Top pairings | Wine, beer or cocktails - what’s the best match for a 4th July barbecue?

Pairings | Julep

Wine, beer or cocktails - what’s the best match for a 4th July barbecue?

If you’re celebrating July 4th this weekend and haven’t yet made up your mind what to drink here are some last minute suggestions.

American BBQ has much more complex flavours than the typical British affair with sweet, sticky ribs and wings, smokey slow-cooked brisket and elaborately topped ‘dogs’ (there are some amazing topping ideas on the epicurious site).

Wine

To kick off with I’d offer a zesty sauvignon blanc or a refreshing riesling both of which would work the tangy dips that generally accompany an American barbecue and any seafood that is going on the grill. After than think in terms of a young fruity red with a bit of a kick: my choices would be syrah/shiraz or GSM (grenache/syrah/mourvèdre) blends, petite sirah or an inexpensive zinfandel.

Tip: Keep your reds cool. Even full-bodied reds can do with a short dunk in an ice-bucket.

Beer

Lager may be traditional but there are so many beers with fantastic flavours these days you can do much better than that. There are some great suggestions here and here. Crowd-pleasing options would be pale ales and IPAs but if you’re feeling more adventurous try German-style hefe-weisse, particularly with dogs and wings and porter with smoked brisket.

Cocktails

A mint julep would be the traditional July 4th cocktail though with peaches in season I prefer a softer, sweeter peach julep - a great match for sweet sticky ribs.

Non-alcoholic drinks

Many people in the US still don’t drink alcohol. Homemade lemonade and iced tea are popular choices: try this simple version from Bon Appetit which contains NO calories (makes up for the desserts ;-) Floats are another great option - this watermelon soda float looks fabulously refreshing.

Image © dragontw - Fotolia.com

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