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What Kind Of Drink Pairs Best With Crab Cakes?

crab cakes on plate
crab cakes on plate - Cavan-Images/Shutterstock

There are all sorts of ways to enjoy seafood, but one of the best is crab cakes. Long associated with the state of Maryland, crab cakes are a delicious way to enjoy the taste of crab in a full meal without spending what it would cost for, say, a full crab feast. Broiled, baked, sautéed, or fried to perfection, a good crab cake will highlight the taste of the meat without overwhelming it with filler.

If you're going to have a crab cake meal, it can be helpful to know which alcoholic drinks pair best. The good news is, you've got options. There are wines, beers, and hard liquors that all work well with this seafood dish. The key thread between them is lightness: You want a drink that will enhance, rather than overpower, the crab cakes, and that goes well with Old Bay seasoning (a staple ingredient in crab cakes). As long as you stick with these tips, you'll be in good shape.

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Look For Citrus Notes In Beer And Wine

glass of hefeweizen
glass of hefeweizen - El Nariz/Shutterstock

Everyone knows seafood pairs well with citrus and other light, acidic flavors; a little squeeze of lemon juice will bring out the flavors of seafood without overpowering them. There's a similar principle at play with alcoholic drinks, particularly with wine and beer. Fruity notes, especially citrus notes, are what you want to look for when selecting a beverage.

If you're going with wine, this can mean choosing a chilled white wine. You'll want to stay on the drier, more acidic side, as sweet wines are likely to result in the flavor of both the crab and the drink getting lost. This doesn't mean you can't have any sweetness; notes of fruits like peaches are great for crab cakes, so long as the sweetness isn't too dominant.

Beer is a little different. Instead of looking out for anything too sweet (sweet beers exist, but they're rarer than sweet wines), you'll want to focus on avoiding anything too hoppy (so, IPAs are generally out). Again, you're looking for anything citrus-forward, and a great typical source of that is Hefeweizens or other wheat beers (think something like Blue Moon), which tend to be both light and have plenty of that citrus taste.

Mixed Drinks That Work Well With Crab Cakes

mojito with lime garnish
mojito with lime garnish - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

If you don't like wine or beer, you're not out of luck. You can enjoy mixed drinks with crab cakes as well -- the key is knowing which hard liquors pair well with the flavors of the dish. Again, try to avoid particularly sweet mixed drinks; a frozen piña colada or a strawberry daiquiri may not be your best bet in this case. A mojito is an excellent choice -- as long as it's on the drier side -- because much like with the best beer and wine pairings, a mojito's primary flavor is citrus (in this case, lime). The same is true of a Moscow mule, which might be even better, because vodka is a neutral alcohol that won't bring any flavors to the party that will interfere with seafood's taste. Gin and tonics are also typically flavored with lime, and so are another good option.

The key here is that citrus is king, and sweetness is to be avoided. As long as you follow those rules, any drink you come up with is going to ensure you have a great crab cake dinner.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.