Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and these tasty cocktail and oyster pairings are the perfect way to give your special someone an unforgettable happy hour. Many people think that only champagne and beers are meant to be paired with oysters, but there are actually several cocktails that go great as well. By choosing a cocktail that’s on the sweeter side, you can compliment the saltiness of oysters creating a unique flavor palette. White Stone Oysters have a vegetal, umami flavor profile making them an excellent partner for fruity, semi-sweet cocktails. Give one of the recipes below a try the next time you’re craving love on the half-shell.
This sharply flavored cocktail is gin-based and the pine flavors of the liquor are great for complementing the buttery flavor of oysters. Make it with 1 ¾ oz. brandy, ¾ oz. white creme de menthe and 1 oz. gin for an easy and tasty oyster pairing. Shake and serve over ice with a sprig of spearmint.
Besides having a beautiful name, the Yellow Bird is also an excellent partner for oysters on the half shell. Its bright, citrus pairings set off the umami of most oysters and keep diners from getting bored by cleansing the palette in between slurps. Make it with 1.5 oz. white rum and 0.5 oz. of Galliano liquor, triple sec, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Shake and serve poured over ice in this oyster pairing.
A creative twist on the martini, the Oystertini pairs a classic cocktail with the oyster itself. This elevated cocktail keeps the flavor profiles of both drink and bivalve close to home, making it an excellent compliment. Simple make a standard martini, but shake your gin with a raw oyster. Serve over ice and rim the glass with citrus of choice. Top with another freshly shucked oyster and enjoy.
The Paloma is another classic cocktail that pairs incredibly well with oysters. The bright tequila base is gentle on the palate and the added grapefruit cuts through the buttery, umami flavors of oysters. With a pinch of salt, it matches nicely with the saltiness of oysters without being overly salty or overpowering. Make it with 2 oz. tequila, 2 oz. grapefruit juice, 2 oz. sparkling water, ½ oz. lime juice, ¼ oz. agave nectar and coarse sea salt. Rim the glass with a wedge of grapefruit before salting, then mix all ingredients and serve over ice.
Cocktails. Oysters. Good times. There’s never been a more perfect combination. Break out your best bartending bowtie and go to work on these oyster pairings!