Barbecue is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. And what better way to enhance that experience than with the perfect drink pairing? Whether you’re a fan of beer, wine, or cocktails, there’s a drink out there that can take your BBQ to the next level.
Let’s start with beer. Beer and BBQ go hand in hand, and for good reason. The carbonation in beer can help cut through the richness of the BBQ and cleanse your palate between bites. For a classic pairing, reach for a light lager or pilsner. These beers are crisp, and refreshing, and won’t overpower the flavors of your food. A Mexican-style lager like Modelo or Corona can also be a great choice, especially when paired with spicy BBQ.
For something a little bolder, try an IPA or a porter. The hoppy bitterness of an IPA can stand up to the strong flavors of brisket or pulled pork, while a rich and roasty porter can complement the smokiness of the meat. If you’re a fan of sour beers, try pairing them with BBQ chicken or pork. The acidity in the beer can help cut through the fattiness of the meat, while the fruity flavors can complement the sweetness of the sauce.
Next up, wine. Wine may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of BBQ, but it can be a surprisingly good pairing. For red meat like steak or ribs, reach for a bold and tannic red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Malbec. These wines have enough structure to stand up to the richness of the meat. For a lighter red, try Pinot Noir. This versatile wine can pair well with everything from chicken to pork. If you prefer white wine, look for something with a little more body, like a Chardonnay or a Viognier. These wines can pair well with BBQ chicken or pork, especially if they’re served with a fruit-based sauce.
Finally, let’s talk about cocktails. Cocktails may not be traditional BBQ pairings, but they can be a fun way to mix things up. A classic margarita can be a refreshing counterpoint to spicy BBQ chicken, while a bourbon-based cocktail like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan can bring out the smoky flavors of BBQ brisket or ribs. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a beer cocktail like a michelada or a shandy. These drinks can be a great way to incorporate beer into your BBQ pairing while adding a little extra flavor and complexity.
In the end, the best drink pairing for your BBQ is the one that you enjoy the most. So don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new. Who knows? You might just discover your new favorite pairing. Whether you’re sipping on a cold beer, swirling a glass of wine, or shaking up a cocktail, the right drink can take your BBQ to the next level.