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Pair Your Mezze Platter With 6 Drinks That Aren’t Ouzo

mezze and cocktails

A mezze platter filled with hummus, tabouleh, pickled veggies, olives, dips, pita and other flatbreads along with an assortment of cheeses is a lip smacking appetiser at any party you host. Just put out a couple of these large plates brimming with bold flavours and varied textures and you would have smiling guests conversing between mouthfuls of hummus and pita with an olive raring to be popped into their mouth. Mezze platters are enjoyed widely in the mediterranean region and over time have become global favourites as bar tapas or as large spreads of antipasti at any big gathering.

This traditional Lebanese or west Asian dish is accompanied many times by the classic Greek drink, ouzo, a clear and potent anise-flavoured aperitif that tastes a lot like sambuca or arak. The transparent liquid is infused with a lot of different flavourings and undergoes many distillation processes to arrive at a very potent blend carrying aromatic whiffs of cinnamon, cardamom and fennel among other spices. Ouzo is the national drink of Greece and when paired with a mezze platter, it becomes an indulgent beverage that celebrates the varied flavours part of this large appetiser.

Yet, there are several other blends which complement a mezze platter just as well. Read on below to know more about some of the drinks you can pair with this delicious plate of food:

Rosé

Many culinary enthusiasts and gastronomes recommend pairing rosé with a mezze platter. Not only is this marriage socialising genius, it is also the perfect drink to balance the different flavours of tabbouleh, feta or muhammara found in a traditional mezze platter. The drink offers a drier mix of red and white wines which is light on the palate and is seldom overpowering when enjoyed with diverse foods.

Classic G&T

Infused with botanicals and the sparkling effervescence of tonic water, a classic gin and tonic can go well with a mezze platter. Add a lime wedge to the drink to introduce a bit of acidity into the drink that would give your palate a zesty finish especially when you enjoy the cocktail following a generous bite of hummus and pita. G&T also compliments pickled veggies and cheeses well, so if you are looking for an uncomplicated serving option with mezze, you cannot go wrong with a splash of Tanqueray No. Ten Gin blended in quality tonic water.

beer with mezze

Craft Beer

When you next head to a brewery and are thinking of what to order as tapas, go for a mezze platter. Frothy craft beer is the perfect accompaniment for a plate carrying falafel, couscous, crumbly feta, some tomatoes, hummus or tzatziki. A light beer like pale ale also goes well with charred lamb or grilled chicken found on the platter and becomes a very refreshing take on balancing the intense flavours in a classic mezze dish.

Sherry

A good sherry is the perfect match for a fine, elegant mezze platter, with its sweet notes and just a hint of dryness that balances the intense herby flavours in a tabbouleh. Sherry is a dry and tangy drink with a flavour profile similar to the nuttiness of pine nuts and the acidity of cheeses or dips present in the platter. So, at any intimate gathering, you can get the ball rolling with a glass of sherry and a tasty mezze appetiser.

Mint Tea

One might think of a mezze platter as an appetiser but it is a very filling plate, perfect for cocktail nights. You can follow up this sumptuous snack with warm non-alcoholic mint tea to cleanse your palate. A classic west Asian mint tea is also a delightful flavour pairing because it contains the herbs and spices often found on a full mezze platter.