Best cocktails to pair with steak

A steak dinner is typically enough to whet your appetite, especially when you plan to use a premium cut of exquisite beef like A5 Japanese Wagyu. But without the proper drink, your dinner runs the risk of falling flat. While there are plenty of different beverage options available, this guide details the best pairings for steak if what you're craving is a cocktail. Consider one of the following options when enjoying a steak dinner. Whether you're dining at a restaurant or in the comfort of your own home, these cocktails will help bring out the best steak flavors.

Old Fashioned

As one of the most classic cocktails, it only seems fitting that an Old Fashioned works perfectly as a companion to a classic steak. The whiskey is the most important element because its depth and richness provides a perfect balance with that of a heavily marbled steak. The Angostura bitters, orange peel and sugar mellow out the whiskey just enough so that it leaves your palate prepped for every bite.

Be sure to choose a good quality whiskey that has a flavor profile to mimic that of your steak. For example, if you're grilling your steak, a whiskey with slightly smoky notes is ideal. A Wagyu steak has a slightly buttery taste, so with this steak you'll want a whiskey with a subtle sweetness, such as a bourbon.

Dry Martini

If you prefer to drink something that tastes lighter and crisper, go for a dry martini. It's simple and straightforward, which allows the flavors of your steak to truly shine. There's a refreshing element of a martini that also keeps the meal from feeling too heavy, making the drink almost function as a palate cleanser. Ideally, a dry martini should be paired with a leaner cut of beef for the best flavor profile.

Beware of dirty martinis when having a steak dinner. Many include far too much briny olive flavor, which can affect the way your steak dinner ultimately tastes. If you really prefer the dirty version, ask your bartender to go very light on the dirty part (or make your own at home with only a small splash of olive juice or brine).

Bloody Mary

If your meal is earthy in flavor, such as a USDA Prime Angus steak, a Bloody Mary can make for an ideal accompaniment. The tomato juice mixed with Worcestershire sauce and other seasonings creates a boldly flavorful experience with every sip and bite, and the vodka creates a subtle background tang to keep it feeling crisp and fresh.

Go easy on the spiciness (whether from Tabasco or horseradish) to avoid overwhelming your taste buds, which could make it harder to really enjoy your steak's flavor profile. Finish with a squeeze of lemon to bring out the brightness of the tomato juice.

Your choice of drink will make a big difference in how your meal tastes, so use these beverage suggestions to plan a steak dinner that's as fantastically flavorful as possible.