Pairing No. 1
Jizake + Japanese Tapas
The word jizake refers to small-batch regional or local Japanese sake. Keita Akaboshi, the sommelier at Sake Bar Kirakuya (2 W. 32nd St., nr. Fifth Ave., second fl.; 212-695-7272), makes his recommendations from a list of nearly 150 types of jizake—most of which are premium limited-edition bottles, each with its own flavor and history. For the pairing hour, skip the expected sushi and sashimi platters in favor of Japanese small plates. Servers wear kimonos upon request, and traditional enka vocalists are available for hire. From $62 per person.
Pairing No. 2
Gin Cocktails + Tea Sandwiches
Evoke the elegance and grandeur of 1880s England with delicate finger foods like tea sandwiches—crustless, of course—served alongside airy gin cocktails. Death & Company’s Ravi DeRossi plans to open Gin Palace (95 Ave. A, nr. E. 6th St.; 212-614-6818), an old-timey Victorian pub, this spring; with that will come an array of caterable Beefeater-centric tipples and savory finger sandwiches. From $35 per person per hour.
Pairing No. 3
Euro-tails + Fondue
Take guests on a Pan-European tasting tour by offering a selection of regionally inspired cocktails paired with country-specific fondues, courtesy of DeRossi’s other storied venture, Bourgeois Pig Brooklyn (387 Court St., nr. 1st Pl., Carroll Gardens; 718-858-5483). Depending on the melt, dipping implements might include steamed asparagus, toast points, crispy pappadam, homemade pretzels, or apple slices. From $35 per person per hour.
Pairing No. 4
Craft Beer + Complex Cheese
Beth Lewand and Chris Gray, the husband-and-wife team behind gourmet grocer Eastern District (1053 Manhattan Ave., nr. Freeman St., Greenpoint; 718-349-1432), work with couples to develop spot-on tasting combos. Keep it simple with a New York flight (local cheeses plus regional microbrews), or select a heritage-inspired duo (e.g., Italian cheese with German beer) to appease both sets of future in-laws. From $24 per person.