With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you might be starting to panic. You’ve decided to skip restaurant reservations and host dinner at home this year, but you have no idea where to begin. On the one hand, you want to pamper your valentine and […]
Author: Curtis Carr
You’ve seen wings and nachos at Super Bowl parties before, but what about adding lobster to the mix? Tell guests you’ll be serving game day classics with a crustacean twist, and they’ll be at your door for more than commercials and beer. You might even […]
You may already know white wine pairs well with seafood. The question is – what liquor goes with seafood? If you usually avoid serving liquor with your meals, it’s understandable. Spirits are high in alcohol and can overpower a dish. Although liquor may be trickier to pair with food than wine, it is not impossible. Spicy spirits like gin or vodka can be delicious with seafood, and as a bonus, help get the conversation rolling.
- Best Lobster Cocktails & Drink Pairings
- Best Crab Cocktails & Drink Pairings
- Best Oyster Cocktails & Drink Pairings
- Best Shrimp Cocktails & Drink Pairings
- Best Seafood Wine Pairings
- Best Seafood Soup Cocktails & Drink Pairings
You might serve liquor in cocktail form, which helps tone down a high alcohol content and provides an opportunity to add more flavor to a meal. Cocktails often look as fun as they taste, too – perfect for setting a festive mood. In this post, we’ll provide liquor pairing ideas for a variety of seafood dishes, and we’ll also suggest beer and wine pairings for those who prefer less intense beverages. Either way, we hope to inspire you to dust off your shaker, crack open a beer or pop the cork next time you serve treasures from the sea.
Lobster drink pairings revolve around lobster’s sweet, briny flavor and its preparation. One way to eat lobster is to dunk the meat in a pool of butter. A neutral spirit like gin adds a touch of citrusy flavor to a buttery lobster dish, which helps cut through the fat and balance the sweetness.
You might also try cognac, which is distilled from wine, and pairs well with shellfish and lobster claws. Cognac brings smooth fruity flavors to the table and is an excellent choice for a surf-and-turf meal. If you’re nervous about drinking cognac with lobster, take it for a test run first by mixing iced cognac with ginger ale.
If you prefer cocktails over straight liquor, here are some recommendations that pair well with a lobster dinner.
1. Natalie’s Swizzle
Chefs and bartenders at Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn recommend trying their Natalie’s Swizzle cocktail with your next lobster boil. To make this bright, spicy cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 ounce of dark rum
- 1 ounce of Drambuie
- 1 ounce of lime juice
- 1/2 ounce of ginger syrup
- 3 dashes of Chinese bitters
- 6 to 8 mint leaves
- 10 dashes of Coastal Root bitters
- 10 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
To make Natalie’s Swizzle, mix the first six ingredients in a Collins glass and fill it with crushed ice. Stir the cocktail until it’s cold and top it with more crushed ice. Add the bitters and garnish with a mint sprig. Serve this Maine-made cocktail to guests next time you offer fresh Maine lobster.
2. Lobster Bloody Mary
What could go better with succulent lobster meat than more lobster meat? When your order our fresh, cooked lobster meat, you’ll find juices left in the bottom of the bag. Here’s a way to use those juices and impress guests with a mouthwatering cocktail. To make two servings of our Lobster Bloody Mary, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of seafood seasoning
- 3 ounces of vodka
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon of celery salt
- 2 tablespoons of pickle juice
- 1 half lemon
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- 6 ounces of tomato juice
- 5 to 10 drops of hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons of prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoons of juice from cooked fresh lobster meat
- Two 12-ounce glasses
You can combine the following ingredients for a showstopping garnish:
- Bamboo skewers
- Swizzle sticks
- Cooked lobster meat
- Celery stalks
- Cucumber spears
- Pickle spears
- Lemon slices
To get started, place the seafood seasoning on a plate or bowl and set it aside. Squeeze lemon juice around the rim of each glass with the lemon half, and dip each glass into the seasoning. Fill the glasses with ice.
Pour the vodka, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, horseradish, lemon juice, tomato juice, pickle juice and lobster juice in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes. Shake for about a minute or until the shaker is cold. Pour the mixture between the two glasses and garnish. Serve immediately to thirsty friends.
3. Beech Hill
Are you planning on serving classic Maine lobster rolls for dinner? You’ll want to give this blueberry-inspired cocktail a shot. Another suggestion from Natalie’s, the Beech Hill cocktail is named after the Beech Hill Preserve and is sure to lift your spirits. To make Beech Hill, you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 ounces of Bols Genever
- 1/2 ounce of Domaine de Canton
- 3/4 ounce of lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce of maple syrup
- 10 blueberries
- 2 basil leaves
To make Beech Hill, mix the blueberries and basil in a cocktail shaker. Add the Bols Genever, Domaine de Canton, lemon, maple syrup and ice, then shake. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with a basil sprig.
The Bamboo is a recommendation from Darryl Chan, head bartender at Bar Pleiades in New York, as a versatile cocktail that goes great with seafood. To make Chan’s Bamboo, you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 ounces of Dolin Dry Vermouth
- 1 1/2 ounces of Lustau Los Arcos Dry Amontillado sherry
- 2 dashes of orange bitters
- 1 dash of lemon bitters
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, stir and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve this refreshing cocktail with lobster or any seafood dish you’re craving.
5. Belgian Tripel
If you prefer beer over cocktails, you have many tasty pairing options. One option is to pair a lobster dinner with a Belgian tripel, a bright, peppery beer that can season lobster like a pinch of spice. Consider trying Tripel from Allagash Brewing Company with your next lobster feast. Other beer styles that add a lemony brightness to lobster’s lush flavors include hefeweizens or Belgian witbiers.
Sailors sip rum for more than a dose of courage – it tastes great with crabs. A sweet white rum works well in cocktails served alongside tender, slightly sweet crab. On its own, rum may overpower a delicate crab dish. However, a rum cocktail can enhance crab’s succulent flavor. You might also try pairing crab with gin, which adds a burst of citrus to a dish. Round up your best buddies and serve them the following drinks with crab, and you’ll have friends for life.
A mojito and seafood make a lovely match, especially if your seafood of choice is crab. It’s hard not to love a soft golden crab cake in the first place. Imagine serving crab cakes with a cocktail that makes the flavors playfully dance. Try this easy classic mojito recipe to intensify a crab dish with hints of lime, mint and subtly sweet rum:
- 2 ounces of quality light rum
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 6 to 8 mint leaves
- Splash of club soda
- 1 lime, cut in half
- Mint sprig
To make a mojito, place the sugar, mint leaves and club soda in a highball glass. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. Squeeze the lime juice from both halves and drop one half of the lime into the glass. Add the rum and stir. Fill the glass with ice cubes and club soda, and garnish with the mint spring. Enjoy this cooling cocktail with crab and imagine relaxing on the beach.
A refreshing, citrusy gimlet made with lime and floral gin makes another tasty choice for a crab-centric meal and is extremely easy to make. Try this fun Cucumber Basil Gimlet recipe from Craft and Cocktails for a bright green drink with satisfying flavor:
- 4 ounces of floral gin, like St. George Terroir Gin
- 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
- 18 basil leaves
- 1 cup of cucumber, chopped
- 1 ounce of simple syrup
To make this gimlet, place the gin, lime juice and basil leaves into a blender. Blend on low to mix the ingredients, then switch to high. Add the chopped cucumber and the syrup and blend. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a cucumber ribbon and basil leaf.
3. Belgian-Style Saison
If you want to pair crab with beer, try a spicy Belgian-style saison to balance the sweetness of crab meat and cut through the fat of butter-dipped crab chunks. If you’re serving a garlicky crab dish, serve an American-style India pale ale (IPA). An American IPA cleans the palate between bites and adds pleasant contrast with herbal notes and citrus flavors.
Oysters are more flexible than other seafood varieties when it comes to alcohol pairings. You can go light or dark with drinks because of oysters’ brackish, mildly sweet flavor. For example, you might enjoy the sweetness of bourbon with a salty oyster. If you serve fried oysters with a flavorful dipping sauce, you can pair the dish with a bold bourbon. A simple gin and tonic cocktail also makes a yummy oyster companion. Although there are dozens of ways to enjoy oysters with liquor, wine or beer, here are some ideas worth trying.
1. Hemingway Daiquiri
The Hemingway Daiquiri complements the slight sweetness and sea-saltiness of an oyster with bright, sugary flavors. You’re sure to discover why Ernest Hemingway loved this concoction, especially if you serve it with brackish delicacies. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- 2 ounces of white rum
- 3/4 ounce of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce of fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce of maraschino liqueur
To make this drink, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all the ingredients and shake. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a slice of lime.
2. Bee’s Knees
Ready to travel with friends to the 1920s when people used the phrase “bee’s knees”? This simple, refreshing cocktail makes an oyster shine and helps get the party started. Try this classic Bee’s Knees Cocktail, where you’ll make honey syrup and mix it with just a few ingredients. For the syrup, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of honey
- 1/3 cup of hot water
To make the cocktail, you’ll need:
- 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice
- 2 ounces of gin
- 3/4 ounce of honey syrup
First, make the honey syrup by combining the honey and hot water in a container and stirring well. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lemon juice, honey syrup and ice, and shake. Strain into a glass and feel your taste buds buzz.
You may think a dark stout would be too heavy to pair with a plate of oysters. However, a toasty, malty stout enhances an oyster’s briny flavor. Next time you eat oysters, pair them with stout for a pleasant surprise, or try Twin Village Farmhouse Oyster Stout from Oxford Brewing Company, which they brew with jumbo oysters from the Damariscotta River.
What Drinks Go Well With Shrimp?
Like other seafood items on this list, gin goes well with the briny sweetness of shrimp. You have many options when it comes to finding a gin cocktail you can enjoy with shrimp. Consider how you prepare the shrimp and how you want to play with flavors. Let’s look at a few recommendations.
1. Gin Martini
- 1/2 ounce of dry vermouth
- 2 1/2 ounces of gin
- Olives or lemon twists
- 1 dash of Angostura or orange bitters, optional
To make a gin martini, fill a mixing glass with ice and combine the vermouth and gin. Stir the mixture for 30 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a cold glass and add a dash of bitters if desired. Garnish with a lemon twist or olives and enjoy with friends, shrimp and conversation.
2. Cucumber Gin Cocktail
On a hot summer day, or to remember hot summer days in the middle of winter, serve shrimp with colorful, thirst-quenching cucumber gin cocktails. To get started, you’ll need:
- 1 English seedless cucumber
- 5 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 teaspoons of raw sugar
- 4 lemon wheels
- 4 ounces of gin
- 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
- Club soda
To make a cucumber gin cocktail, first shave ribbons from the cucumber with a vegetable peeler and set them aside. Cut a four-inch piece of remaining cucumber and chop. Mix the chopped cucumber with kaffir lime leaves, sugar and two lemon slices in a cocktail shaker. Add the gin and lime juice and fill the shaker with ice. Shake for about 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail into two Collins glasses full of ice. Add club soda, stir and garnish with cucumber ribbons and lemon wheels.
German wheat beer, or weissbier, brings shrimp to life with invigorating spicy flavor. Try Spinnaker, a refreshing, zesty and sweet hefeweizen from Rising Tide Brewing.
What if you’re having a creamy, flavorful soup like clam chowder? Wouldn’t a cocktail be too acidic? Not necessarily. For instance, if you’re going to serve up a bowl of velvety lobster bisque, you might also serve a Rhubarb Smash, which will wash the creaminess of the soup from the palate. Here’s what you’ll need to make this cocktail recommended by Natalie’s:
- 1 1/2 ounces of Aperol
- 1 ounce of dark rum
- 1 ounce of lime juice
- 1 brown sugar cube
- 1/4 simple syrup
- Rhubarb, 2-inch slices
- Club soda
To make a Rhubarb Smash, mix rhubarb, the brown sugar cube and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add Aperol, dark rum, lime and ice, then shake. Strain the cocktail into a Collins glass over ice and top each one with club soda. Enjoy with lobster bisque or another creamy seafood soup.
Wine is a classic choice for accompanying seafood. If you have any doubt about a seafood and liquor pairing, go with dry white wine or Champagne. Certain types of red wines work with particular seafood dishes as well. Let’s explore a few wine pairing options that are sure to please.
1. Red Wine
People typically avoid pairing red wine with seafood in fear it will overpower a delicate dish. However, sometimes red wine and seafood work well together. In general, a dry light red wine like rosé or spicy pinot noir taste delicious with white fish and seafood. Cellardoor Winery recommends pairing their pinot noir with bacon-wrapped scallops.
2. White Wine
White wine is the go-to choice for pairing with seafood. Similar to a squeeze of lemon, dry white wine adds splashes of citrus and a bit of sweetness to buttery, briny seafood. It also cleanses the palate to make each bite taste like new. Whether you plan to eat mussels, clams, lobster, scallops or crabs, you can’t go wrong with white wine. Choose from any of the following wines for a flavorful dining experience:
- Chenin blanc
- Pinot grigio
- Sauvignon blanc
3. Sparkling Wine
The satisfying cleansing bubbles in sparkling wine make it go well with just about anything, and the acidity lifts buttery, creamy flavors. You can pair sparkling wine with everything from lobster mac and cheese to a smoky seafood dip. Try Champagne to balance sweet with salty in creamy or smoked dishes. Or, enjoy the notes of apple and pear in prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, alongside spicy seafood dishes and sides. No matter what type of sparkling wine you choose, it’ll be hard not to relish the taste and texture when paired with seafood.
Benefits of Pairing the Best Cocktail, Wine or Beer With Seafood
Why bother pairing drinks with a seafood dish? Although a glass of water will suffice if you only want to quench your thirst, there are several benefits to choosing the right beverage for your meal. Here are a few reasons it’s worth it to shake and stir.
1. It Makes Food Taste Better
Think about the last time you ate warm homemade chocolate chip cookies. Did you kick yourself when you realized you forgot to pick up milk? Or how about the last time you had French fries? Did the salty, fried potato sticks make you long for a cold, creamy milkshake? It’s likely you’ve been pairing drinks with food for a long time, even if you didn’t realize it. Matching a drink with food is no different than adding seasoning or sauce to a meal. The right beverage has the power to bring out the flavors of a dish and makes a meal taste even better.
Similarly, the wrong drink can reduce the quality of a meal. Think of eating brownies while drinking orange juice. The question, then, is why not make a meal better by pairing it with a drink that complements the flavors?
2. It’s Fun
Besides adding to a jovial atmosphere, it’s fun to taste different drinks and see what works. Don’t be afraid to play with flavors and discover what you like putting together. You can even have a tasting party and try a variety of wines or spirits paired with different dishes. Ask yourself what tastes best with varying dishes of seafood or appetizers, and what doesn’t mix so well. After experimenting, you’re sure to find a winner.
3. It’s Easy
If you’re serving steamed lobster or seared scallops, you might be wondering what sides you can make and have ready before guests arrive. If you have bottles of white wine, Champagne or festive cocktails on hand and ready to go, you can relax. Beverage pairing is an easy way to turn any meal into an elegant occasion in a flash. Many cocktails are easy to make, and wine only requires a corkscrew and some glasses. Overall, pairing drinks with food is a simple way to enhance the flavors of a meal – no culinary training required.
Buy Seafood at Maine Lobster Now
Are you excited to practice pairing drinks with seafood? Let us help you get started at Maine Lobster Now. Whether you wish to host a beer and crab cookout or a romantic lobster dinner, we have the delicious, fresh seafood you need to pair with cocktails, wine or beer. All our products ship overnight in insulated packaging from Maine and come with easy instructions to make preparation a cinch. Order delicious seafood from Maine today, or feel free to contact us for more information!
Do you love the clean, tempting taste of freshly caught, freshly prepared seafood? When it comes to our favorite maritime meals, there’s no dish more delicious as both a delicacy and a down-home dinner than fresh lobster. From a plentiful shellfish used in abundance in […]
New England overflows with ghost stories.
From the Salem witch trials to the tale of Mercy Brown, Rhode Island’s vampire, the cold and forested New England states are a perfect backdrop for frightening events. Even small northern states like New Hampshire and Vermont have more than their share of ghost stories.
But perhaps the eeriest legends come from the coast.
Maybe it’s because of its mystery and unpredictability, but the ocean seems to attract legends and stories. The gray and stormy New England coast is filled with unexplained phenomena — almost every community has stories of ghosts, from remote lighthouses to wind-swept islands.
Here are four of New England’s most unnerving coastal legends, just in time for fall.
1. The Pirate Curse of Nix’s Mate Island
If you venture out on the water of Boston Harbor, you might notice a small island with a curious and ominous beacon, 12 feet tall and 40 square feet at its base. The slip of land is no more than 200 square feet, and a small gravelly beach is exposed during low tides.
This little island is called Nix’s Mate, and it wasn’t always small. In 1636, the island was over 12 acres long, and the property was sold to a man from Boston named John Gallop. For Gallop, the place was perfect for grazing a small herd of sheep. But to the local authorities, the island was perfect for another reason.
Stretching near the mouth of the wide harbor, Nix’s Mate was the ideal place to hang pirates.
According to custom, after hanging, the bodies of convicted pirates were often displayed in a visible location to send a message — piracy wouldn’t be tolerated in these waters. Because of the island’s location, many ships entering the harbor would pass close enough to see Nix’s Mate, along with the bodies and bones swaying in the sea breeze. And since Boston harbor teemed with pirates during the late 17th and early 18th century, the hanging posts on Nix’s Mate were almost always occupied.
In the 1630s, a sea-weary ship moored in the harbor, close to the island. After a long journey, the crew gratefully enjoyed a night of rest in the safety of the harbor. But the next morning, the captain, Nix, didn’t emerge from his cabin. Curious, one of the crew knocked on his door, then cautiously entered the room. Nix was dead, murdered in his sleep.
The authorities were notified as soon as the crew got ashore, and the captain’s first mate was convicted of the crime. The man swore his innocence, but it didn’t sway the opinions of the court or crew. A crowd gathered at the hanging island, and as the hangman slid the noose around his neck, the mate cried to God, “Show that I am innocent! Let this island sink into the sea to prove that I have never committed murder!” His words hung in the air, unnerving the crowd as they returned to their homes.
Life returned to normal for the town and harbor. But as the years passed, significant chunks of the island were carried away by waves, until only a few pieces of rocky shoal remained. Gradually, the little island became known as Nix’s Mate in honor of the innocent man wrongfully condemned.
According to some folklore, the island came by its name a different way. In this version, Captain Nix was a pirate who sailed into Boston Harbor for sanctuary. In 1680, Nix anchored in the harbor, his ship full with treasure stolen from unarmed merchants. During the night, he piled his wealth into a small boat and set off for the nearby island, accompanied by his loyal first mate.
After the mate dug a deep pit, they began to toss in bags of coin and jewels. As the mate’s back was turned, Nix calmly pulled out his pistol and shot him — he buried the man with his treasure, sure that no one else knew its location. But his betrayal offended the sea, and gradually, she reclaimed both the island and Nix’s treasure, and his restless ghost is said to still search for it among the rocks.
Another story claims the island’s name has a less-bloody origin. In 1700, a ship anchored offshore of the small island. The day was overcast, and a dense mist drifted over the water. Waves slapped the cliffs of the island in strange rhythms, and the sound seemed so eerily abnormal that a Dutch passenger, leaning against the deck’s railing, whispered that it was nixie scmalt, or “the wail of the water spirits.” The incident unnerved him enough that he included the nixie scmalt island in a letter home that same year.
We will probably never know for certain what happened on Nix’s Mate, but many claim that a presence hovers over the small isle. Whether it belongs to a bitter mate, a wandering captain, ancient sea spirits or just the restless souls of countless condemned pirates, something has made the little island stand out in local legend, and that something still lingers on the little island in the harbor.
2. The Dead Ship of Harpswell
Something about Maine’s gray and rocky coast seems to attract unexplained stories of spirits and phantoms. One of the legends that still echoes along the shore is Harpswell’s ghost ship.
No one expected the Dash to sink. During the War of 1812, the United States needed good seamen badly. In 1814, President Madison commissioned the Dash as a privateering vessel, charged with plundering and harassing British merchants, settlements and ships.
In just one year, the ship and her crew earned an incredible record of 15-0, outrunning many enemy warships in the process. But winter in the north Atlantic is harsh, and in January of 1815, the Dash raninto a fierce storm. Heavy rain, dense mist and freezing spray from enormous waves overwhelmed the frantic crew. The churning sea pushed the ship onto Georges Bank, a vast shoal dangerously close to the surface.
Hidden by the storm and waves, the Dash sunk into the cold ocean. But neither her wreckage nor her crew was found washed up on shore in the following days. This led some locals to watch for the ship’s return to her home port, swearing that she had not been lost. The Dash was almost unsinkable, after all — surely no storm could have wrecked her.
But years passed, and the Dash never sailed victoriously into port. One day, a worker on the docks of Harpswell, Maine, looked out towards the horizon. The sun had just set, and a thin mist was settling over the waves. Before his eyes, a ship drifted into view, as though it came from the fog itself.
The ship was gray and under full sail, and she was making straight for the town’s port in Casco Bay. Her sails were filled by a non-existent wind, and the ship seemed to carry the mist with her as she flew across the bay towards the docks. But most frightening of all, not a single person could be seen on the deck or handling the sails. Before the stunned worker could cry out, the ship faded from view, just before slamming into the shore. She was gone as quickly and eerily as she had appeared.
The Dash seemed to have finally returned to her home port. In the following decades, the dead ship of Harpswell haunted the residents of the small Maine town. Every few years, a local townsperson would see the ship while walking the shore — always at dusk, always unmanned and always vanishing just moments before hitting land. At first, sightings were just frightening and mysterious, signs that the ship had not sunk peacefully. But gradually, new stories emerged in the town.
If some unlucky person spied the ghost ship in the bay, they had more than spirits to fear. According to reports, if you saw the Dash, someone you loved was about to die.
For years, the residents of Harpswell avoided walking too near the bay at dusk, afraid what they might glimpse in the mist. The story of the death ship spread, and in 1866, poet John Greenleaf Whittier dedicated an entire poem to the legend — The Dead Ship of Harpswell. In the poem, Whittier writes of a “ghost of what was once a ship” that is captained by the angel of death, bringing doom to those who glimpse her gray sails.
The last official sighting was in the 1880s when a guest to the town reported watching an unmanned ship glide into the bay. He mentioned it in passing to his companion, but by the time they glanced at the water, the ship had faded out of view.
However, if you ask locals, the dead ship still drifts into the old bay every few years, and almost always, a sighting precedes a sudden death in the community. No one knows what the Dash is seeking in Casco Bay, but something keeps sailing out of the mist, restless and searching.
3. The Lady in Black of George’s Island
Like Nix’s Mate, George’s Island guards the mouth of the Boston Harbor. But unlike Nix’s, this island is substantial — with 39 acres of permanent land and another 14 at low tide, George’s Island was just the right size for a military fort.
In 1850, construction on Fort Warren was completed on the island. The fort proved useful as a patrol point and training grounds, and during the American Civil War, it began a new career housing Confederate prisoners of war. The harbor’s cold and bleak winters were a shocking contrast to the warm south, and many of the prisoners found the island harsh and inhospitable.
In 1861, a young Confederate soldier named Andrew Lanier was brought to Fort Warren, and he set himself to enduring a New England climate. During the bleak winter, he managed to send his beloved wife, Melanie, a secret letter, telling her he was alive but imprisoned.
It took months for the letter to make its way south to Georgia, but as soon as she received the letter, Melanie decided she would go to her husband, and she would help him escape.
After careful preparations, Melanie set out on the long and dangerous journey to Hull, Mass. At Hull, she stayed in the home of a secret Confederate sympathizer. A coastal town, Hull was just a mile away from George’s Island and Fort Warren. For hours every day, Melanie studied the fort, memorizing the patterns of guards and the prison’s daily schedule.
It was winter again before she was ready to act. She gathered an old pistol and a pickaxe. Cutting off her hair, she pulled on old men’s clothes. When night fell, a storm blew into the harbor. Ignoring the freezing wind and sea, Melanie slipped into a waiting dinghy and began rowing.
With the loud surf masking any noise, she hid her small boat among large rocks at one end of the island. Creeping through the shadows, Melanie began to whistle, as quietly as she could. It was an old, obscure Southern tune, one she and Andrew had always loved. After several long moments, a second whistle joined hers — Andrew signaled back. Using her hands to guide her, she felt her way until she found the outside wall of his cell. She managed to squeeze through one of the fort’s small windows and into the arms of her husband.
The soldiers managed to hide her from the guards, and using the pickaxe, they began to tunnel to the center of the fort. The night before they would complete the tunnel, one of the men became careless and struck a particularly loud blow with the pickaxe. Before the prisoners could back out of the tunnel, the alarm was sounded, and guards discovered the entrance.
After the last soldier was accounted for, the guards turned away from the entrance. Unnoticed, Melanie crept from the tunnel. Before anyone could react, she pulled her pistol and held it against the head of the nearest soldier. But the man spun around and knocked the gun away, and in shock, her finger squeezed the trigger. After the deafening shot, Andrew fell to the ground — Melanie had accidentally killed her husband.
Guards escorted Melanie to a cell, condemned her as a spy and sentenced her to death by hanging. On the eve of her execution, Melanie summoned all of her dignity and requested to wear female clothing at her hanging. After searching the fort, all the guards could find was an old, black robe. Draped in black, Melanie climbed the steps of the gallows, obscured by the ocean’s cold spray.
Melanie Lanier died and was buried on George’s Island, still in her black robes. Just a few weeks later, a young guard on duty was staring off towards the dark and rough sea, watching for Confederate ships. Suddenly, he felt two cold hands around his neck. Wheeling around, the stunned soldier stared at a shrouded, black figure, who lunged at the man again before vanishing.
Soon after the guard’s encounter, a late snow storm filled the island with drifts. After the storm stopped, the soldiers on duty were stunned to see the imprint of a lady’s slipper in the fresh snow. The footprints led nowhere.
And so began the haunting of George’s Island. According to the stories, a mysterious figure was routinely spotted wandering the grounds. During dark and overcast nights, on-duty sentinels would sometimes see a woman, dressed all in black, drifting across the shore. When spotted, the ghost slowly approached the terrified onlooker. Suddenly lashing out with supernatural speed, the Lady in Black would furiously push and scratch her victim before vanishing.It is said she only targets people in a soldier’s uniform, still furious and heartbroken at the death of her husband.
Her appearances didn’t stop with the end of the war. In the early 1900s, a soldier broke his ankle while trying to escape the Lady. Many visitors claim to see a figure in black wandering the dark corridors beneath the fort to this day, and during dark, overcast nights, some still notice a Lady in Black walking along the shore.
4. The Haunting of Owl’s Head Lighthouse
Penobscot Bay needed a lighthouse. During the 19th century, lime trade in nearby Rockland, Maine, had exploded. Because so many ships were coming in and out of the harbor, the community petitioned the federal government to build a lighthouse. Their request was accepted, and construction began in 1824.
In 1825, the long-awaited lighthouse was finally completed. It cost a total of $2,707.79 and came with a property of seventeen and a half acres of headland. Although a relatively short lighthouse, Owl’s Head is on high ground — at night the beam of light can be seen for sixteen miles in every direction.
The lighthouse gained its name from its cliffs. Two large indentations make the cliff face look like the face of an owl, watching the sea with wide eyes. Rockland is known for its beauty, and the picturesque lighthouse perches above green, wind-swept hills dotted with pines, the essence of coastal charm.
No one knows when the ghosts first appeared. All anyone knows is that since its construction, Owl’s Head Lighthouse has been haunted.
But the ghosts of Owl’s Head don’t seem to be malicious. One of the ghosts is just known as “Little Lady.” The form of a small child is often seen rummaging through the kitchen or staring out a window. Before or after seeing her, doors tend to slam unexpectedly and silverware rattles in its drawer, but for the most part, Little Lady is said to be a benevolent spirit who brings a feeling of peace instead of fear.
Another mysterious presence is thought to be the ghost of a former keeper. Large footprints of a workman’s boots sometimes appear in mud or freshly fallen snow, always leading from the keepers’ house to the old lighthouse. When the keepers would follow the footprints up the lighthouse steps, they would find the brass brightly polished, although they had not cleaned it recently.
Currently, the Owl’s Head is operated by the Coast Guard. But a change in ownership hasn’t reduced encounters. Denise Germann, the wife of a Coast Guard keeper, reports that one night her husband left their bed, remembering he had not covered some construction equipment outside. Soon after, Denise felt him return and asked him sleepily why he had left. He didn’t answer her, so she rolled over and froze. Her husband was not in bed, but next to her was the indentation of a body, moving as though shifting into a comfortable position.
Denise thought she was dreaming and forced herself to go back to sleep. In the morning, she told her husband what she had dreamed. Unnerved, he told her that last night, as he had left the room, he had seen a cloud of smoke hovering just over the floor. Thinking it was fog, he kept walking, but it moved past him and into the bedroom — just before Denise awoke.
Just a few years later, the new keepers were awakened by their 3-year-old daughter Claire standing in their doorway. The little girl announced, “Fog’s rolling in! Time to put the foghorn on!” Shocked, her parents stared at her — they were sure that they had never spoken those phrases around her. On questioning Claire, she told them that she had an imaginary friend, an old man dressed in a long blue coat and a seaman’s cap. For as long as the family was stationed at Owl’s Head, Claire claimed that she could see her friend wandering through the house.
Other keepers have seen a figure, dressed all in white, sitting at one of the home’s windows. In the 1980s, a son of the current keeper swore that he would often wake up and see a woman sitting in his room, watching him. For whatever reason, Owl’s Head attracts supernatural visitors, and they don’t seem to go away with time.
A Taste of the Coast Delivered to Your Door
The New England coast brims with life and legend, from ghost ships to eerie lighthouses.
But as much as New England is known for its ghosts, its also known for its seafood. At Maine Lobster Now, we bring high-quality, fresh seafood straight to your door. If you are craving a non-spooky part of New England coastal culture, browse our premium products including Alaskan Red King Crab and live Maine lobster.
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Lobsters, crab, fish, coral, turtles and other aquatic animals enrich New England waters, and for New England residents, life on the northeastern coast revolves around the sea — whether it’s having a friend who works at a fishery, having a regular appetite for delectable crustacean […]
Crab meat is a seafood staple that shows how deceptive outward appearance can be — sometimes the best things lie beneath the surface. In this case, buttery-sweet meat is the reward for anyone who takes a crack at this crustacean cuisine. But all crab meat […]
Crab is a rich and sweet meat — the best sides complement crab without overpowering it. Here are a handful of the best crab side dishes:
- Steamed Artichokes with Garlic and Butter
- Cottage-Cut French Fries
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Lemon and Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce
- Brandy-Infused Mayonnaise Dip
- Twice-Baked Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Zucchini, Onion and Corn Hash
- Almond Caesar Salad
- Cold Sesame and Ginger Noodles with a Peanut Sauce
- Avocado Deviled Eggs
Keep reading for our complete list of the best side dishes to complement your next crab dinner.
Odds are if you love crabs, you’ve loved them for a while — you’ve probably encountered some of the traditional favorite side dishes served at crab dinners. Juicy, roasted vegetables, creamy potatoes and classic butter dips are beloved for good reasons — versatile and minimalistic, they perfectly complement the sweet taste of crab.
1. Roasted Vegetables
Crab has a sweet, buttery taste, so it is important to choose a side that won’t overshadow the light meat. Roasted or grilled vegetables are a perfect companion to a savory crab dinner.
Try cooking carrots until they are crisp and tender — the earthy flavor of carrots pairs perfectly with crab’s melt-in-your-mouth smoothness. Roast asparagus to bring out its bright undertones. Simultaneously nutty and hearty, crispy and soft, roasted Brussels sprouts are a guaranteed success. If you have access to a grill or a grill pan, use the heat of a real fire to cook some veggies and give them subtle smoky flavors.
Try tossing together a variety of in-season vegetables to bring a depth of flavor to your meal. During summer dinners, combine zucchini and bell peppers for a light, tangy dish — in autumn, try hearty vegetables like carrots, onions and squash for a cold-weather taste.
Grilled or roasted vegetables pair well with all varieties of crab, which is part of the reason they are a traditional side dish. Try serving them alongside hot or cold crab meals — they even go with fried crab cakes.
2. Creamy Potatoes
Subtle and creamy, potatoes are crab’s natural companion — and the options are nearly endless.
Roast fingerling potatoes with rosemary and thyme for a sophisticated flair, or stick to the basics and smash up a bowl of mashed potatoes. But the basics don’t have to equal boring — drizzle garlic butter and sour cream over the top for a gourmet touch. Try twice-baked garlic mashed potatoes for an even creamier side — spike them with chunks of butter and cheese for extra deliciousness before you bake.
If you have any extra crab meat, you can toss it into mashed potatoes mix for a hearty twist. Cook red potato wedges with tangy greens or boil them in salt and butter for an authentic New England salt potato dish. You can never have too much cheese in your life — fry some cheesy potato pancakes for an unconventional twist on the traditional side.
With an infinite variety of cooking methods and possible additions, potatoes are an easily prepared and upgraded side dish that will quickly fill out a crab dinner.
3. Lemon Garlic Dipping Sauce
A lemon garlic butter dip is probably crab’s most iconic companion. The standard recipe combines clarified butter with a spoonful of lemon and a dash of garlic — the slight citrus tang gives a light, refreshing flavor to the crab, and the garlic melds with the smooth butter to give a perfectly savory taste.
Feel free to spice up the simple sauce. A teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce adds thickness and sweetness to the dip. Toss in extra herbs and spices such as parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper, but be careful not to overdo it — the key to this sauce is its simplicity. The dip is good enough to stand on its own, so keep the ingredient list low.
Butter-based dips and sauces are best with warm or room-temperature crab dishes. The sauce will solidify if paired with cold crab meat, so if you’re serving a cool crab meal, it’s probably best to pair it with a different, cream-based sauce.
Some nights, you just don’t have a lot of time. But don’t worry — these simple side dishes don’t require much effort to be delicious. Try one of these three tasty and fast sides when you’re approaching a dinner deadline.
1. French Fries
Potatoes are already an excellent complement to crab. French fries take them to the next level of taste and convenience — nothing beats the crispy snap of a french fry.
For classic and quick french fries, all you need is russet potatoes, flour, paprika, vegetable oil and garlic and onion salt. Once you cut the potatoes into thin sections, dip them into the herb and spice batter and then fry them over the stove. French fries are a charming finger-food side for your crab dinner, and they are perfect companions to crab legs or other crab meals that require you to eat with your hands.
Try some french fry variations like thick and creamy steak fries or skinny, crunchy oven fries for added interest. Cottage fries are melt-in-your-mouth potato slices spiced with cayenne pepper and herbs, and sweet potato fries have slightly sweet undertones that pair beautifully with crab and seafood.
Whichever way you slice it, french fries are a fun, fast and tasty side dish for a crab dinner.
2. Raw or Steamed Vegetables
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to roast or grill vegetables — raw or steamed veggies are a quick and light side dish for a crab meal.
Blanch green beans in well-salted water and sauté with garlic, red pepper and butter for a fresh and delicious side that’s ready in under 20 minutes. Steam hard vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for a light side dish that will complement the rich and filling taste of a crab dinner. For added flavor, garnish the steamed veggies with a generous serving of garlic butter.
You could even leave some vegetables raw for an incredibly fast and chic side — slice carrots into long strips perfect for dipping or cut broccoli into small florets for easy handling. Raw vegetables have the benefit of being able to be dipped into the same sauce as the crab, which cuts down on preparation time. Bell peppers, celery and snow peas are other options for good dipping veggies.
3. Flavored Dips and Sauces
It doesn’t take much to make a smooth, flavorful dip or sauce.
A simple and fast idea is to create your own flavored mayonnaise. Add fresh dill, Dijon mustard and a squeeze of lemon for a Dijon mayo, or toss in some chipotle seasoning for a Southwestern kick. For a perfect sweet-and-sour complement to steamed crab legs, whip together a gourmet brandy-infused mayonnaise.
Combine a cold hollandaise sauce with sour cream and a little mustard for a smooth, creamy dip. If you like a little heat with your crab, blend up a spicy Diablo dipping sauce — using tomatoes, garlic and serrano chile, this thick sauce will bring your guests back for more.
Crab legs are only as good as their dipping sauce. An easy and fast side dish idea is to have a variety of sauces available on the table for your guests to choose from — have a classic butter dipping sauce next to a mustard mayo or hollandaise. This will create a fun spread that invites everyone to explore different flavor options, but won’t cost you hours of preparation.
To give your crab dinner an upscale flair, try one of these fancy, gourmet sides.
1. Fresh Artichokes
The ultimate high-end finger food, artichokes have a light and nutty flavor with a slight lemon undertone. You can prepare artichokes in a variety of ways — roast them with fresh herbs and garlic, stuff them with butter, cheese and breadcrumbs or bake them with a squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil.
For a simple and elegant dish, cover the artichokes with garlic and butter and then steam them for around 20 minutes to soften the leaves. Once cooked, serve each guest with a whole artichoke and a butter or mayo-based sauce for dipping.
As a bonus, you can use some of the same sauces for both crab and artichokes. Both the veggie and the crustacean pair beautifully with a lemon garlic butter sauce or a flavored mayonnaise dip, which allows you to cut down on preparation time without sacrificing flavor or classiness.
2. Crisp Green Salad
For an understated and sophisticated side dish, try your hand at a fresh salad.
Salad sides give any dinner a gourmet tone. Keep it simple with a romaine-heart salad dressed with a homemade dressing made with shallots, mustard, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Go a little heartier with an almond caesar salad, complete with home-baked Italian-style croutons and a parmesan, anchovy, mustard and garlic dressing.
Serve a pear and cashew tossed salad to give your dinner a hint of fruit — the light, refreshing salad provides a refreshing contrast to buttery-sweet crab meat. Grill apples for a smoky late-fall salad, or whip together a lavish red wine vinaigrette to give your favorite salad a fancy upgrade.
The options for a green salad side dish are just about endless — no matter how many crab dinners you host a season, you’re sure to find the perfect salad to complement each occasion.
3. Cocktail Sauce
Give your crab dinner an instant class with a homemade cocktail sauce.
But just because it’s homemade doesn’t mean it’s overly complicated. You can create a rich and flavorful cocktail sauce by combining ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce with lemon. Experiment with different amounts of each sauce, or add freshly ground black pepper for an extra kick. A cocktail sauce is a simple way to add sophistication to your dinner without spending hours in the kitchen.
Easily prepared, a cool and refreshing cocktail sauce is an elegant companion to a crab dinner.
If you feel as though you’re in a side dish rut, branch out by trying some of these unique but delicious sides for your next crab dinner.
1. Sweet Corn
For many people, corn doesn’t immediately come to mind when they think about a crab dinner. But the sweet and versatile vegetable is a tasty accompaniment to a crab meal.
For an easy side dish that you can eat with your hands, simply steam corn on the cob with lemon juice and sugar and smear it with butter, garlic and salt before serving. Wrap ears of corn in aluminum foil and grill over hot coals for a juicy and smoky side.
Toss together crisp corn, tomatoes, jalapeño peppers and chopped onion for a refreshing and light corn salad. Saute diced zucchini, onion and corn over medium heat for a buttery and tender vegetable hash. Fry some sweet corn fritters for a crispy side you can easily eat with your hands.
2. Asian Noodles, Vegetables and Sauces
Try pairing crab with an Asian-inspired side dish for a unique, memorable and refreshing dinner.
For an innovative dipping sauce, try your hand at nước mắm, a traditional Vietnamese fish sauce that combines rice vinegar, fresh lime juice, garlic, sugar, chiles and ginger root for a sweet and spicy kick. This light sauce will bring a new flavor to your crab dinner and is perfect alongside steamed crab legs.
Pair cold sesame and ginger noodles with a spicy peanut sauce and fresh sliced vegetables to add depth to your crab dinner. Have some fun in the kitchen making smacked cucumber — break cucumbers with a heavy knife so they can absorb a salt, chili oil, garlic and bright rice vinegar marinade. Dry-fry green beans with a garlic sauce for a fresh, crunchy and light side that pairs well with rich crab dishes.
3. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs might be the go-to side dish for warm summer dinners. A creamy and savory finger food, they pair beautifully with a wide range of dishes, including crab.
For a classic taste, mix mayo, vinegar and mustard with egg yolks and dust with paprika. But deviled eggs are easily customized — use avocado and lemon for a green twist on the traditional recipe, or spike the mix with bits of juicy bacon and minced jalapeño peppers for a spicy Southwestern flavor. You could even add some buffalo sauce to your eggs for an extra kick.
Try laying out a platter of deviled eggs at your next crab dinner — you probably won’t have any left over by the end of the night!
Fresh Crab Delivered to Your Door
You don’t have to live on the coast to have a fresh crab dinner.
At Maine Lobster Now, we specialize in bringing the best, freshest seafood to your door. We give anyone in the country the ability to experience the rich and bright flavors of Maine seafood, regardless of where they live. Browse our crab selections online and find premium products like our Alaskan Red King Crab legs — choose our huge Alaskan crabs for a meaty, hearty and flavorful dinner guaranteed to impress your guests.
Let us close the distance between you and the coast. Order from Maine Lobster Now and start planning your delicious crab dinner today.
Of the many gifts, you could give to someone, high-quality foods and beverages like beer and wine are among the few that won’t make its way to the trash can or donation pile. Since eating is a necessity and tasty treats are always desired, food can be an irresistible […]