We Asked An Expert: This Is The Ultimate Cocktail Pairing For Summer Seafood Boils

There are a number of things we adore about summer: delicious fruit-forward desserts, dining al fresco, playing around with the endless cold recipes for hot nights. Yet, all of these are incomparable to a good seafood boil. Well-seasoned, fresh seafood accompanied by savory sausage, tender potatoes, and sweet corn is certainly the standout dish of every season. The meal needs a stellar beverage to go with it, though, and we have the perfect, expert-approved cocktail.

When seafood season rolls around, it seems like the unofficial booze pairing is something light and elegant, like white wine or champagne. While the two are perfect for a summer spent dining on clams and oysters, seafood boils require a drink more in line with its flavors. For Rob Krueger, beverage director at Smith & Mills, The Golden Swan, and Tiny's & the Bar Upstairs, that's a margarita. "There's no better summer cocktail than America's favorite: the margarita." The drink is a fan favorite indeed. A speciality at Mexican restaurants, repeat order at bars, and a great drink to make on nights in with friends, the margarita is a drink that knows no bounds.

This is precisely what makes it a match for seafood boils. A classic frozen margarita is made with slightly sweet tequila that's given a sharp punch from lime, much like seafood becomes brighter thanks to lemon. The richness of the drink comes from orange liqueur, harkening to the Old Bay seasoning and orange juice often added to seafood boils.

Pair your seafood boil with a suped up take on the margarita

For an elevated margarita to sip alongside a seafood boil, Krueger recommends giving it a fruity twist. "If you want to supe it up, add a splash of watermelon juice and yippee! Watermelon margarita," he says. Although our frozen watermelon mezcal margarita relies on the fruit rather than the juice, that delicious, bright taste is still present. If watermelon's not your jam, there's still an abundance of flavors to pair with a festive seafood boil.

A seafood boil rife with shrimp and scallops deserves a margarita that's just as tasty, if not more. A blood orange and pomegranate concoction delivers a similar fruity, summery flavor, but with a twist. Instead of relying on lime juice for zest, the cocktail takes on a richer flavor thanks to the blood orange juice and pomegranate concentrate. This depth is bolstered by cinnamon simple syrup, offering the shrimp and scallops a complementary and enveloping spice.

If you like your cocktails to have the same savory flair as a seafood boil, we suggest a frozen margarita with avocado and cilantro. This cocktail is best for scaled-back seafood boils made with clams, mussels, and crab legs. Rather than taking the Old Bay route, it keeps things simple with fresh herbs, lemon slices, and some broth or white wine.