One of the latest trends is to offer specifically-chosen beverages with passed appetizers at a catered affair. Throughout the summer, keep your guests hydrated with a steady stream of libations that tickle fancy and palate. Feel free to go beyond the traditional wine pairings: red wine with red meat, white wine with chicken or fish. Instead, imagine pairing:
- Beef sliders with miniature mugs of beer
- Caviar on crackers with shots of flavored vodka
- Mini sizzling lobster fajitas with mini margaritas
- Island pulled pork with piña coladas
- Garlic shrimp with frosty glasses of fruity sangria
- Sushi rolls with saki
- Chicken teriyaki with honey-and-ginseng-infused green iced tea
These are just some of the possibilities when you think theme. The addition of the drinks adds to the fun and memorability factor.
Why the drink is important
Any guest can go up to the bar and order a drink. Perhaps he or she will order a favorite brand of beer or favorite variety of wine, be it a merlot, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, or cabernet, among other choices. The choice may not bring out the best in the food, however. When you intentionally coordinate an appetizer with a specific beverage, perhaps guided by your caterer, you’ll know your guest will get the best possible flavor profile.
Belly up to the bar
If you have a Mexican theme for your affair, for example, why not go for a margarita bar? Some experts say the margarita is America’s favorite cocktail. Present a variety of choices for your guests, making the best use of locally-sourced and seasonal produce, such as berries, citrus, melons, and tropical fruit. You can also choose to go beyond fruit and opt for cucumber and herbs like cilantro, thyme, basil, and tarragon. Consider, too, jalepeño, chimayo chile, habanero, or other source of heat for real Mexican flair.
Margaritas need not be traditional tequila and lime slush. There are many different kinds of tequila and salt-rimmed alternatives that can introduce your guests to unfamiliar yet welcome experience. Add vanilla or caramel for a truly groundbreaking pop.
The possibilities are yours to imagine
Think of all the take-it-up-a-notch possibilities when you consider other liquors. For your next event, take a two-handed approach: the appetizer in one and a perfectly-paired beverage in the other. Your guests will keep talking about your event long after.