How to pair soft drinks with food

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iced tea sxc Tannic drinks, such as iced tea, go with grilled veg, steak and blue cheese, just like tannic red wines.

London - Bored of sparkling water and elderflower cordial? If you’re having an alcohol-free January, chances are you’ve had your fill of the most common soft drinks.

But it is possible to find delicious non-alcoholic drinks - even ones that go with food. As with wine, if it grows together, it probably goes together.

So for stir-fried veg in garlic and soy sauce, serve ginger beer or lime and ginger coolers (lime juice, soda water and a spoonful of sugar dissolved in a little hot water or honey, garnished with fresh ginger).

For hot and spicy Asian meals, sugar tempers the heat of chilli while ginger makes it worse. Infuse coconut water with fruit, such as mango, or fresh herbs, such as basil.

Gabriel David, founder of Luscombe Organic fruit juice drinks, says the trick is to find a soft drink with acidity and body. His favourite is pear and apple juice with roasted pork belly. ‘The acidity cuts through the salty crunchiness of the crackling and the meat,’ he says.

Acidic drinks contrast with creamy, fatty or salty dishes while sweet drinks go with sweet, salty or spicy foods.

Tannic drinks, such as iced tea, cranberry or pomegranate, go with grilled veg, steak and blue cheese, just like tannic red wines.

Another trick is to use the same ingredients you put in the pot. Sparkling apple juice garnished with a sprig of rosemary works with lamb because the herb brings a savoury touch. - Daily Mail

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