Traditionally, cocktails have been the bookends of dinner parties, not the actual meal accompaniment. According to mixologist Jamie Walker, however, cocktail meal pairing is starting to take off. “We’re still pioneering it, but it’s a lot more common than you think,” he says. Here are some of his tips for putting some bite into your cocktails:


  • • Don’t get carried away with matching, says Walker, and pairing a chocolate cocktail with a chocolate dessert, for example, will only dissipate the flavours into one long experience.

  • “Have a juxtaposition between flavours,” Walker says.

  • “What you’re looking for is something that balances against it.”

  • Think meat when making very berry cocktails. “There are a lot of tannins and lovely flavours going through,” Walker says. “It would work with a light meat dish, like veal or lamb.”

  • Ginger is a powerful little flavour-enhancer so it’s great when ginger-based cocktails are paired with fruit. “The flavours will really extend a lot more,” Walker says.