You don’t need a cocktail to enjoy street food. A humble lager, wheat or white ale is often a solid choice. But ever since Hawkers Five Points expanded their offerings to include their own menu of crafted cocktails, it’s allowed them to elevate the otherwise-humble experience of street food in a restaurant setting. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to think about which dishes will go best with their classic, signature, and seasonal drinks.

I recently stopped by to sample some new additions to the menu and try my hand at some pairings of my own. Note: half the fun is experimenting and trying things out for yourself so feel free to follow my lead or go your own way, you can’t go wrong!

Jingle Juice

Listen, I’m a sucker for piña colada but often, they’re a little too heavy to have with dinner. This version though is lightened significantly with sake and prosecco alongside RumHaven coconut rum, Coco Real and pineapple juice. It’s like Christmas at the beach (#festiveAF)! I thought it did a great job of matching the smoky wok hei of the Beef Haw Fun and would easily tame the heat of any of the spicier dishes on the menu.

Pretty Fly for a Mai Tai

Hawker’s take on this tiki favorite is pretty faithful to the traditional recipe. Plantation dark rum, lime juice, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, simple, and orgeat make for a tart, refreshing and boozy quaff that seems to me would go perfectly with something salty and umami-rich like fried rice or those lip-smackin’ Salt-n-Pepa Ribs.

G-N-TEA

Ok, this one is a little wild! Don’t expect this Fall-inspired gin and tonic to taste much of anything like a standard G&T. Here, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish gin is infused with chai tea (hence the name), the tonic is spiked with apple cider and the drink is finished with a charred cinnamon stick for a smoky, spiced concoction that is HEAVY on the aromatics. Going in on something that can stand up to the spice is probably the move with this one. I went with the Hawkers Wings and the Hainanese ginger-scallion sauce but anything gingery or even lemongrass would pair nicely, I think. The Five-Spice Green Beans might work too.

Come up with a fun pairing of your own? Share it on social and use the hashtags #boldbites and #eathawkers.

Bold Bites is a collaboration between Void Magazine and Edible Northeast Florida. If it’s BOLD and ridiculously tasty in the 904, we’ll try it. Follow @boldbites on Instagram.