The 6 Best Drinks to Pair With Oysters, According to the Food52 Team

Hint: You can’t go wrong with a martini.

May 18, 2023
Photo by Rocky Luten

There’s only one thing more refreshing than a dozen briny, ice-cold oysters on a warm day: a dozen briny, ice-cold oysters paired with the perfect drink. But what exactly is the ideal drink to complement oysters’ sweet, fresh, and distinctly oceanic flavor? It’s a controversial question, so we asked members of our team to weigh in. Once you’ve loaded up on supplies, sourced your oysters, and figured out how to shuck them, these are the six drinks that deserve a spot at your next oyster party.

1. Negroni Sbagliato (With Extra Prosecco)

My ideal cocktail match for oysters is something bubbly, lightly bitter, and not too sweet—a glass of a dry, crisp white always works, too. This Negroni Sbagliato ticks all those boxes for me and pairs well with just about any type of oyster. —Erin Alexander, Managing Editor

2. Gin Martini

You can’t go wrong with a classic Gin Martini—with a twist of lemon peel, of course. Serve it in a chilled glass if it’s sunny out (and it probably is if oysters are on the menu). —Maurine Hainsworth, Senior Copywriter

If I'm having a cocktail with my oysters, I want something strong, cold, and with plenty of bite. For me, this gin martini does exactly that. —Paul Hagopian, Editorial Intern

3. Suze Tonic

I tend to order raw oysters versus grilled, fried, or baked, and I like to keep my drink light and a little bitter to complement the fresh, salty flavor. The Suze Tonic is refreshing, bubbly, and has a perfect dash of herbal bitterness from the Suze—a French apéritif known for its earthy, citric, and bitter taste. —Julia Kramer, Commerce Editor

4. Blood Orange Radler

When I'm having oysters, it's usually hot and sunny, so I'm looking for two things in a cocktail: low ABV and refreshing. This Blood Orange Radler has both. Besides giving the drink a gorgeous hue, the sweet acidity of the blood orange complements the sweet, briny flavor of oysters (East Coast ones, anyway, which are superior. Fight me!). The beer adds even more light and bubbly refreshment. —Emily Ziemski, Food Editor

5. Zingy Michelada With Celery Salt

The flavors of a Michelada—hot sauce, lime juice—go together with oysters like peas and carrots. Plus it’s just a refreshing and summery drink—exactly what you want in an oyster-drink pairing. —Celeste Scollan, Senior Copywriter

6. Feta-Brine Martini

There’s nothing quite like a crisp and tangy Feta-Brine Martini paired with the saltiness of a freshly shucked oyster. Plus, the feta-stuffed olives provide an extra savory treat as you sip. —Chelsea Harris, Copywriter

What’s your favorite drink to pair with oysters? Share below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Anabelle Doliner

Written by: Anabelle Doliner

Staff Editor