Seafood and summer are near-synonymous Down Under, and what could be better than pairing some briny oysters, sweet prawns, or fresh sashimi with a light, summery cocktail? If your summer schedule is packed with BBQ’s, picnics, and garden parties, you're in the right place for some inspiration!
We have done the research, and paired some delicious cocktail recipes from across the web (shout out to Delicious, Sandhya’s Kitchen, Honestly Yum, and A Dish of Daily Life for their expertise) with some of Sydney Seafood School's best light seafood dishes, to take your next summer gathering to the next level.
If wine is more your thing, or you just want to know more about pairing drinks with seafood, book yourself into Sydney Seafood School's upcoming guest chef class with wine guru Mike Bennie! He'll be imparting his extensive knowledge on pairing great natural wine with fabulous Australian seafood.
Snapper Tartare with Ruby Grapefruit... Paired with a Strawberry and Orange Spritz
Sashimi is always a winner when it comes to summer seafood, and this Snapper tartare is a delicious introduction for people uncertain about eating raw fish. Snapper has a mild taste, and the herbs and citrus provide most of the flavour.
A citrussy orange spritz will bounce beautifully off the flavours in the tartare, keeping you refreshed when the weather is warm.
Crab and Green Mango Salad... Paired with a Simple Cucumber, Gin, and Lime Cocktail
Fresh Australian Crab, a scattering of mango and veggies, and a syrupy but zingy coconut dressing make this salad a showstopper at any sunny picnic or BBQ. A little tip: Asian grocery stores sell vegetable shredders that look a bit like a potato peeler, and are great for creating long thin shreds of green mango, green papaya, and other firm fruits or vegetables.
Crab and mango are both deliciously sweet, so you don't need to double up on sugar here. A simple gin and soda, or the levelled-up version from Delicious.com.au linked above, is perfect.
Oysters with Shallot Vinaigrette... Paired with Champagne Cocktails
A shallot vinaigrette is a classic dressing for oysters that is always a winner at cocktail hour. Use a mild, slightly sweet white wine vinegar, so as not to overpower the oyster's natural flavour.
While you're fancying up your oysters with this tasty vinaigrette, why not level up a classic glass of Champagne as well? This recipe just adds a little sugar cube and some bitters, but you could also add some fruit juice to make mimosas, or your favourite liqueur for an extra kick.
Barbecued Patagonian Toothfish Skewers with Wasabi Mayonnaise... Paired with a Cranberry Pear Prosecco Cocktail
Toothfish is often called the wagyu of the sea, due to its irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth fat content. The spice in the accompanying wasabi mayonnaise helps to cut through this fat and make a perfectly balanced morsel.
One great way to make a slightly heavier fish like Toothfish work in summer is to pair it with a light, fresh, bubbly cocktail. The above Cranberry Pear drink has just enough sweetness to make it a good foil for the salty, slightly spicy skewers, without it being overpowering.
Swordfish Crudo... Paired with a Lemon Chamomile Cocktail
This crudo is wickedly simple: just drizzle some sashimi-grade Swordfish with lemon-infused olive oil, salt, and pepper, and scatter across some micro-herbs for a final fancy touch.
The food in this combo is so simple that you can really go wild with cocktail selection. We recommend choosing something lemon-y to really tease out the subtle citrus flavours in the olive oil... Our choice, a Lemon Chamomile Cocktail, has an almost dessert-like quality, adding a new dimension to the light crudo.
Seared Tuna with Rocket and Potato Salad... Paired with a Pimm's Style Gin and Tonic
This dish shows off Tuna’s jewel-like colour against a background of deep green rocket, and is a fantastically easy (yet impressive) choice for when you're asked to bring a small plate to a BBQ or picnic.
The herbaceous flavours of gin pair beautifully with fish like Tuna and Salmon... Our chosen cocktail, a Pimm's Style Gin and Tonic, is loaded with fresh fruit, making it the perfect accompaniment to the tangy bite of rocket.