« So what do you want to talk about? | Main | I'll do better next time »

August 25, 2009

Top 10 drinks (other than wine) that go with food

MojitoOfCourse.jpgWhen I'm at a Chinese-American restaurant, I crave a whiskey sour. When I'm eating Tex-Mex food, a margarita is what I want. Of such stuff Top 10 lists are made.

Yesterday a frequent commenter, The Baltimoron, who is a local bartender, sent me such a good Top 10 list I decided to use it today rather than the boring one I was working on. It's a list of great food and drink pairings, excluding wine.

He also added this postscript:


key lime pie martini and cheesecake; I make a martini with key lime juice, cream and 2 oz of 43 liqueur, rim the glass with graham cracker crumbs and serve with plain cheesecake, yum!!
cosmopolitans with tapas; the reason this works is while enjoying cosmos or tapas, you are actually enjoying friendly conversation, not a meal, and both cosmos and tapas complement the atmosphere you set with your company.
things that complement nothing:
grappa, ouzo, jagermeister, any more?

Now here's his list of drinks that do complement food, and the food they go with:

* Zen Press with a summer dinner salad. A Zen Press is muddled seedless cucumber with lemongrass, Hendrick's gin and either soda water or Sprite, garnished with fresh mint. It goes great with any dinner salad.
* Mojito with Southwestern/Mexican food. What could be better on a hot day than flautas and a mojito?
* Orange Manhattan with a steak. Use a better bourbon and orange bitters instead of sweet vermouth, or both, for this one. Great with a steak in a reduction or topped with blue cheese. It will cut right through it, you won't need a knife!
* Natty Boh and crabs. I can't leave that out, might get lynched.
* Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and anything beurre blanc. The nutty hoppiness of this beer will complement and cut the sweet cream buttery goodness of the sauce.
* Keyoke coffee with dessert, tiramisu for me. Brandy, Kahlua and coffee topped with whipped cream. I just came back from La Tavola; it was a great ending. Dinner was good, too!
* Hot sake with sushi. Need I say more? (Not a wine. Calling it rice wine doesn't make it wine.)
* Guinness and Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage. We're all Irish on St. Patty's day, aren't we?
* Milkshake with a burger and fries. It's the all-American meal we all grew up on, and still indulge in from time to time. Vanilla for me!
* Jager bombs and chili cheese fries. Just kidding. That was for those who are reading and are 21 years old to 21 1/2.

(Algerina Perna/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:09 AM | | Comments (63)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays, Wine and Spirits


a bloody mary and oysters on the half shell

Okay, the Baltimoron delivered! I do take exception to his scorn of grappa though. I had my first grappa shortly after we arrived in Switzerland many years ago. A group of us climbed a mountain, and when we reached the summit, our leader from the Ticino pulled out his grandfather's homemade grappa to go with whatever we were eating for lunch. I don't remember lunch, but I do remember the grappa! I will occasionally order a grappa instead of dessert to this day, and it brings back many memories.

A Mimosa with eggs benedict at a liesurely Sunday brunch -- providing that a drink that's partly champagne doesn't violate the no wine edict.

I like Arabic coffee or properly made espresso with sweet things. Homemade ginger ale or a good Jamaican ginger beer go well with beef and with Mexican food.

Gotta go with the coffee and desert or coffee with breakfast sandwich. I am not much for alcohol.

I don't eat food with milkshakes because they are too filling by themselves.

Apple cider and pretzels.

I don't see whole hog BBQ and Cheerwine on this list.

A glass of port wine (I like Boordy's for the local win) and a dark chocolate dessert.

How about a top ten of non alcoholic drinks?

Cocoa with graham crackers.

-Beer and crabs
-Good sturdy bitter beer (IPA or similar) with spicy Thai, Chinese, or Indian
-(Gin) Martini and steak tartare

lots of great additions!, apple cider and pretzles? sounds good! port I would consider a wine, a mimosa, i'll ive ya that one, technically it is a mixed drink the way sangria would be. cheerwine? I don't know what that is but what a greay name. I looked it up, cherry soda? I was expecting something different. I could do a non alcoholic list earl, but I warn you, i'm gonna throw fresca in there! of course #1 on that list would be coffee and a dunkin doughnut! unbelieaboh, I can't believe I didn't put bloody mary and oysters, (facepalm) it's the 1 and only drink that I have actually combined to make a drink, oyster shooters! They were $3 at Crabby Dicks on broadway when I was there and man were they good! thanks for all the additions, I hope there are more to come!

My favorite: Hi-C and turkey. Followed closely by Dr. Pepper and trout.

"A book of verses underneath the bough,
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou"
Omar K.

Oreos and milk.

Absinthe and potato chips.

Chai and alu tikki.

Akavit and a good Danish cheese on slabs of dark bread with a dab of Loewensenft.

the best available beer with the best available pizza.
and speaking of pizza, I'm with Dahlink --Baltimoron, you delivered.

Misha just reminded me -- port and Stilton. Is there a better combination to polish off a Xmas dinner?

Moving right along, how about Brown's Celery Tonic and the Stage Deli's Hymie's Special? (Hmm...maybe some shrink can tell me why I now include the Hymie's Special sandwich in nearly every other post.)

beer and sausage that isn't breakfast sausage.

Also, Natty Boh does not go with anything. It's awful. A Clipper City Gold Ale and some steamed crabs is a perfect Baltimorian pairing!

YumPo, are you serious? Absinthe and *potato chips?* Frites, maybe, but I'd think the salt on chips would clash with the herbal bitterness of the absinthe.

soy milk and a spoonful of peanut butter.

When I make anything with a tomato sauce base (e.g. pizza, lasagne, spaghetti, etc.) I like a glass of ICE COLD milk.

Well-chilled vodka and caviar.

Iced tea (sweet with lemon) and picnic food, especially fried chicken

Speisebraten(Pork loin marinated, then grilled over an open fire) and Mulled Red Wine....outdoors in the winter of course!!!!

Lissa, in Rome and Florence the potato chips were not as salty. Then again, what I like, others may not, especially since absinthe is an aquired taste anyway.

Should have known you wouldn't joke about absinthe, YumPo. I've not had it, but I suspect it'd take about 1 sip for me to acquire the taste for it.

I don't think I'd like Italian potato chips, though. Got to keep the blood pressure up.

Water is my favorite liquid accompaniment to food.

-It doesn't fill you up, allowing you to eat as much as possible
-There's no carbonation to screw with your digestive process
-It washes down whatever you're eating
-It goes with EVERYTHING
-When you spill it on your pants and shirt it doesn't stain or make them any dirter than they were before
-It's good for you!

Corey - Water is my favorite accompaniment to food, also. Another plus is that it doesn't stain or corrode your teeth, either.

After enjoying it last week, I have to endorse pot roast & Bass Ale.

YumPo and Lissa, just remember that Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder. And just to stay on topic, it goes nicely with steak and pomme frites.

Friends report that a pork loin roasted with Magner's cider and then accompanied by a Magner's is to die for.

MAG, that would be the last thing I need.

Alas, I guess I'll have to remain sober.

wow, did I really forget oreo's and milk? in my defense, I was thinking of drinks in a restaurant to pair with restaurant prepared foods, but non the less I still cant eat oreo's withought milk, does anyone else put ice in their milk? it's the only way I drink it, and I drink alot of milk. cleatus, akavit and a danish blue on a pumpernickle cracker or toast, excellent! and bruce, I hate to agree, but I do, natty boh I wouldn't even steam shrimp in. I like crabs with hannsen's gueze, and amazingly complex beer. Michael, "absinthe makes the heart grow fonder" now thats just funny! magners cider I think would go great with any BBQ or ribs, I need to stop reading this blog while i'm hungry, i'm going to the grocery store now, I need a danish blue cheese and some oreo's.

Tea and sympathy.

A plain original Dunkin Donut and coffee. And, let us not forget Oreos and milk!

Brown's cream soda with pastrami or corned beef sandwich

Weissbier with Binkert's German sausages

Ice cold milk with PBJ

Iced tea (or lemonade) with a BLT

A massive Rioja with mussels in cream, garlic, and butter with a good crusty bread to tie it all together.

Oops! You said OTHER than wine...Sorry. I just got carried away.

dont worry cleatus, I get carried away talking food / drinks too!

@Gabriel Oak: Also, apple cider and popcorn. But not microwave "popcorn", it has to be popcorn popped on the stove. One of my favorite fall snacks! And truth be told, when I was single it would often do for dinner.

@Gabriel Oak: Also, apple cider and popcorn. But not microwave "popcorn", it has to be popcorn popped on the stove. One of my favorite fall snacks! And truth be told, when I was single it would often do for dinner.

Hey baltimoron, I put ice in my milk.

Iced tea and a club sandwich.

We refer to this as a classic 'Joyce' (my mother) meal in the summer. Pretty safe to order, no matter where you are...truck stop, diner, chic cafe.

hey, B'More Cat Lover, that's pretty funny because much to the dismay of my frequent dining companions, my drink of choice is good old iced tea.

I actually rank restaurants bassed on how good their iced tea is. Mt Washington Tavern, yours is very good indeed, but still do something about your ladies room!

Rumpleminze & Bar munchies.

You oreo and milk lovers should pick up a box of these.

We had them at work the other day (with milk) and everyone had a great time.

Rumpleminze, RayRay? Is that what Rumplestiltskin drinks?

For some reason, I am left with an uneasy feeling that "Bob" at 2:49 PM may be little more than a planted shill for Nabisco

I checked the IP address, and he's our regular Bob. EL

Rumpleminze is peppermint schnapps - 100 proof. It tastes like real peppermint, not like rail schnapps which has a cardboardy flavor.

If Corey can say "dranken" I can say "cardboardy":-)

Sorry, EL -- I had forgotten that we still had any regulars left who would dare post as just plain old "Bob" after all the confusion over the years that led to RtSO, RoCK, Piano Rob, Bob UU, etc. Besides, who drinks milk at work these days, anyway? ;-)

You're right hmstd. While at work, I stick strictly to the vodka.

We bought the milk to go with the oreo straws.

Our motto: Work is what we do; fun is what we have.

Trixie, you have vodka? At my office we sip the bitter tears of sorrow and oppression.

Point to YP.

Good one YumPo!
Sounds like that drink is the office coffee.

I feel like we're trading in Klingon proverbs today.

Apparently, professional angst, like revenge, is best served cold.

Now there's a heady beverage and food pairing for you.

Kool Aid (any flavor) and bologna sandwich.
Qualifier: must be eaten outside on a sunny day with friends.

Cold apple cider while picking turkey from the carcass Thanksgiving evening.

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected