh catch from the sea.
Many Cocktails are Easy to Prepare and Best for Drinking Outdoors
Some drinks are easy to prepare and as mentioned, using pitchers to make up big batches of them relieves you from constant bartending duties. That way, if you choose to invite family or friends to dinner, you’ll have no issue serving cocktails. Many drinks are best enjoyed outdoors. That’s certainly the case with the suggestions we’ve made here.
Here are some summer cocktails paired with seafood for you to try!
A Classic Bloody Mary with Shrimp
Cold and spicy, the iconic Bloody Mary is shrimp’s perfect partner in crime. With V8, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco, pepper, and vodka, it has just the right kick. Shrimp can also serve as a garnish for this delicious cocktail if you’re serving a few guests. Otherwise, you can set up a Bloody Mary bar for your guests to add their own accouterments including the shrimp. This refreshing summer cocktail has a kick to it with is calmed down with the shrimp that it comes with. People are known to order a Bloody Mary in the morning on cruise ships and at hotels. You can make your own at home and enjoy its flavor whenever you want.
A Lime Margarita with Fish Tacos
Fish tacos are a festive food to serve for your summer celebration. The best fish is a fresh white fish like tilapia. Keeping it simple is best with cilantro and lime juice, though many people love adding creamy coleslaw, shredded red cabbage, pico de gallo, or even fresh avocados on top. Along with your fish taco bar at your party, you can allow your guests to serve themselves a tangy lime Margarita. Make a big pitcher of it and keep Margarita glasses beside it. Don’t forget a bucket of ice for those that like it on the rocks or Margarita salt so they can rim their glasses if they see fit. You can also turn it into a frozen drink with your blender, or add other fruits to it to sweeten it up if you’d prefer. Doing this is especially good with our favorite lobster, which you’ll find more cocktails to pair with below!
Gin and Tonic with Oysters
A dry gin provides enough contrast to mellow out the sweetness and brininess of fresh oysters. Gin and tonic is also an incredibly easy drink to make. The key is in choosing a quality gin. Interestingly, in the states, many people choose lime as the garnish for a gin and tonic, but in England, lemon is the chosen citrus for this cocktail. Try them both! Slice them into thin wheels and keep plenty of ice in a bucket for your guests to mix one up to their liking. They go splendidly with oysters which are often considered a delicacy. That is why they taste so good when you finally have them. If you haven’t been able to get fresh ones in the past, you’ll be thrilled to have Lobster Anywhere to shop them online and have them shipped fresh to your door.
A Lavandula with Scallops
The famed Scarlet hotel serves a beautiful drink called the Lavandula. But you won’t need to travel across the world to get it. Make it at home using vodka, Cointreau, and lavender syrup. Lavender is soothingly sweet and incredibly fragrant. It’s very delicate which is why it’s an outstanding match for something as delicate as scallops. The pairing on your palate will bring out the brightness in this fresh seafood. It’s also a nice choice for oysters and other shellfish.
Bourbon with Blackened Mahi
A simple way to prepare fish, blackening it brings out complex flavors. Drinking a cocktail with bourbon gives the right balance of strength to go with this bold dish. While bourbon on its own might be too strong for your guests, try it mixed with a simple syrup, Benedictine, and orange bitters for a refreshing citrus twist. Long nights, good conversation, and even better food awaits you during the warmest season of the year. You can prepare this meal for a romantic dinner for two or make it to share with friends at your annual cookout.
Pairing libations with meals is a common practice at home and in the restaurant industry. It allows you to enjoy the full flavor of both the seafood that you’ve chosen to eat and the cocktail that you’ve prepared or ordered to drink. At dinner parties with adult guests, it’s standard to serve alcohol with a meal.
But what about the lobster? Don’t worry! We’ve got plenty of lovely lobster libations to pair with your favorite crustacean!
Lobster Libations: Cocktails That are a Match Made in Heaven with Lobster
It should stand to reason that serving craft beer and quality wine are ideal partners for your lobster meal. That’s easy, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with it. In fact, if you’re having a large gathering, it might be best to have a cooler with craft brews and a few proper wines for guests to choose from too.
Without further ado, here are libations with lobster that your guests will all love!
You can never ever go wrong with a classic. The Old Fashioned is an iconic cocktail. You can make it with whiskey, bourbon, or even Southern Comfort. To complement the buttery rich flavor of lobster, muddle oranges, sugar, and bitters in your glass before adding the liquor. This contrast makes for a lovely match.
Boozy and fun, the Mai Tai is a legendary libation that has an intriguing history to it. It’s fruity and sweet though, so there’s no shuddering with hit of alcohol on your tongue. Victor J. Bergeron is the man credited with first inventing this drink in 1944 though his rival Don the Beachcomber also tried to stake a claim in the creation. In the end, we still have this beautiful cocktail brimming with tropical juices and plenty of liquor for a Polynesian treat with a Californian twist. Millions of copycat recipes exist for it, and making one of your own isn’t terribly hard. One way to make it even more amazing with your lobster is to use mango-flavored rum to give it that extra something.
Kick the party up a notch with a classic cocktail from New Orleans, a city that knows seafood and booze quite well. It’s basically a lot of rum, both light and dark, with fruity juices, lemon, and syrup giving it an excellent balance between strong and sweet. Serving it by the glass? Add a rum floater on top for good measure!
It’s a no-brainer that wine is always in fashion for serving with lobster. But a nice sangria will be pure bliss. This wine-based cocktail can be made in many ways and is an amazing crowd-pleaser. You can even make several different versions of it and have the pitchers awaiting your guests. Traditionally, sangria is made with red wine as the base, most often from the Rioja region of Spain, however you can use any red wine you’d like. Mix in bite-sized bits of fresh fruit. Anything goes! Pears, pineapples, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, melons, or anything fresh you find. With a little bit of sugar and some fresh-squeezed orange juice, it’s the drink that refreshes and keeps everyone happy.
More recently, sangria blanca has been sweeping the scene. A lighter twist on this classic, it simply uses a dry white wine instead of the usual red. Give it a punch by adding orange liqueur to it. You can also add some fizz with Sprite, 7-Up, or club soda.
One party cocktail that does amazingly when made in big batches is the mojito. This Cuban cocktail is the ultimate refresher with fresh lime and mint muddled together with pure cane sugar and topped off with a strong pour of light rum and club soda for some fizziness. While the original mojito pairs perfectly with lobster thanks to the lime and mint combination, there are many other variations on this libation that will also do nicely. A mojito bar might just be the thing you need at your party where you set out pitchers of mojitos in a variety of flavors. Some examples are strawberry, mango, blueberry, pineapple, and coconut. You can concoct your own and be the hero of summer.
Big gatherings call for big drinks, and Planter’s punch is no exception. Said to have come from the Planter’s Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, this rum-infused cocktail is balanced with fresh lemon juice, orange juice and pineapple juice for a palate-pleaser that goes down easy.
For those having lobster in a more intimate setting, the Manhattan is a classy and classic cocktail to choose. Made with whiskey, vermouth, and a dash of bitters with a maraschino cherry to top it off, you can’t go wrong. Sometimes something simple and traditional is just what you want to go with your lobster.
Sex and the City might no longer be on, but the iconic character of Carrie Bradshaw will always be in our hearts. If she were having lobster with Big, you know she’d still choose her beloved Cosmopolitan to drink with it. Made with Citron vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and cranberry juice, it’s a light and refreshing complement to the main event.
Call us crazy, but we think you can pair a martini with anything. It’s always a good choice when you want a strong drink to go with your lobster. Plus, it can be made in so many ways, there’s bound to be one you’ll love. Your guests will love it too. You can make the ultimate martini bar. Set out bottles of quality gin and vodka along with garnishes and let your guests do the mixing.
The ultimate beachy cocktail, sipping a Bahama Mama will transport you on a mental vacation you’ll never want to return from. It goes beautifully with your lobster since it features light rum, coconut rum, grenadine, orange juice and pineapple juice, serving as a sweet way to keep your palate refreshed while enjoying the rich and buttery tastes of lobster. This drink does well with an added floater of rum on top. You can serve it on the rocks, or pull out your blender and make this a frozen cocktail.
Here’s a cocktail that really needs to be more popular. It exudes class and distinction, an ideal pairing for your lobster. It’s an Italian cocktail that features gin, vermouth and Campari, along with an orange peel garnish. This aperitif is a splendid way to prime to palate for the lobster that will soon come.
If you’ve somehow grown weary of mojitos and Margaritas, there’s something else you should try. Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha, exemplifies the beautiful life of Brazilians. That nonchalant yet fabulous fun style shines through in this cocktail which uses cachaça, a rum-like liquor that Brazilians all know and love. It’s mixed with sugar and lime muddled together and topped with the Brazilian liquor for a limey and strong drink that’s sure to be your new favorite.
The creamy and dreamy coconut flavors of the piña colada are truly a spectacular pairing with lobster. With dark rum and coconut rum, this frozen concoction can surely carry you away. It’s so adored, there’s even a song by Rupert Holmes about it. Making this classic frozen drink is easy too. Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until it’s that perfect smooth and creamy consistency you love. Drink it fast or else it will melt, or use your outdoor fridge to keep it cool until the batch disappears, which won’t be long.
Oh, what would summer and summer parties be without frozen daiquiris? It’s like the grown-up version of a Slushie! Plus, frozen daiquiris can be made in tons of ways. They all have rum of course but you can use strawberries, mangos, bananas, blueberries and really just about any other fruit you can get your hands on. Make crazy fruity combinations or just stick to the basics. They all go beautifully with lobster. Don’t forget to include a dark rum floater atop each glass. That’s how you get the party started!
A fun song by the B52’s back in the 1980s, this cocktail feature whiskey, raspberry liqueur, and cranberry juice on ice. The fun red color makes it visually pleasing to serve with lobster while the flavors mesh wonderfully together to strike harmony amongst your senses.
To make the Rock Lobster cocktail more Floridian, replace the raspberry liqueur with amaretto. Why not serve it both ways and see which one you like best!
Be Creative with Lobster Cocktails
We would be completely remiss if we didn’t address the trend of foods that are drinks and vice versa. The lobster cocktail comes to mind where you twist the classic appetizer with a cocktail. You can do it with Bloody Mary or keep it really simple and add vodka with a lobster-infused water that you get from simmering the shells and such with celery, carrots, herbs, and other seasonings. The garnish of course is a lovely lobster claw. It’s been dubbed the Lobstertini, but there’s an easier way to get a lobster-infused beverage. Lobstar is a lobster-infused gin that’s ready to go. Lobster lovers can add that touch of lobster to any cocktail instantly without creating a lobster essence on the stove top.
Mocktails for the Dinner Guests That Don’t Drink Alcohol
Are you expecting any guests that are expecting? Or perhaps you have some guests that don’t imbibe. If that’s the case, you can even make mocktails that are free of alcohol for people who don’t drink. You can turn any of these cocktails into an alcohol-free beverage with a little creativity. Using juices, fruit, and things like sparkling water, club soda, or tonic, you can create mocktails that make everyone have something fun and fancy. You won’t leave anyone out from the festivities that way.
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Our fresh seafood options can be paired in many different ways with your favorite summer cocktails. Whether you want to do a traditional clam bake or savor a lobster feast in your backyard, we’ve got you covered. Order today to get the party started!