The Best Cold Drinks Meet the Best Summertime Foods

Some foods just scream “summer” to us. And while pretty much any cold drink is perfectly refreshing on a hot day, there are some food and beverage pairings that work particularly well. Here are our top 10 summertime pairings.  

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Photo By: Tara Donne

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Photo By: Kang Kim ©2012

Photo By: Andrew Purcell

Summertime Drinks

A flavorful, ice-cold drink will round out your summer meal. Raise your glasses to these perfect pairings.

Burgers

Burgers and beer are pretty much a given. Go with malty brown ale to match the charred beefy edges. 

Get the Recipe: Throwdown's Green Chile Cheeseburgers

Brown Ale

For dark beer lovers, highly aromatic malt plus crisp bitterness makes for a great ale. English Brown Ales are the original and others might have extra twists like coffee or nuts.

Barbecue

With barbeque, your choice is to either counteract the sweetness with a crisp, hoppy IPA-type beer, or ride it with a super sweet tea. 

Get the Recipe: Neely's Wet BBQ Ribs

IPA

A hoppy IPA (India Pale Ale) is a light-colored pale ale that's a bit more bitter than a classic pale ale. Some types have biscuity or nutlike flavors and others are citrusy.

Grilled Chicken

Depends on the seasoning. Asian? A sweet white wine (like Riesling) works nicely. Mexican? Try horchata (a creamy Latin American favorite made with rice or nuts).

 

Get the Recipe: The Ultimate Jerk Chicken

Riesling

How can you go wrong with Riesling? The floral, crisp aroma is refreshing whether you pick a super sweet (labeled Spätlese or Auslese) or semi-sweet (labeled Kabinett) bottle. Very sweet types are loaded with lush fruit while semi-sweet varieties include ripe fruit flavors with just enough crispness. 

Fried Chicken

Sparkling wine continues to be the best pairing we know for this one (or ginger beer, if you’re not drinking alcohol). 

 

Get the Recipe: Fried Chicken

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine will turn a fried chicken meal into a fancy dinner in no time with its bubbles. A sparkling wine can really only be called Champagne if it comes from Champagne, France but any variety of bubbly will do.

Lobster Rolls

White wine–Chardonnay if you like richness, Pinot Grigio if you like crispness. 

 

Get the Recipe: Lobster Roll

White Wine

Experiment with ripe, luxurious chardonnays that taste like butter or fruity, low-oak chardonnays that are less agressive. Lighter-bodied, acidic Pinot Grigios usually come from Italy; citrusier, more tropical ones come from California or Oregon (and are sometimes labeled Pinot Gris).

Hot Dogs

Ice-cold lemonade on the beach; cold beer at a baseball game. 

 

Get the Recipe: Texas Dog

Lemonade

Fresh lemonade is the ultimate summer drink for the entire family. Customize the sweetness and tang to your liking and add blueberries or strawberries while they're in season.

Corn on the Cob

A michelada (a spicy beer cocktail, usually with lime juice and hot sauce) is the perfect sweet-spicy match for smoky grilled corn. 

Get the Recipe: Barbecue Corn

Michelada

If you're a fan of bloody marys, a michelada will not disappoint. The spicy, Mexican-inspired cocktail is a must-try for the summer. It's super easy to make with just few simple ingredients like tomato (or clam-tomato) juice, limes, beer and hot sauce.

Peach Cobbler

Bourbon whiskey has just enough sweetness to hang with the peaches, while it’s strong enough not to be cloying on the side. 

 

Get the Recipe: Cin-ful Peach Cobbler

Bourbon

This spirit is marked by flavors of brown sugar and caramel and even honey or toffee. Serve it on the rocks or straight up.

Blueberry Pie

This one depends on the time of day. Coffee at lunch (or breakfast); a vanilla milkshake at dinner. 

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Crumb Pie

Vanilla Milkshake

Cool, creamy and super sweet--vanilla milkshakes are a classic frozen favorite. 

Ice Cream

We’re seeing ice cream floats surge in popularity these days, so in that spirit, let’s say your favorite soda, or a dark, chocolatey stout.    

Get the Recipe: Cherry-Chocolate Ice Cream

Soda

Soda pop comes in various flavors so pick your favorite based on whatever ice cream you're indulging in. Try blackberry pop with vanilla ice cream.