By Teresa Tobat
Pairing cocktails with basic bar snacks like wasabi peas and peanuts has become a thing of the past. With this handy guide, you’ll know just what dish to order to complement the cocktail you’ll be sipping on. Flavors NOW reached out to some of Atlanta’s savviest culinary professionals and asked them for ideas on what dishes to pair with their signature drinks. After ordering one of these dynamic duos, plan to look cooler than James Bond while sipping your martini (shaken, not stirred, of course).
The Place: The Albert Atlanta
The Drink: Muddy Waters Cocktail. This drink consists of Cathead vodka, muddled cilantro, basil, lime, dark agave nectar and club soda.
The Plate: Barbeque Pulled Pork Tacos served with house-made BBQ sauce and jalapeno coleslaw.
General Manager of The Albert, Heath Horan, says both dishes complement each other well because, “it’s a refreshing cocktail to combine with a Mexican-influenced food.” Horan notes that that both the drink and the plate fuse Southern home-style food with easy-to-eat Mexican cuisine.
918 Austin Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30307
The Place: Front Page News
The Drink: The Hurricane. This consists of Bacardi rum, Front Page News’ signature fruit-punch mixture, as well as orange and pineapple juices.
The Pairings: Etouffee and Jambalaya. The Etouffee consists of crawfish tails, Gulf shrimp, peppers, onions, celery, with dark rich, roux-thickened sauce, served over long grain white rice.
The Jambalaya is made with shrimp, chicken, andouille sausage. The entire plate is slow-simmered Creole style and served with rice, bayou spices, celery, tomatoes, peppers and white onion.
“The hurricanes are strong and sweet and a great way to cool down the pallet after eating the spicy Etouffee or Jambalaya,” says Bar Manager, Scott Dunkle.
1104 Crescent Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30309
The Drinks: The Manhattan and Negroni (pictured at left). Both drinks are aged in whiskey barrels for five to seven weeks to make them darker and richer than their classic counterpart.
The Pairings: Livingston’s Chef Zeb Stevenson recommends that either drink be paired with the smoked Duck Breast with rutabaga, malt syrup, wheat berries and pecans. “It has all the makings of a perfect pairing,” says Stevenson. “The smokiness and richness of the duck, slight sweetness and malty flavor in the sauce and nice texture contrast.”
The second pairing Stevenson suggests is the Livingston BLT. The BLT is made using H&F egg bread, smoked mayonnaise, tomato jam, soft winter lettuces and house-made bacon that is cured in charred bourbon barrels for 20 days and smoked over pecan chips.
659 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
The Place: Glenn’s Kitchen
The Drink: The Glenntini. This drink is made with Glenn’s Kitchen’s signature infused vodka, which consists of tart lime, cucumber, fresh mint and organic green tea. It is then shaken, strained and garnished with fresh cucumber.
The Pairing: Sea Scallops. The scallops are served with arugula, roasted plum tomato, candied pecans and warm pancetta dressing.
“The refreshing cucumber in the martini perfectly complements the fresh-seared scallops and pancetta flavoring,” says Executive Chef Jason Lovell.
110 Marietta Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
The Drink: Mango Passion Margarita (pictured at right). This drink is a blend of 1800 Reposado tequila and Uncle Julio’s own mango passion fruit blend.
The Pairing: Pineapple Bacon Guacamole.
“Fresh pineapple and crisp, hickory-smoked bacon add the perfect balance of sweet and savory to our homemade guacamole,” says Sean Stevens, Director of Marketing.
1860 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
The Place: RA Sushi Bar Restaurant
The Drink: Bikini Martini. This martini is made with Kai Young Coconut Shochu liquor, vanilla vodka, pineapple juice, syrup, blue Curacao, a splash of lemon-lime soda and garnished with a pineapple wedge.
The Plates: The Gojira Roll and the Tropical Roll. The Gojira Roll is made with shrimp tempura, kani kama crab mix, cream cheese and cucumber that is then rolled and topped with spicy tuna and spinach tempura bits. The sushi roll is served with Sriracha and spicy mayo.
The Tropical Roll consists of cucumber, mango and avocado rolled and topped with spinach tempura bits, spicy shrimp mixed with masago and mango salsa.
“For those that like some spicy contrast, the Gojira Roll is a great match with this cocktail, as the sweet tropical fruit calms the spicy kick of Sriracha,” says Beverage Director, Alex Summer. “The Tropical Roll also pairs well with its spicy shrimp and fresh-fruit garnishes.”
1080 Peachtree Street, Suite 8
Atlanta, GA 30309
Cheers! If you have a favorite pair - in Atlanta or beyond - be sure to share it with us in the comments below.