Dining on barbecue always makes us immediately hungry for more barbecue
, but all that sugar and salt makes us pretty thirsty too. The best drinks to pair with barbecue can stand up to those bold flavors and punchy sauces
without overpowering anything. Try refreshing iced tea
and root beer for non-boozy options, but don't be afraid to whip out something a bit more complex. Sate your thirst with one of these 11 drinks.
Backyard BBQ Teas ($24):
This collection of teas, including blackberry and sangria flavors, is tailor-made to be paired with barbecue.
Boylan Natural Root Beer ($2):
A natural root beer (that's sweetened with real sugar and not overwhelmed by high-fructose corn syrup) should have earthy, spicy notes that'll complement whatever secret ingredients you have going on in your signature spice rub. Sip it with dinner, then pour into a glass with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
La Crema Chardonnay ($16):
For lighter fare like grilled chicken and seafood, an oaky Chardonnay is a delightful choice. The woodsy notes in the wine will pick up the charred, caramelized character in your meal, with a hint of acid to balance things out.
Del Maguey Mezcal Vida ($40):
The smoky vibes play well with barbecue, whether you serve your mezcal straight up, on the rocks, or in a citrusy cocktail.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ($9):
There's no denying that beer and barbecue are meant for each other. Pale ale has enough bitterness and zest to stand up to heavy, sweet sauces, but it's not so hoppy that it would overwhelm your meal.
Bulleit Bourbon ($29):
Match Kentucky bourbon with Kentucky barbecue, and prepare for smiles all around. Serve yours straight up, or whip up a pitcher of mint juleps for your guests to enjoy while you monitor the grill.
Eppa Sangria ($17):
A fruity but not too sweet sangria will keep guests refreshed as they nosh on burgers, barbecue, and dogs. Make your own if you have time; if not, try a pre-bottled mix. Add sliced fruit for a more homemade taste.
Kraken Black Spiced Rum ($20):
If you're serving barbecued baked beans or anything made with brown sugar or molasses, dark rum is a natural pairing. The rich hints of caramel in the booze both complement and help offset any overt sweetness in your food.
Gosling's Ginger Beer ($13):
Peppery ginger keeps your taste buds engaged even when you're eating heavy meats doused in sauce. Drink iced or use ginger beer and dark rum to mix up a batch of Dark 'N' Stormy cocktails.
2016 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi ($18):
Juicy berry and dark fruit flavors along with light tobacco-smoke notes make Zinfandel an ideal pairing with grilled foods. It can hold its own against everything from sticky-sweet Kansas City-style barbecue sauce to a charred ribeye steak topped with blue cheese.
Stella Artois Cidre ($11):
A classic dry cider, with a subtle fruity flavor and plenty of acid, will enhance any vinegar-based barbecue sauces. Because it contains a bit of sugar, cider goes down easily with a wide variety of foods and is particularly adept at refreshing the palate after you eat something rich, like ribs.
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(Photos via Getty Images, Instacart, Bevmo, and David’s Teas)