The Best Bar Snacks for Home Happy Hours
When we say bar snacks, we're talking the salty snacks, the tiny nibbles, the minor morsels that you snack on between sips. They're the kind of savory snacks you'll find in little wooden bowls on bars all across America -- potato chips, popcorn, roasted nuts, and party snack mixes. These simple homemade recipes are great pre-dinner taste-teasers paired with a cocktail at home. They're also fun additions to an appetizer spread at casual cocktail parties; offer them in bowls scattered around the party for quick munchies.
Related: 10 Classic Cocktail Party Appetizers
Best Homemade Bar Snacks
Pretzels with a bite! A zesty marinade propels these pretzels into the next level of snackdom -- irresistible with a simple vodka martini with a twist of lemon. Valarie says, "This snack is shaken, not baked. Lemon pepper is the secret ingredient, and gives the spice marinade mixture a wonderful zest." Adjust the spices to suit your own taste.
Nothing's better with a cold beer than roasted salty peanuts in the shell. "This is so simple...my mom used to make these all the time," says Jill Artlip Lilly. "You won't believe how easy this one is."
Here's a great snack pairing for rum cocktails. "Excellent," raves Tracie. "Just returned from Cuba and we enjoyed them at the beach side restaurant. I am thrilled to make them at home. I followed the recipe to the tee and they were just like in Cuba."
These roasted pecan are particularly delicious with bourbon-based cocktails. Anastasia Daleiden says, "This is something I made up one day when I had extra bacon fat and pecans in the kitchen. They keep for up to a week but didn't last the day in my house! Adjust salt and cayenne to taste."
Try them with a glass of sparkling wine! "Guaranteed these homestyle potato chips won't last long!" ALMALOU says. "A food processor with a slicing attachment is very helpful. Experiment with the thickness; you may like them thicker or thinner. I like to use olive oil because it has less trans fats, but you can use safflower, corn, or peanut oil as well as vegetable oil."
New Orleans, home of the Sazerac, the Ramos gin fizz, Vieux Carré -- and the muffaleta sandwich. Amanda says, "These snacks have all the savory and briny flavors of a New Orleans muffaletta sandwich, in a crispy bite-size form--perfect for appetizers to share at a party!"
Popcorn, it's so simple but such a satisfying bar snack. No artificial ingredients here. "It's homemade popcorn the old-fashioned way," Kali Doogarsingh says. "I like to use peanut oil due to its high smoke point, but if you have allergies, then substitute vegetable oil."
"Easy and delicious snack mix with a dilly ranch seasoning," says Christina. "You can also substitute pretzels or goldfish for other ingredients you like, such as cereal, crackers, or nuts.
Salty, savory mixed nuts are among the world's best bar snacks...and so simple to make. Chef John uses walnuts, pecans, cashews, and almonds for his nut mix, spicing them up with cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Chef John says, "I find this roasting technique much easier than the stovetop pan method. You'll get beautiful nuts that are roasted evenly, with no bitter burned spots."
Check out our collection of Appetizer and Snack Recipes.