Summer is upon us and with it comes the urge to enjoy the outdoors and to dine alfresco. Although the easing of restrictions is an incentive to get indoors, nothing compares to the pleasures of having a picnic lunch on a sunny day. As magazines and television programmes bombard us with various suggestions for the best picnic spots for this summer, we would like to focus more on what is really important in a picnic, food and drink, the fuel that will keep the conversation going and give us the energy to explore all those picturesque spots. Whether you are going to picnic on the beach in Cornwall, a stately home, in a city park, or make a thing of your outing by throwing a picnic party, here are some ideas about pairing cocktails with food for a picnic.
Pairing cocktails with picnic food
Mixologists and chefs alike agree that the pairing of cocktails with food is a delicate affair. It is all about finding that fine balance of flavours that complement each other and don’t overpower your tastebuds. When it comes to the British summer picnic there are a few all-time favourites: pork pies, scotch eggs, sausage rolls or coronation chicken sandwiches. They all conjure the memory of a lazy afternoon spent sharing a meal at a picnic. All are rich foods that require a cocktail with enough acidity to help digestion, but also delicate enough so that it will not erase the taste of the food. There are a few rules of thumb when pairing cocktails with food: hard cheeses go with sweet cocktails, seafood with a martini, and nachos with a margarita. Things get even more complicated when we try to find the right cocktails that complement picnic food. Here are a few of our recommendations for pairing a few picnic foods that are certified crowd-pleasers with some of our favourite cocktails.
Cocktails that pair well with picnic foods
We came up with five recommendations to pair five classic cocktails with some all-time favourite picnic foods.
Scotch Eggs and Apple Cider Spritz
The richness of the scotch eggs is balanced by the acidity and the lightness of the apple cider. Also, the sweetness of the apple softens the saltiness of the scotch egg.
Sausage rolls and Bloody Mary
This pairing is so obvious that a recipe for Bloody Mary sausage rolls was invented. Everything that’s tasty in a sausage roll, the fatness of the pork, the crunchiness of the pastry fits with the dryness and the earthiness of a Bloody Mary. This will be a party for your tastebuds.
Cheddar and Old Fashioned
Hard cheeses that have aged for a while (cheddar, gouda, Mimolette) pair well with Scotch cocktails. We particularly like the cheddar-Old Fashioned combo. The sharpness of the cheddar is softened by the warmth of the bitters mixed with whisky from the Old Fashioned.
Smoked salmon and Dry Martini
Smoked salmon is such a treat on a picnic. If you want to make the most of it, try it with a Dry Martini. The herbal notes of the vermouth and the gin will bring forth the rich flavours of the smoked salmon.
Chocolate and Raspberry Fizz
Again, this is such a natural combination that the chocolate raspberry cake is an all-time favourite. Likewise, the deconstructed version of this combo works very very well. Pair any chocolate dessert with any raspberry cocktail (French Martini, Clover Club, Raspberry Bellini). We especially like the pairing of lava cake with Raspberry Fizz.
If you want to turn your picnic into a party, consider employing the services of a cocktail bar hire company. The service provided by master mixologists and the wide choice of drinks will turn your picnic into a lavish affair.