Alaskan seafood goes hand-in-hand with a vast variety of alcoholic beverages (pun intended here) and our goal is to ensure you make the best possible choices with your pairings, making you look like an expert in the process. White wine is a clear-cut winner to pair with just about any seafood, like King Crab, Snow Crab or Alaskan Fish, but we are here to help you narrow down the tougher matches when it comes to liquors and beer.
Let's start out of the gates with the best: Crab Pairings.
Crab meat, especially Alaskan Red King Crab and Snow Crab, tends to be very sweet and rich. To balance that flavor, you want light, crisp, slightly bitter beers. Depending on the bitterness, a lager can do the trick, but your best bet is pilsner.
Sailors sip rum for more than a dose of courage – it tastes great with crabs. A sweet white rum works well in cocktails served alongside tender, slightly sweet crab. On its own, rum may overpower a delicate crab dish. However, a rum cocktail can enhance crab's succulent flavor. You might also try pairing crab with gin, which adds a burst of citrus to a dish. Round up your best buddies and serve them the following drinks with crab, and you'll have friends for life.
A mojito and seafood make a lovely match, especially if your seafood of choice is crab. It's hard not to love a soft golden crab cake in the first place. Imagine serving crab cakes with a cocktail that makes the flavors playfully dance. Try this easy classic mojito recipe to intensify a crab dish with hints of lime, mint and subtly sweet rum:
- 2 ounces of quality light rum
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 6 to 8 mint leaves
- Splash of club soda
- 1 lime, cut in half
- Mint sprig
To make a mojito, place the sugar, mint leaves and club soda in a highball glass. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. Squeeze the lime juice from both halves and drop one half of the lime into the glass. Add the rum and stir. Fill the glass with ice cubes and club soda, and garnish with the mint spring. Enjoy this cooling cocktail with crab and imagine relaxing on the beach.
A refreshing, citrusy gimlet made with lime and floral gin makes another tasty choice for a crab-centric meal and is extremely easy to make. Try this fun Cucumber Basil Gimlet recipe from Craft and Cocktails for a bright green drink with satisfying flavor:
- 4 ounces of floral gin, like St. George Terroir Gin
- 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
- 18 basil leaves
- 1 cup of cucumber, chopped
- 1 ounce of simple syrup
To make this gimlet, place the gin, lime juice and basil leaves into a blender. Blend on low to mix the ingredients, then switch to high. Add the chopped cucumber and the syrup and blend. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a cucumber ribbon and basil leaf.
3. Belgian-Style Saison
If you want to pair crab with beer, try a spicy Belgian-style saison to balance the sweetness of crab meat and cut through the fat of butter-dipped crab chunks. If you're serving a garlicky crab dish, serve an American-style India pale ale (IPA). An American IPA cleans the palate between bites and adds pleasant contrast with herbal notes and citrus flavors.
What Pairs Best with Alaskan Sockeye Salmon?
The rich, fatty flavor of salmon makes it one seafood that pairs well with a host of beer styles. One of the most recommended is a Saison, which often has a fruity or spicy flavor (or both) and is highly carbonated. When grilling salmon, darker amber ale is a surefire win. Even single IPAs and their more bitter flavor tend to be a surprising match for salmon.
Wine Accompaniments with Seafood
Wine is a classic choice for accompanying seafood. If you have any doubt about a seafood and liquor pairing, go with dry white wine or Champagne. Certain types of red wines work with particular seafood dishes as well. Let's explore a few wine pairing options that are sure to please.
People typically avoid pairing red wine with seafood in fear it will overpower a delicate dish. However, sometimes red wine and seafood work well together. In general, a dry light red wine like rosé or spicy pinot noir taste delicious with white fish and seafood. Cellardoor Winery recommends pairing their pinot noir with bacon-wrapped scallops.
2. White Wine
White wine is the go-to choice for pairing with seafood. Similar to a squeeze of lemon, dry white wine adds splashes of citrus and a bit of sweetness to buttery, briny seafood. It also cleanses the palate to make each bite taste like new. Whether you plan to eat lobster, clams, mussels, scallops or crabs, you can't go wrong with white wine. Choose from any of the following wines for a flavorful dining experience:
- Chenin blanc
- Pinot grigio
- Sauvignon blanc
3. Sparkling Wine
The satisfying cleansing bubbles in sparkling wine make it go well with just about anything, and the acidity lifts buttery, creamy flavors. You can literally pair this with any seafood you can imagine. Try Champagne to balance sweet with salty in creamy or smoked dishes. Or, enjoy the notes of apple and pear in prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, alongside spicy seafood dishes and sides. No matter what type of sparkling wine you choose, it'll be hard not to relish the taste and texture when paired with seafood.