Mixology Meets the Grill: Pairing Specialty Cocktails with BBQ

Did you know that around 70% of Americans own a grill or smoker? It’s clear that barbecuing is a popular pastime across the country. While grilling up some delicious BBQ food is a great way to spend time with friends and family, have you ever considered pairing your BBQ meal with specialty drinks?

Specialty cocktails paired with BBQ can add a new level of flavor to your dining experience. In this article, we’ll explore the art of mixology as it meets the grill and provide some great options for specialty cocktails to pair with your BBQ platter. Whether you’re a BBQ lover in Las Vegas or a tourist looking for the ultimate comfort food experience, get ready to learn about some delicious food and drink pairings.

Understanding Flavor Profiles in BBQ and Cocktails

When it comes to pairing cocktails with BBQ cuisine, it’s important to understand the different flavor profiles of both. BBQ dishes typically have a range of flavors, from smoky and spicy to sweet and tangy. Alcoholic drinks, on the other hand, can have a wide range of flavors and ingredients that can complement or contrast with the flavors in BBQ dishes. Here’s what you need to know to pair cocktails with BBQ cuisine.

Flavor Profiles in BBQ

The flavor of BBQ dishes comes from a combination of cooking techniques, sauces, and rubs. Smoking meat over wood can create a smoky flavor, while spicy rubs or sauces can add heat. Sweet sauces or marinades can balance out the smokiness, and tangy vinegar-based sauces can add a sharpness.

When choosing a cocktail to pair with BBQ dishes, it’s important to consider the dominant flavor in the dish. For example, a smoky BBQ dish could pair well with a cocktail that has a smoky flavor or a hint of sweetness to balance it out. A spicy BBQ dish could be paired with a cocktail that has a cooling effect, such as a drink with cucumber or mint.

Flavor Profiles in Cocktails

Cocktails can have a range of flavors, from sweet and fruity to bitter and herbal. Some cocktails use spirits such as whiskey or rum as a base, while others use lighter spirits like gin or vodka. The ingredients in a cocktail can add flavors like citrus, herbs, spices, or even smoke.

When pairing cocktails with BBQ dishes, it’s important to consider the dominant flavors in the cocktail. For example, a cocktail with citrus and herbs could pair well with a BBQ dish that has a tangy or herbaceous flavor. A cocktail with smoky flavors could pair well with a BBQ dish that has a smoky or charred flavor.

Complementing and Contrasting Flavors

One way to pair cocktails with BBQ dishes is to complement the flavors in the dish. This means choosing a cocktail with flavors that are similar or that can balance out the flavors in the dish. For example, a sweet cocktail could balance out the heat in a spicy BBQ dish, while a tangy cocktail could complement the sharpness of a vinegar-based BBQ sauce.

Another way to pair cocktails with BBQ dishes is to contrast the flavors. This means choosing a cocktail with flavors that are different from the dish to create a new flavor experience. For example, a smoky cocktail could contrast with a sweet BBQ sauce to create a unique flavor profile.

Some classic cocktail ingredients that can be used to complement or contrast with BBQ flavors include:

  • Citrus: adds acidity and brightness to complement tangy or sweet BBQ sauces
  • Herbs: add freshness and can complement or contrast with smoky or spicy BBQ flavors
  • Bitters: add complexity and can balance out sweet or smoky flavors in BBQ dishes
  • Smoke: can complement or contrast with smoky flavors in BBQ dishes

When pairing cocktails with BBQ dishes, it’s important to experiment and find what works best for your palate. Don’t be afraid to try new flavor combinations and find your own unique pairings.

Classic BBQ Pairings to Try

When it comes to classic BBQ pairings, there are some tried and true combinations that never fail. Here are some classic BBQ pairings that you can try with your favorite specialty drinks:

Smoked Brisket and Bourbon

The smoky flavor of the brisket pairs perfectly with the oaky flavor of bourbon. This classic pairing is a match made in BBQ heaven.

Pulled Pork and Beer

A cold beer is the perfect complement to the richness of pulled pork. The carbonation helps cut through the fattiness of the meat and refreshes your palate.

Whiskey Sour with Grilled Pork Ribs

The smoky flavors of the ribs complement the bold taste of the whiskey, while the sourness of the cocktail helps to balance out the richness of the meat. It’s a combination that’s sure to satisfy any BBQ lover’s palate.

Ribs and Sangria

The fruity flavors in sangria balance the savory flavors of ribs. The sweetness of the sangria also pairs well with the smokiness of the ribs.

Chicken and Margaritas

The acidity in margaritas pairs well with the tangy flavor of BBQ chicken. The salt rim on the glass also helps bring out the flavors in the chicken.

Corn on the Cob and Whiskey Sour

The sweetness of the corn pairs perfectly with the sourness of a whiskey sour. The corn also helps cut through the richness of the whiskey.

Time to Try Some Specialty Cocktails Paired with BBQ

Pairing specialty cocktails with BBQ food is a match made in heaven. Whether you prefer the classic pairings or want to experiment with something new, there’s a cocktail out there that will enhance the flavors of your BBQ meal. So, the next time you visit a BBQ restaurant or host a BBQ dinner at home, consider trying a specialty drink to take your experience to the next level.

And if you’re in Las Vegas, be sure to stop by The Beast to try our BBQ and specialty cocktails paired just for you. Treat yourself to your favorite BBQ food paired with a complimentary cocktail, and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed. We’re open 7 days a week and you can book a reservation in advance to save your spot.