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Sure, you could have a glass of wine or beer with your meal but next time, consider a cocktail. Here, rising star mixologists featured in Food & Wine Cocktails 2015 (on sale now) share their favorite, sometimes unexpected and oddly specific, food and cocktail combinations.

Susan Choung
July 23, 2015

Sure, you could have a glass of wine or beer with your meal but next time, consider a cocktail. Here, rising star mixologists featured in Food & Wine Cocktails 2015 (on sale now) share their favorite, sometimes unexpected and oddly specific, food and cocktail combinations.

Cheese and Negroni. “My favorite food and drink pairing? Other than beer and pizza? Negronis or Boulevardiers with a hard cheese, like Pecorino or a good Parmesan.” —Ryan Casey, Edmund’s Oast, Charleston, SC

Nachos and a Margarita. “I am a huge sucker for nachos. It’s what I crave on a regular basis. If you give me a Margarita and a plate of nachos, I think ‘good.’ There really couldn’t be a better pairing.” —Tyler Stevens, Teardrop Cocktail Lounge, Portland, OR

Beef jerky and a beer cocktail. “There’s a beer cocktail that I make that’s got a little bit of rye whiskey with sweet vermouth, apple juice, lemon juice and Miller High Life. It goes well with the housemade beef jerky.” —Gui Jaroschy, The Broken Shaker, Miami Beach

Oysters and a Martini. “Our house martini and a dozen Washburn oysters. We make our martinis with Martin Miller’s Westbourne gin, and dry vermouth and orange bitters made in house.” —Colin O’Neill, Oyster House, Philadelphia

Sushi and a French 75. “A lot of people say sparkling wine and sushi go really well together. So does sushi with a French 75—the gin version.” —Jason Patz, Williams & Graham, Denver

Duck and a sherry cobbler. “I love duck. But if I’m going to eat something that heavy and rich, I want something mildly palate cleansing. A sherry cobbler is great with duck: It’s citrusy but not overly boozy.” —Nick Bennett, Porchlight, New York City

Tacos and a spicy Paloma. “I used to work at a mezcal/tequila bar and I really loved how tequila cocktails pair with Mexican food. A spicy paloma goes really well with tacos and fresh tomatoes and jalapeños.” —Jeremy Oertel, Donna, Brooklyn

Melon and a Last Word. “I love Last Words with honeydew and cantaloupe. They’re really, really delicious together.” —Sara Justice, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Philadelphia

Chocolate and mezcal. “It’s pretty tasty, I highly recommend it. Definitely on the darker side, for chocolate, and something with a little spice works nice too. Like chocolate with cayenne and a little bit of sea salt. It’s mind blowing.” —Jayara de Oliveira, Sportsman’s Club, Chicago

Dessert and a Sazerac. “A boozy, intense, subtly anise-y Sazerac goes really well with a vanilla or chocolate dessert. I’m a big fan of spirits after dinner and this pairing marries the best of both worlds.” —Jay Schroeder, Frontera Grill, Chicago

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Best Cocktail Bars in the U.S.

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