The Best Cocktails to Pair With Small Bites

Some of the most amazing summer nights with friends are those last-minute gatherings that come together spontaneously. But who wants to be the person putting out an already-opened bottle of white, questionably old carrot sticks, and stale pretzel rods? Instead, be ready with a few go-to cocktails and some thoughtful light bites that’ll complement your drink of choice while still leaving room for whatever else the eve will have in store. Consider this your cheat sheet: We asked Nathan Beriau, executive chef at Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, S.C., to choose perfect snacks to pair with these four classic cocktails, all made with Diplomático’s premium rum, which is crafted using sustainable production practices in Venezuela. Diplomático is known for the craftsmanship, quality, and care they exhibit in crafting their liquid, which makes it the perfect base for these quintessential cocktails. Memorize these mini menus and you’ll always have a food and drink combo that goes together like, well, rum and lime.

The Sidecar



“A classic charcuterie board with a classic cocktail is one of my favorite pairings. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways to wow guests and make even a regular Wednesday feel like a night out in your own home,” the chef says. The citrus notes that come through from the Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum, of this riff on the sidecar, “marry well with the fattiness in the meats like salami, prosciutto, and soppressata. Add in some Marcona almonds, olives, and pickles and you’ve got a beautiful board.”

Diplomático Rum Reserva Exclusiva


1.5 oz Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
.5 oz orange liquor
1 oz fresh lime juice
Organic orange slice
Fair-trade sugar and salt for rim


    1. Rim a cocktail glass with equal parts fair-trade sugar and salt
    2. Pour the Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, orange liquor, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
    3. Shake and strain, then pour into cocktail glass.
    4. Garnish with an orange slice.

    The Daiquiri


    This classic daiquiri is served shaken over ice, allowing the white rum’s tropical aromas to take center stage. Chef Beriau recommends pairing the summertime cocktail with guacamole. “The creaminess of the avocado and the acid from the lime in the daiquiri balance well,” he notes. For an easy twist on the snack, serve it with slightly sweet plantain chips instead of regular tortillas.

    Diplomático Planas Rum


    1.5 oz Diplomático Planas
    0.5 oz Organic and fair-trade cane sugar
    0.75 oz Fresh lime juice
    Organic lime wedge


    1. Pour the Diplomático Planas, sugar, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
    2. Shake and strain, then pour into a coupe glass.
    3. Garnish with a lime wedge.

    The Rum Mule



    “Empanadas are a great handheld snack that can be fried or baked,” says Beriau. “The ginger and lime in the rum-based mule are bright notes that pair well with the richness of the empanada dough and fillings.” The most traditional empanada flavor is probably ground beef seasoned with spices like paprika and oregano, but you can also pivot to chicken, vegetable, or cheese with this cocktail, which will all complement the dried fruit and vanilla finish of Diplomático Mantuano. Frozen versions are easy to pick up at the grocery store.

    Diplomático Mantuano Extra Anejo


    1.5 oz Diplomático Mantuano
    3 oz ginger beer
    1 squeeze fresh lime juice
    Organic lime wedge


    1. Pour the Diplomático Mantuano, ginger beer, and lime juice into a highball glass and stir.
    2. Add ice and garnish with lime and mint.

    The Mojito



    This citrus-forward cocktail is perfect on a hot day, and you can’t go wrong serving it with a refreshing dish like a watermelon and feta salad, Beriau says. “The lime and mint in the mojito are flavors that work well with watermelon,” he notes. “And when a drink has an acid like lime, it serves to balance out the creaminess or fattiness in a food like cheese. The flavor profiles in the beverage and snack are complementary, and that’s what creates an ideal pairing.”


    1.5 oz Diplomático Planas
    .5 oz fresh lime juice
    .5 oz organic fair trade simple syrup
    1 oz club soda
    4 fresh, organic mint leaves, plus more for garnish


      1. Muddle the four mint leaves in the bottom of a collins glass.
      2. Add the Diplomático Planas, lime juice, syrup, and soda.
      3. Top with ice and garnish with more mint.

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      Source : Esquire