If you have never considered how to pair food and drink before, this is the article for you. Not only will you be able to unlock flavors in a way that you didn’t think was possible, but you will also be able to take your meal to the next level in an apparently effortless manner. So, let’s explore the art of pairing food and drink to help make you a hit at your next dinner party.
Drinks which are more acidic tend to go best with seafood, salads and heavier food. Acid has the effect of refreshing the palate, which is why richer dishes work well, allowing you to keep enjoying the flavor to its fullest again and again. Perhaps you could go for a citrus-based cocktail like a mojito or a glass of Italian white wine when you are enjoying a dish such as pasta in a creamy sauce. If you are not in the mood for alcohol, you could just as easily make some fresh lemonade or a citrus-heavy punch.
Drinks with a higher alcohol content have the effect of making dishes taste spicier – just take a look at this Fireball Whiskey and bagel combination. However, be careful when you are serving dishes which are already spicy as you don’t want to inflame your mouth further! You are much better off with a glass of beer – or milk if you prefer something non-alcoholic. The last thing that you want to do is try to cool down with a glass of whisky!
Sweeter drinks have the effect of complementing spicy and salty food. For example, an ice-cold glass of sweet tea or a coca-cola goes nicely with a hot stir fry or spicy barbecue. And if you want a classic example of the combination of sweet and savory working in perfect harmony, just consider how well fries and a milkshake go together. When you get to dessert, a good rule of thumb is to keep the drink sweeter than your pudding – there are plenty of specific kinds of dessert wine to choose.
If you are going to enjoy a rich meat dish like duck or steak, a tannin-heavy drink like red wine is the ideal accompaniment. However, you can also find tannins in more unexpected places such as tea and cranberry juice as well. Tannins and fatty food have the effect of making each other more enjoyable – even though you have probably never thought about having a mug of tea with a rib-eye before!
Final Useful Tips
To close the article, we are going to give you one or two final tips to allow you to perfect your food and drink pairing craft. If you have used a particular alcohol when making a dish, you can also include it in the beverages served alongside. Drinks with bubbles work nicely alongside food which is fried and crunchy. Finally, avoid pairing bitter food and drinks as the results will leave you with a bitter taste in the mouth!
Thoughts? Do you have any pairing tips? Share them below.