PAIRING COCKTAILS WITH CUISINES

Playing matchmaker with cocktails and cuisines is no easy feat, but these innovative pairings will gratify even the most discerning palate. Learn why these flavour combinations work like magic – and then apply the same guidelines to create your own perfect pairings!

Blue Sky Margarita and Duck Confit Quesadilla at Flight Bar & Lounge

The Picks

Blue Sky Margarita – Reposado tequila, premium curaçao blend, fresh lime and salt, with a hint of sharpness that comes from the blue ginger.

Duck Confit Quesadilla – Bringing together two dignitaries of ethnic cuisine – duck confit from France and quesadilla from Mexico – with an Asian twist of chilli-Hoisin sauce marinade.

The Pairing

While the quesadilla-margarita pairing might seem all too common, you’ll be surprised how the spicy Asian touches presented in the dish complement those in the cocktail. A mouth-watering mix of the sweet and savoury, the result is an invigorating boost of gratifying flavours.

Why It Works

The margarita is often paired with Mexican cuisine for a good reason: the refreshing citrus profile of the drink is a wonderful match for spicy food. This pairing builds a daring oriental twist atop the classic foundation: the Duck Confit Quesadilla uses chilli-Hoisin spice, while the Blue Sky Margarita enhances the lime-and-salt tang of a traditional margarita with a kick of ginger spice. 

Sculaccione Cocktail and Ricotta Crostone at Osteria Mozza's Amaro Bar

The Picks

Sculaccione – A reposado tequila-based cocktail made by blending fresh lime and grapefruit juice, Campari and a dash of bitters.

Ricotta Cristone – Light and creamy ricotta cheese, served over a slice of toast with peperonata.

The Pairing

A refreshing palate cleanser with just the right balance of sweet and tangy flavours – sweetness from the reposado tequila, Campari, and bell peppers, complementing the tanginess of the grapefruit, lime and peperonata sauce. Bonus presentation points for the clever use of green, white, and red ingredients to represent the Italian flag!

Why It Works

Hearty, savoury foods generally pair well with drinks that are crisp and lively. Here, the Ricotta Cristone's combination of creamy ricotta and stewed bell peppers demands a tart, citrus-forward drink to counterbalance to its rich and rustic flavours. The Sculaccione is an apt choice, displaying dominant herbal characters of Campari and bitters, with grapefruit and lime providing a burst of citrus acid.


Lai Lai Cha Cocktail and Dim Sum Set at Yú Champagne Bar

The Picks

Lai Lai Cha –  A fruity cocktail which infuses lemongrass, lime, cane sugar, Ketel One vodka, and lychee juice with oolong tea.

Dim Sum – The dim sum set celebrates the classics you know and love: succulent prawns wrapped in beancurd skin, and turnip and radish dumplings.

The Pairing

You can always count on oriental cuisine to bring comforting yet refined creations that will elicit nods of approval all around the table. The lychee and lemongrass (handsmashed to give it that extra burst of flavour) leaves a sweet, lingering finish after juicy morsels of dim sum.

Why It Works

Some of the best cocktail and food pairings are inspired by ingredients that already share a history of successful culinary collaboration. Lemongrass and lychee are familiar flavours in Chinese cuisine, and no dim sum table table is complete without the ceremonial presence of tea.

Fruity and sweet with an invigorating touch of zest, you'll find the Lai Lai Cha to be an irresistable cocktail companion to Yú Champagne Bar's signature creative yet welcomingly familiar dim sum favourites.

Onikan Daiginjo Sake and Sushi Platter at Hide Yamamoto Restaurant

The Picks

Onikan Daiginjo Sake – Prized as the top Japanese sake and imported directly from the Nagano prefecture, Daiginjo has a smooth, rich, fragrant and fruity taste.

Sushi – Featuring ingredients air-flown to the restaurant twice a week – fatty tuna from Tokyo’s renowned Tsukiji Fish market, and scallop and sea urchin from Hokkaido’s Fish market.

The Pairing

Hide Yamamoto imbues these two exquisite delicacies of Japan with awe-inspiring complexity. From taste to texture, experience how each mouthful of sushi, savoured with a sip of sake, adds delightful layers to your gourmet journey.

Why It Works

As sushi is made with a base of vinegared rice, it's not surprising that sake – distilled from fermented rice – can serve as an excellent complementary drink. For fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, choose a lighter sake like a ginjo or daiginjo, which won't overpower the flavours and texture of the fish.

The prestigious Onikan daiginjo is a great choice to savour with Hide Yamamoto's signature fatty tuna nigiri: delicate and smooth with a hint of sweetness, and a subtle palate-cleansing acidity.