Everyone has a favorite dish and probably (hopefully) you could list at least that many beers, wines and liqueurs that tickle your taste buds. But do you have a favorite food-drink pairing as well?
And we’re not talking about a wine sommelier’s cheese plate or some beer snacks. We mean full-on Sunday dinners with a stout or a Margarita to boot!
After a little research (asking around at the pub and the kitchen) we created our favorite drink and food pairings for you to chew on.
Because these are the couples we like to study instead of celebrities.
Thankfully, beer is one of the most diverse beverage there is, which means, there’ll be a beer for basically all types of foods, be it a fatty meat, a light salad or even a multi-level chocolate cake on your birthday party.
The key to the perfect beer-dish pairing is complementing or harmonizing flavors. Meaning, you can either find a heavy, fatty food for your rich beers and a simple one for your lagers or the other way around. You can mix up a sour, citrusy beer with desserts and a sweet beer with your salty foods for a piquant experience.
But let’s see that in practice!
Pale Ale food pairings
Thanks to their rich flavors of Pale Ales, like the IPA, the APA or the NEIPA, they can neatly be combined with spicy and sweet foods alike. This means you can have a whole Christmas dinner accompanied just with your favorite ale.
Dish ideas for a Pale Ale:
- Spicy Tandoori Chicken
- Pulled Pork
- Carrot Cake
Wheat beer food pairings
A light, refreshing, yet sweet-enough beer style, the Weissbier can be unbeatable next to not-so dominant dishes. Especially if we are talking about wheat-based foods. In case of beers, pairing siblings is not such a bad idea after all…
Dish ideas for a Wheat Beer:
- Baked Ribs with Mustard
- Vegan Hungarian Eggplant Cream
- Caesar Salad
Porter food pairings
A wild, untamed beer calls for wild, untamed dishes… literally. Porters, known for their heavy flavors and full-bodied-ness, are the perfect companions for red and game meats. As they’d easily overpower a lighter dish, we recommend flavorful, smoky food pairings. Such as…
Dish ideas for a Porter
- American Lobster
- Smoked Breast of Duck
- BBQ Ribs
We’re not keen on educating anyone on the strict guidelines and traditions of wine-pairings, so we’ll just focus on the basics for now. Three popular wines that we feel a special connection to and anything that goes well with them.
Heavy, red wines are great with earthly flavors such as mushrooms and potatoes. Fattier fish and game meat work wonders with a good bottle of Hungarian Pinot Gris.
Dish ideas for a Pinot Gris:
- Grilled Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms
- Mushroom Salad
This typically lighter, minerally white wine pairs best with natural flavors. Raw vegetables, seafood and soft cheese are all great friends.
Dish ideas for Sauvignon Blanc:
- Maki sushi
- Tzatziki and Salads
If you’re looking for a truly special (and truly Hungarian) dinner idea, with a Tokaji Aszú-pairing you simply can’t miss. This legendary and famously sweet dessert wine is far from being only recommended for desserts. It complements salty and spicy foods wonderfully. Such as…
Dish ideas for Tokaji Aszú:
- Oven-baked Chicken
- Pastrami Sandwich
Hungarian desserts such as Gerberaud or Beigli
Cocktail and Liqueur Pairings
Wine and beer on a table is not an uncommon sight for anyone. But try sipping a Bloody Mary with your Steak and see how many eyebrows you’ve made jump.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it though! Our next cocktail-food pairings are well worth the social stigma.
This cocktail classic, with its refreshing prowess can be our trusty accomplice for a barbeque. Its light, citrusy character marvelously complements smoky flavors and after an especially hot wing, it can even be lifesaving.
Dish ideas for a Margarita:
- Grilled Chicken and Mushrooms
- A large bowl of Nachos
- Chilli con Carne
A stern, smoky Whisk(e)y is the chef’s best friend. As sauces, on meats and as chasers they’re equally unbeatable, be it straight or as a punchy cocktail. Robust whiskies go well with heavier foods but spicy dishes support their flavor just as nicely.
Dish ideas for Whisky cocktails:
- Smoked clams
- Debrecen-style Sausage with Mustard
- Chocolate cake!
This tomato wonder is the perfect company for any dish you could serve with some tomato sauce on the side. They (naturally) pair well with tomato dishes but we’d still recommend trying them with foods that doesn’t include this material in their recipe. This way you can let your favorite cocktail do the talking.
Dish ideas for a Bloody Mary:
- Cheese and vegetable-bites
- Club Sandwich
- Cheese and Ham Stuffed Chicken