Pairing food and drink is a skill many people use whether they’re eating at a fancy restaurant or enjoying a simple weeknight dinner at home. Classically, red wine is better with dishes that feature red meats, such as grilled steaks. White wine, on the other hand, is often reserved for fish dishes or white meats such as chicken. But how do you pair your drinks when it is dessert time?
Whether you’re enjoying the most iconic pies or a simple dessert you can make using five ingredients or fewer, there is a method to pairing a cocktail with any dessert you choose. According to “Cocktails at Dinner,” when it comes to the dessert portion of your night, a cocktail should be sweeter than the dessert itself.
If you’re eating a fruit-based dessert, you can amplify the flavors of your dessert dish by drinking a cocktail that is sweet and fruity. If your dessert has subtle flavors, it would be best to pair it with a cocktail that also has subtle flavors. If a drink's primary flavors come from the mixer rather than the spirits, let the mixer's flavors guide your pairing.
Make sure you pay attention to mouthfeel because you don’t want textures to be competing. For example, carbonated cocktails pair better with flavorful foods.
Now that you know this basic advice, if you’re in need of some inspiration, check out our list of 20 cocktails that go perfectly with dinner.