3 Tips For Pairing Speakeasy Food And Cocktails

Food pairing can be simple. Breeze into your next cocktail night with these speakeasy food and cocktail pairing tips you and your guests will surely love.

3 Tips For Pairing Speakeasy Food And Cocktails

Clandestine clubs and closed-door cocktail gatherings. If you’re familiar with the speakeasy scene back in the 1920s, you’re surely also a fan of the various food and cocktail pairings served in bars. At some point, you probably want to recreate the same ambiance at home, with a menu filled with the right food and drinks. Throwing a speakeasy-inspired event isn’t as complicated as you think—all you need is to do a bit of research to ensure everything will go as planned.

Say you have a killer playlist that’ll get everyone grooving for the night. The lighting is spot on, and you have enough room for guests. What you should work on next is your speakeasy menu. If the event is happening after dinnertime, guests will likely be looking forward to cocktails and food that go well together. 

Below are some ideas you can consider:

1. Go for cocktails that complement your dishes

Cocktail drinks have the power to complement any dish by either contrasting or matching its flavors. You can pair a light drink with a heavier meal or match a heavier cocktail with a lighter dish. Either should work, as long as you know the workaround with flavors.  (1)

You want your drinks to complement the food, enhance the main flavors, and keep your senses stimulated as you look forward to the next sip or bite. You can look into the botanical profile of the cocktails to find out if it matches the food you’re planning to serve. Gin and vodka, for instance, can go well with the briny and salty flavor of fish and seafood. (1)

Sometimes, a shared ingredient could also be the key to pairing speakeasy food and cocktails. For example, lemon margarita or lemon drop martini could go well with finger food with lemon in them, such as lemon ricotta bruschetta, lemon garlic hummus, and lemon crab bites.

2. Choose food and cocktails according to your party theme

Adding a theme to your cocktail night is one creative way to spice things up, especially if you’re in the mood to impress your guests. A funky disco theme, for instance, is fantastic enough to get people off their seats to dance the night away. You can ask guests to come in funky costumes, as well. You could serve hamburgers, nachos, deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, and hotdogs with cheesy fries. (2)

Or maybe you’re feeling vintage and ready for a walk down memory lane. In that case, a 1920s dinner menu should work well with what you have in mind. As you may know, 1920 was also the year that the prohibition of alcohol was implemented, but it had very little effect on people’s drinking habits back then. So, you should be prepared to serve overflowing drinks to pair with your 1920s menu. (3)

You can decorate your place the way speakeasy bars looked back in the day. If you don’t fancy a 1920 menu, you can prepare a prohibition bar menu that’ll make people remember or know how it was to order from a prohibition bar during those times. You can hire a professional bartender and serve appetizers that match the ambiance.

3. Consider what your guests like

Another challenge you’ll most likely face when preparing for a cocktail event is that people have different taste buds and preferences when it comes to food and drinks. You can’t expect everyone to like the same dish, so you need to be ready and prepare a Sturges speakeasy menu that’ll satisfy your guests’ palate, whatever it may be. 

Some people like spicy food, while others may not sit well with it. You also need to consider the alcohol level of your cocktail drinks as not everyone will have a strong tolerance for them. To be on the safer side, have a variety of speakeasy food and beverages to serve. It’ll help to come up with a list of dishes and cocktail recipes so that you know what to prepare before the big night.  

A mystery dinner menu template could greatly help when coming up with a list of speakeasy menu ideas. This idea will be excellent if you plan to have a mystery-themed event that’ll keep your guests wondering and in awe all night.

Speakeasy pairing made easy

Possibilities are endless when it comes to pairing speakeasy food and cocktails. With a bit of research, you can surely come up with a menu that’ll impress your guests and keep them looking forward to your next event.  

Elevate the way you entertain people at home. A speakeasy cocktail night could do the trick of giving you and your guests an evening to remember. So, dim the lights, get started with overflowing drinks, and serve mouthwatering appetizers to complement your party theme and beverages. 


  1. “5 Tips for Pairing Cocktails With Food”, Source: https://blog.pamperedchef.com/entertaining/5-tips-for-pairing-cocktails-with-food/
  2.  “Great Cocktail Party Themes: 19 Ideas”, Source: https://easyeventplanning.com/cocktail-party-themes
  3.  “15 Prohibition-Era Cocktails”, Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/prohibition-era-cocktails-4171947