facebook page view
720.824.5141

Seafood for All Seasons – What to Try This Summer (and what to wash it down with)

Shuckin' Shack seafood restaurant franchise

One of the best things about seafood is that it goes with just about any type of cocktail or beer. You don’t get very many contrasting flavors, and the range of options you have at your fingertips –  especially at a rocking, packed Shuckin’ Shack bar – is excellent. The only question is: what menu items go with what drinks?  

We’ll go through a few tricks of the trade in this article to show how a bar and grill franchise can make a great first impression. Let’s start with a few quick rules of thumb to set the stage for specific suggestions.

How to pair food with drinks without being a fancy chef

First, you don’t have to be a fancy chef to pair food with drinks, but you need to know a few rules. Basically, you always pair “big” flavors together; “light” flavors do the same. A great example is how a dry red wine goes great with lasagna or a five-meat pizza you have to eat with a knife and fork. Another one would be pairing a dry Chardonnay with homemade chicken alfredo. Bold food flavors always go well with bold drink flavors, see?

That’s the basic and easiest rule to follow in a pinch. The only catch is that you won’t find a fancy-pants wine menu at Shuckin’ Shack. Instead, you’ll find an all-star lineup of draft beers, local microbrew favorites, and house cocktails –  shaken, stirred, and served by one of our fantastic, talented bartenders. So, can beer and cocktails pair with incredible seafood too? The answer is a loud, resounding yes! And if you ask us, it’s better than going the wine route when running a seafood franchise.

Fresh shrimp and oysters go great with citrus cocktails

Okay, I know we just said we wouldn’t get too technical, but bear with us for a moment. Pairing a citrus cocktail with shrimp and oysters is a can’t-miss combination. At Shuckin’ Shack, we serve Wild American Shrimp with your choice of lemon pepper or Old Bay sauce, and what almost always goes on the side of seafood dishes? Fresh lemon slices are a must to lock in the flavors, so why not go the same direction with the drink?

In that case, a Saltmarsh Margarita made with fresh lime juice is what you need, stat! A great tip is to have your bartender rub lemons on the rim so the guest immediately gets the lemon flavors on the first sip. You could also drop a lemon twist in the bottom of the glass before adding ice, but it has to be a big twist to stand up to a proper margarita with a Grand Marnier floater.

If you have a complicated relationship with tequila (or an outright divorce), you can go for a vodka lemon drop or a house Sangria. But what about beer? Here’s where you pull out the pairing trick and look like Gordon Ramsey when you offer guests a new light, crisp lager with fresh oysters on the half shell. If they go big and order a sampler, all those flavors will add up, so pour up the stout, please! Guinness is the go-to option because people recognize it, but there are plenty of out-of-this-world microbrew stouts available that go down the hatch much smoother.

Fresh shrimp and oysters go great with citrus cocktails

During the last few years, the home-cooking phenomenon took off like gangbusters online, and honestly, we didn’t really have a choice at the time, with lockdowns and restrictions really throwing a damper on the restaurant scene. The problem is that seafood can be tricky to cook well; it’s easier for most of us to go to a restaurant and have someone do it for us – and grill it better than we ever could!

Grilling scallops is a good example because they’re easy to scorch beyond belief if you cook them for too long. Likewise, they’ll taste like rubbery fish if you undercook them. That’s just one way to mess up seafood at home, so give yourself a break and go back to a restaurant instead, which brings us to our next point. Seafood gives you more options.

Fresh shrimp and oysters go great with citrus cocktails

During the last few years, the home-cooking phenomenon took off like gangbusters online, and honestly, we didn’t really have a choice at the time, with lockdowns and restrictions really throwing a damper on the restaurant scene. The problem is that seafood can be tricky to cook well; it’s easier for most of us to go to a restaurant and have someone do it for us – and grill it better than we ever could!

Grilling scallops is a good example because they’re easy to scorch beyond belief if you cook them for too long. Likewise, they’ll taste like rubbery fish if you undercook them. That’s just one way to mess up seafood at home, so give yourself a break and go back to a restaurant instead, which brings us to our next point. Seafood gives you more options.

Fried foods, beer, and bourbon

If you can’t help but order fried foods, you have to wash them down with an ice-cold beer, but which ones? Our quick tip says to go big with big, so if a guest orders something like our smothered Hangover Fries, offer them an amber beer, brown ale, or an IPA. Just make sure they’re a fan of dark beers because, if not, it may ruin their palette for the rest of the evening. But in a pinch, you can keep the atmosphere light and fun and offer premium lagers on special, especially the stock that doesn’t sell very fast.

Pairing fried foods with cocktails is just as easy. The trick is to lean away from the trendy side and go for a stiff bourbon on the rocks with the tiniest splash of soda or coca-cola. Or, you can boss it out and order a whiskey straight up, no chaser and no rocks. But notice that we’re still adding big, bold flavors together – an excellent tip for a new bar franchise

shuckin shack oyster bar franchise opportunity, people enjoying oysters at the bar