Pairing a meal with a glass of wine or a beer is common practice, but cocktails are a little trickier. The more complex combinations of flavors involved make it especially important to ensure you’re striking the right balance. For students working toward an online culinary arts certificate, finding the ideal combination of cocktail could result in meals that truly stand out.
Get started by mixing up some classic drinks and serving them alongside these recipes.
1. Enjoy an Old-Fashioned with a steak
“An Old-Fashioned is an excellent accompaniment for a juicy steak.”
The Old-Fashioned has been a favorite drink of bourbon lovers since the 19th century. Complementing the whiskey with sugar, bitters, a Maraschino cherry and an orange slice garnish, the drink is an excellent accompaniment for a juicy steak. Better Homes & Gardens recommended a recipe for a cowboy steak with whiskey butter that’s an ideal choice.
Make the topping by combining two sticks of unsalted butter with shallots that have been soaked in whiskey, parsley, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, white pepper and two tablespoons of whiskey. Spoon the mixture onto wax paper. Roll in plastic wrap to form a log and refrigerate until the butter hardens.
Prepare a rub by mixing chili powder, paprika, sugar, and white and black pepper. Brush oil onto rib?-eye steaks, sprinkling on the rub and some salt. Grill for five minutes on either side over medium-high heat. Rest the meat for five minutes before adding the whiskey butter and serving with a delicious Old-Fashioned.
2. Wash down seafood with a gin martini
The simple combination of gin, dry vermouth and lemon peel is an exceptional choice for when you’re snacking on a shrimp cocktail or enjoying raw oysters. Ina Garten provided directions for shrimp with a cocktail sauce that will ensure a great evening of drinks and dining.
First, boil a large pot of salted water and add half a lemon. Throw in two pounds of shrimp, still in their shells, to cook for three minutes. Remove the shellfish with a slotted spoon, placing them in a bowl of cool water.
Peel and devein the shrimp, and then refrigerate them. Mix together chili sauce, hot sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Present the shrimp with a bowl of cocktail sauce and a dry martini for a sophisticated and satisfying start to the evening.
3. Pour a Manhattan and dig into a rack of lamb
A Manhattan, featuring whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, goes well with a hearty rack of lamb. Epicurious suggested a straightforward but tasty approach to the dish that starts with rubbing salt and pepper into the meat while warming a skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil to the skillet and brown the meat on all sides, cooking for about 10 minutes.
Move the lamb into a roasting pan and coat with a mixture of garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil. Place the pan in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for 15 minutes. Cover the lamb with foil and cook another five to 10 minutes, using a thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 120 degrees. Rest for 10 minutes before cutting into chops and plating alongside a Manhattan.