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Our Ultimate Guide to the Grill: The Best Food & Barbeque Drinks for BBQ Season

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Our Ultimate Guide to the Grill: The Best Food & Barbeque Drinks for BBQ Season

BBQ season is one of the great staples of a British summer. As soon as the temperature dial inches above sixteen degrees and the sun (finally) shows its face, grills are guaranteed to be firing up across the country. It’s a great time to really make the most of great seasonal produce and indulge in some cool, refreshing cocktails, beers and wines. As any discerning drinker knows, pairing BBQ cocktails, such as Mojitos and Spicy Margaritas, or the perfect wine or beer, can elevate your grill-game to the next level and earn you major hosting points.

So, put on your barbecue apron, take up the tongs, fill the fridges and ice boxes and fire up the charcoal for our guide to how to deliver the ultimate gourmet grilling party experience and enhance your BBQ parties with these refreshing summer drinks.

Getting Lit with Sizzling Summer BBQ Cocktails – The Perfect Pairings for Your Feas

Mojito

It’s a favourite for a reason! Kick off your BBQ bash with a classic Mojito that’s as refreshing as a summer breeze. This Cuban-inspired cocktail features a refreshing combination of rum, fresh mint leaves, lime and pineapple juice, simple syrup, and soda water, making it the perfect palate cleanser to enjoy alongside smoky grilled appetisers like shrimp skewers or bruschetta. The crisp, citrusy flavours of the Mojito cut through the richness of grilled seafood and whet the appetite for the feast to come. Or for a non-alcoholic version try our ready-to-drink 0% ABV ISH canned mojitos. All the buzz, and none of the booze! You can also consider muddling in some berries for a fruity twist.

Spicy Margarita

A Spicy Margarita is a guaranteed crowd pleaser for anyone who wants a little extra kick. Crafted with tequila, lemon juice, agave syrup, sugar, a slice of jalapeno, and a splash of orange liqueur for a harmonious balance of sweet, tart, and spicy – ideal for complementing dishes with a bit of heat. Don’t forget to garnish with an orange slice to enhance both the flavour and the presentation. Great with anything that has a little Mexican flavour!

Sangria

For a crowd-pleasing cocktail that’s as beautiful as it is delicious, look no further than Sangria. This Spanish-inspired drink brings a touch of the Med to your garden, and combines red or white wine with fresh fruit, fruit juice, and a splash of brandy for a refreshing and vibrant beverage that pairs perfectly with a wide range of BBQ dishes. Serve up a large pitcher full of Sangria alongside grilled chicken or pork, and let the fruity flavours work their magic.

Paloma

If tequila is your spirit of choice, then the Paloma is the cocktail for you. This Mexican classic combines tequila, grapefruit soda, fresh lime juice, and a pinch of salt for a refreshing and tangy libation that’s sure to please. Serve up a round of Palomas alongside spicy BBQ dishes like chipotle-marinated ribs or jalapeño poppers, and let the tequila and citrusy flavours tame the heat while enhancing the smoky flavours of the grill.

Gin and Tonic, With a Twist

For a sophisticated take on a classic cocktail, try a Gin and Tonic with a splash of summer flavour. Add a few mint leaves, a few slices of cucumber and a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary to your G&T for a refreshing and herbaceous twist that pairs perfectly with grilled fish or vegetable skewers. The crisp, botanical notes of the gin complement the smoky flavours of the grill while the tonic water adds a refreshing effervescence that’s perfect for summer sipping.

Sake Spritz (low ABV)

For a low ABV option try a sake spritz, made with our SoGood Sake. With crisp, clean flavours, it’s best enjoyed topped with a long, refreshing sparkling water, garnished with lime wedge and a twist of lemon zest. Or for an Italian inspired version use Bonanto Aperitivo, an aperitif with notes of spice, cherry and apple. Serve with tonic or grapefruit soda and top with a slice of orange.

Green Tea Cooler (non-alcoholic)

For a non-alcoholic option, consider a refreshing green tea cooler adorned and garnished with orange slices, offering a delightful and flavourful choice for guests of all ages.

Cheers to the Grill – Wines and Beers to Elevate Your BBQ Experience

With all the ingredients and perfect combination of wines and beers in hand, your BBQ feast is sure to be a sizzling success. Whether you’re a fan of bold reds, crisp whites, hoppy IPAs, or easy-drinking lagers, there’s something to suit every taste and occasion. Cheers to good times, great food, and the best bbq cocktails and drinks

Bold Reds for Meats

When it comes to pairing wine with BBQ, you can’t go wrong with a bold red. Wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Zinfandel are perfect for pairing with hearty meats like steak, ribs, and burgers. The rich fruit flavours and robust tannins of these wines complement the smoky, charred flavours of grilled meats, while their acidity helps cut through the richness of the fat. Perfect with a juicy ribeye. 

Refreshing Whites for Seafood

For lighter fare like grilled seafood and chicken, opt for a crisp and refreshing white wine. Varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay are perfect for pairing with delicate grilled fish, shrimp, and chicken dishes. The bright acidity and citrusy notes of these wines complement the fresh flavours of lighter dishes, while their refreshing finish helps cleanse the palate between bites. Serve up a chilled glass of white wine alongside grilled shrimp skewers or a lemony grilled halibut fillet for a match made in heaven.

Rosé All Day for Versatility

If you’re looking for a wine that can do it all, look no further than Rosé. This versatile and food-friendly wine is perfect for pairing with a wide range of BBQ dishes, from grilled veggies to smoked meats. Whether you prefer a dry, crisp Rosé or a slightly sweeter version, the fruity flavours and refreshing acidity of this wine make it a perfect match for summer BBQs. Serve up a glass of Rosé alongside grilled vegetable skewers or a platter of charcuterie and enjoy!

Chilled Reds

Take a page out of the Aussie BBQ bible and consider chilling your red wine. Chilled red wine makes for an unexpected but delicious pairing for BBQ dishes. Cooling down a light-bodied red like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais enhances its refreshing qualities, making it a perfect match for summer grilling. The slight chill accentuates the wine’s fruitiness and acidity, beautifully complementing the smoky flavours of grilled meats. Whether it’s a juicy burger, succulent steak, or tender ribs fresh off the grill, a glass of chilled red wine adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any BBQ gathering, plus it’s a guaranteed conversation starter.

Hoppy IPAs for Bold Flavors

For beer lovers, there’s nothing quite like a hoppy IPA to complement the bold flavours of BBQ. The citrusy hops and bitter finish of an IPA pair perfectly with spicy BBQ sauces, smoky meats, and charred veggies. Whether you prefer a classic American IPA or a more adventurous double or triple IPA, the bold flavours and crisp carbonation of these beers will stand up to even the heartiest of BBQ dishes. Serve up a cold IPA alongside a plate of spicy chicken wings or a rack of tangy barbecue ribs for a classic flavour combo.

Crisp Lagers for Easy Drinking

For a more laid-back approach to beer pairing, reach for a crisp and refreshing lager. Whether it’s a classic Pilsner, a Mexican-style lager, or a light and easy-drinking ale, the clean, crisp flavours of these beers are perfect for keeping things fresh on a hot summer day. Their mild maltiness and subtle hops make them an ideal accompaniment to a wide range of BBQ dishes, from burgers and brats to grilled chicken and seafood. After all, nothing makes a hot day like a cold one.

Non and Low Alcoholic Options

A BBQ doesn’t have to be boozy. For day drinkers who are opting out of alcohol, there’s a whole plethora of refreshing low and non-alcoholic drinks to elevate your BBQ experience. All the taste but none of the buzz. From 0% wines and beers to low ABV spirits to mix in with your cocktails, we’ve got a whole host of options to keep you feeling refreshed all the way through to evening. For BBQ, we recommend: 

ISH Non-Alcoholic Spritz – These delicious canned cocktails are ready to drink anywhere and anytime. It doesn’t have to be 5 o’clock somewhere. ISH Spritz is a multi award-winning non-alcoholic Spritz. Based on French gentian root and Italian citrus. The most authentic non-alcoholic Spritz experience for the mindful drinker.

Chateau del ISH De-Alcoholised Espumante – A fantastic sparkling option if you’re looking for champagne in an aperitif. ISH Espumante is a bright and bubbly Spanish sparkling white wine made with classic Airén grapes. Airén is known to create simple and refreshing white wines which is why it’s the perfect grape for our alcohol-free Espumante that proudly delivers an authentic non-alcoholic wine experience.

Mash Gang Core Mix Case – One of our favourite non-alcoholic drink options, the Mash Gang case contains a mix of alcohol-lite brews and cool, crisp pilsners. Perfect for cutting through rich meats like burgers.

Mahala Botanical Amber – A great non-alcoholic aperitif mixer, this premium South African spirit balances fragrant smoke, spices and oak with subtle sweet floral notes of the honey bush, with chilli and smoke coming through on the finish. Serve on the rocks and garnish with ginger beer and a slice of lime.

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