The Perfect Sip: Non-Alcoholic Drink Pairings for Every Meal
The food and beverage industry is big business, with a total turnover of around £112bn in the UK alone. This has led to a rise in the importance of food-led occasions as we live in a foodie culture – the hashtag #food has been used on 497 million posts on Instagram, for example.
Flavour is essential in food – it comprises taste, touch and smell. When we taste food and drink, our mouth and tongue detect five things: sweet, salt, bitterness, sour and umami (savoury). Balance is crucial when pairing food and drink – as neither the food nor the drink should overpower the other.
What are the basics of food and drink pairing?
Regarding food and drink pairing, things with similar characteristics tend to pair the best, such as acidic drinks paired with fatty foods so that the acid cuts through the fat and balances the taste.
Most restaurateurs will keep the following things in mind when it comes to food and drink pairings:
- Acidity: acidic drinks pair well with oily, fatty, salty and sweet foods as it is a contrasting flavour
- Heat: hot and spicy dishes will be cooled down by sweet drinks
- Intensity: flavours should work together well so that they don’t overpower each other
- Sweetness: if pairing sweet drinks with sweet foods, there is a danger they can appear bland
- Weight: ensure the weight of the food matches the weight of the drink in terms of flavour
At lunchtime, we eat lighter foods, such as sandwiches, salads and soups. The different flavours of alcohol-free spritz we offer at Citizen Spritz can help balance but enhance the flavours of your food.
If you are having a seafood salad, especially something that contains crab or prawns, then any of our flavours would be a perfect pairing, particularly the sharp and intense flavours of Pink Grapefruit or the zesty and bright flavours of Bitter Orange.
Dinner time is the time when we tend to eat protein, such as red meat, poultry or fish – which can be pretty tricky to pair with. When choosing drinks for dinner time, it is important to remember how the drink will complement, contrast or cleanse the palate between courses.
For example, our Cool Lime alcohol-free spritz pairs perfectly with Mexican-inspired food such as fish tacos and guacamole, cutting through the fat and refreshing your mouth before the next bite.
Desserts tend to be on the sweet side, so when pairing drinks with desserts, it is vital to balance that sweetness without overpowering it.
Our Passion Fruit alcohol-free spritz makes a good pairing with many desserts, especially chocolatey ones or ones with a hint of ginger.
Flavour and balance are essential in food and drink pairings, so factors such as acidity, heat, intensity, sweetness and weight should be considered.
Why not try some examples of how Citizen Spritz alcohol-free spritz drinks could be paired with different foods for yourself? Let us know what you think.