Fun Pairings for Cocktails and Food Stations

Hamburger sliders and friesOne of the biggest challenges for any caterer or wedding/event planner is to find fun and unique ways to wow guests at an event so fish and chips with mini beersI have been looking around for inspiration for the next wedding we are both planning and catering and will share with you some fun beverage and appetizer pairings for cocktail hour and even for the main course that your guests will love! These appetizers are served a little differently than what we are used to seeing at events and this will work well whether you are having a formal black tie or casual backyard event. In fact imagine inviting your guests to a black tie wedding and then giving them fish and chips wrapped in paper with mini beer shots! So far we have had rave reviews.

So if you are ready for something different, say goodbye to the usual tray passed appetizers, the long lines at a buffet or formal plated meals and wow your guests with appetizers paired with mini drinks and food stations with suggested beverage pairings! The pictures below can serve as inspiration to help you think outside the box for your next event!! This is your big day so let’s get creative!

Starting with cocktails; you could serve ahi tuna (pictured bottom left) with a sauvignon blanc, fish and chips with beer shots, seared ahi tuna with sake and cheese with wine (with a twist). You can get really serious about these pairings and do the research to find out exactly which beer, wine or alcohol to serve with which appetizer, or you can just serve your favorites!

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The sliders and beer shots below are another casual choice and our guests loved the tacos and mini margaritas! A popular appetizer at events for some reason is the mini dog in a blanket but instead of serving it with a dipping sauce, add them to the top of a beer shot glass. The last picture in this group is rum and coke with fried chicken! I did not know those two would pair so well and was a little nervous when I watched the reaction of the guests but it definitely was a hot favorite at our event. You can mix any alcohol with the coke but don’t forget to let your guests know that cute little coke bottle has quite a kick to it!

collage mini apps and drinks 2

More appetizer pairings below from left to right are corn dogs and beer shots, mini margaritas served in a patron bottle with tacos, bourbon shots with short ribs, hamburger sliders with bloody mary’s (how cute are those) and pot roast with chianti. There are so many options but don’t forget your guests who don’t drink alcohol. You can do mini sliders with cherry coke or fried chicken with sweet tea as well. So many fun combos for everyone and the mini glasses or bottles makes it so cool! You can even showcase your signature drinks paired with your favorite appetizer (the bloody mary and slider was the signature pairing at the last wedding we catered) and on the label of the little bottle or glass you can add the couple’s names with their wedding hashtag or for a fundraising event you can add a label with the name of your cause or foundation. These little bottles or shot glasses can also double as favors at a wedding.collage mini pairings blog

You don’t have to keep the pairing only for appetizers. You can use the same principle with food stations as per the pictures below. The left picture is an over-the-top caviar station with grey goose vodka and in front of the station there were mini caviar bites with vodka shots. The third picture is seafood again served with vodka and the last picture is a carving station with red wine. I would add a cabernet to this station but again unless you want to do everything by the “sommelier” book, serve what you like. It is all about texture, presentation, mixing flavors together that are unique and delicious.

All of these appetizers, food stations and desserts mentioned in the blog are only suggestions. You can always speak to one of our specialists to help you create a menu that is perfect for your event.

collage caviar blog

Take the pairings one step further and repeat for dessert! Pictured below are orange sorbet with champagne, caramel popcorn with vodka shots, one of my personal favorites is affogato, which is vanilla ice cream with frangelico liquor and espresso shots and last one is sweet dessert wine served with chocolates. One more yummy than the other.

collage desserts and wine pairing

Espresso shots with mini donuts or brownies paired with a milkshake would be great for the guests who don’t drink alcohol and also if you have kids at the event. The pictures of the food stations above are quite elaborate but you can make it work on any budget. You are just serving you food a little differently!

Last but not least; if you are going to party through the night and your guests have to drive home, do provide them with some finger foods around midnight to nibble on. Mini chicken pot pies or mac and cheese cupcakes or an all-time favorite pairing of cookies and milk or even PB&J’s with milk or espresso shots will be much appreciated by your guests!







Let us help you create YOUR fabulous event! Call us today at 424-209-7273 OR Send us a message with all your details through the contact form below. You can also click on the link for our website for more ideas and information for your next event.

Thank for spending this time with me and see you next time!


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