Food-Friendly Drinks

Food-Friendly Drinks

Think coffee, tea or smoothies for breakfast, Mimosas at brunch, fresh-squeezed juices for snacks, wine and food or beer and food pairings, culinary cocktails, and drinkable desserts. Today's customers are more amenable than ever to experimenting with enticing drinks from your beverage menu.

As the cooler weather headed into Chicago this past autumn, the retro American cocktails served at Hearty took on a robust note suitable for the season. The signature Artichoke Sour returned, for one thing. It's made with Cynar artichoke liqueur, fresh lemon, simple syrup and frothy egg white.

At Sublime Food Lounge in Culver City, CA, the seasonally inspired food menu splashes over into chef-driven cocktails. Executive chef/co-owner Randall Rosa's cocktail menu features some of the components of the food menus. The Passion Fruit Martini, for example, incorporates the same passion fruit syrup used to flavor the chef's Foie Gras French Toast dish.

In Portland, OR, the signature cocktails at Andina feature ingredients that complement its Peruvian cuisine. Recently added drinks include the Melones Con Aji, combining cantaloupe juice shaken with Hendrick's gin, lime juice and sugar, with a float of cucumber water, lime zest and ground hot peppers.

Wine-lovers can enjoy the trend, too. In December, Iron Chef Jose Garces featured a $65 tasting menu at his Philadelphia restaurant, JG Domestic, that allowed guests to enjoy dishes he created for Iron Chef America: Battle Sparkling Wine. Customers had a choice of sparkling wine-inspired specialties such as Champagne and Blinis with a range of garnishes. Garnishes included cava-cured salmon; prosecco-marinated artichokes; and hackleback caviar with champagne-chive cream.

For other food-inspired drink ideas, check out these recipes for a Toffee Nut Latte and the Sippable Tiramisu.