What To Drink With Crab Cakes For Perfect Flavor Harmony

There's no denying the wide appeal that crab cakes have in the culinary world. This popular fried seafood dish works excellently as either a savory appetizer or the leading entree in a meal and can be customized into recipes such as zucchini stuffed crab cakes. Regardless of how you like them, picking out the best drink to sip alongside the meal remains crucial to enjoying the delicacy.

One of the best options is a sparkling white wine. Whether you're opting for an expensive Champagne or a more affordable bottle of prosecco, the carbonation found in these drinks can easily cut through the grease of fried foods such as crab cakes. White wines are also typically more acidic than reds, a property that tends to brighten up the flavor of both seafood and fried dishes. These two factors will prevent your taste buds from becoming coated with the fat of the crab cakes, leading to a more enjoyable, refreshing dining experience.

If you're not a fan of bubbly wines, an aromatic pinot or sauvignon blanc will do the job of resetting your tongue from the heavy flavors of crab cakes. Whatever you choose, try to stay away from strong-bodied red wines, as their flavor can easily mask the delicate flavors of shellfish and other seafood.

Gin and rum also complement crab cakes

If you prefer cocktails over wine, you can still find an excellent crab cake pairing. Rum is one of the best spirits to pair with the dish, as its smooth, smokey, and vaguely sweet flavor wonderfully harmonizes with the rich flavors of crustaceans like crabs and lobsters. If you don't want to drink the spirit straight, try mixed drinks, such as a mojito or a rum and pineapple cocktail.

If you're not a fan of rum, gin drinks — such as a gimlet or the classic gin and tonic — can also accent the flavor of crab cakes, especially when combined with a sparkling or acidic mixer, which, like bubbly wines, pairs great with fried foods. Unlike rum, gin's grassy flavor profile makes it shine in cool, bitter cocktails such as negronis and martinis — perfect for fancy dining events or if you don't want a sugary mixed drink with your crab cakes. Even a Moscow mule, a vodka-based cocktail, could easily shine alongside some Maryland-style crab cakes.

Crab cakes also go great with light beers

Few culinary experiences compare to the match made in heaven that beer and fried foods make. While just about any cheap ale or lager can be easily enjoyed with a side of batter-coated food, crab cakes go great with a light, pale beer. Unlike a heavy-noted lager, a crispy ale will not compete with the sweet undertones of crab cakes, and its carbonation will refresh your palate every time you take a sip.

When choosing a light ale to have alongside your crab cakes, try to stay away from beers that taste heavily of hops. Unless you're drinking a light pilsner, hops can easily overpower your palate with bitterness and make you miss the subtle undertones of the sweet crab. A citrus-infused wheat beer or an herbal American IPA are great picks. If you're feeling adventurous, opt for a spicy ale, such as a saison, or an alcoholic ginger beer. And, if you want to pair something sweeter alongside your savory crab cakes, try getting your hands on a gose.