Nibbles and cocktails go together year-round, but in the summer, we want our appetizers to be fresh and easy and our cocktails to be cold and pretty. If you’re organizing a summer event, as a South Florida event planner, I have some tips and tricks to create the perfect summer-inspired appetizer and cocktail pairings.
Pairing similar tastes in your food and drinks give you a natural blend of flavors, smells, and textures. However, the key to complementing appetizers with cocktails is to stay away from similar tastes. Instead, lean more towards cocktails and appetizers with different bases of flavors to enhance the consumers’ experiences. Strive to strike a balance between similar tastes and flavors that are entirely the opposite. For instance, you can pair savory appetizers with a chilled cocktail to ensure that the foods and drinks are not a competition.
Menu: Spritz and Bruschetta
This Italian-inspired combo is a perfect example of a simple yet extravagant pairing. Cut a baguette and brush it with a light layer of garlic and olive oil. Then top with seasoned tomatoes and a sprinkle of fresh basil leaves. This appetizer is savory, so your classic Classic Aperol Spritz should be as chilled as possible. This appetizer and cocktail combination is an excellent choice for all-year celebrations and will leave guests talking about your event.
Tip: Refrain from garnishing your bruschetta until your guests arrive to keep the bread crisp.
You don’t necessarily have to introduce new menus to awe your guests. Instead, you can leverage the obvious appetizers, but ensure the freshest ingredients and best presentation to elevate the pairing.
Menu: Classic Margarita with Mini-Tacos
Tacos and margaritas are a typical summer appetizer and cocktail combination, but that doesn’t mean that guests won’t love them. Pair the appetizers with a classic marg featuring silver tequila, simple syrup, like juice, and salted rim. This cocktail is both sour and salty and goes well with a savory and spicy appetizer like mini-tacos with pickled onions and fresh guacamole.
You can never go wrong with authenticity. Take your time to research the classic cocktails and appetizers, then think of how you can improve their standards.
Menu: Key Lime Daiquiris and Florida Beach Bread
For instance, margaritas are the most popular cocktail in South Florida. But the state is also known for the Key Lime Daiquiri, which features a sweet-tart taste. This drink goes well with a subtle appetizer like a Florida Beach bread. This cocktail and appetizer pairing may sound basic, but it’s a great way to show off a taste of South Florida.
Keep It Simple
Your guests are there to have a great time. Whether your cocktails and apps are to start the evening, or they are your full menu, you want to drinks and nibbles that are appealing to the eye and the taste buds.
Don’t Forget to Include Mocktails
Successful event planning in South Florida requires you to accommodate everyone. Some guests prefer alcohol-free beverages, especially for weddings, business events and other official occasions. Ensure your mocktails are rich in flavor by adding juices, syrups, extracts and essence for taste and aroma. You don’t want to worry that the cocktails will steal the show from the mocktails.
For most people, a great party starts with sumptuous appetizers and cocktails. If you’re new to party planning, marrying appetizers and cocktails may sound intimidating. But the key is to select blends of cocktail and appetizer flavors that complement and contrast without overpowering each other. The tips above will do the trick.
The Real Secret to Effortless Party Planning? Hire a Pro!
A professional event planner has the knowledge and insider tricks from years of experience to plan the perfect event that meets your specific plan and budget. Let the planner do all the work so you can enjoy your own party!
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