When considering what drink to pair with pizza, many of us reach for a glass of wine or beer.
While alcohol can be one of the best pizza pairings, you can find as much delight in non-alcoholic selections.
We highlight below several drinks that go with pizza – both familiar drinks and unexpected options that are sure to be a hit. From classic sodas to some beverages you may yet have tried, each is acidic enough to stand up to the creaminess of the cheese you’ll find on most pies.
We hope you’ll enjoy experimenting with these new drink options and even extend this list to include some preferences you discover on your own. After all, learning which taste combinations suit your palate is half the fun of the modern pizza experience.
When you imagine yourself enjoying a slice of pizza, there’s a good chance you envision a soda nearby.
It’s satisfying enough on its own with the pop, fizz and flavor to quench even a deep thirst, but together with pizza, both are improved.
The reason soda is one of the best drinks with pizza? The carbonation of a soda cuts through the creaminess of almost any cheese on pizza. If the carbonated beverage happens to be sweet, it will do double duty by perfectly balancing any saltiness as well.
While a dark cola like Coke™ or Pepsi™ tends to be a popular soda-pizza pairing, many people are also fond of root beer and pizza. If your pie happens to include some Indian or Asian-inspired flavors, like Spicy Thai Chicken pizza, ginger ale is an especially good soda option because of how ginger can tame spicy flavors.
Kombucha may not be your first go-to, but there are many reasons why it’s a perfect pairing.
The fermented, mildly sweet-tasting tea that also has a bit of tang is available in every flavor imaginable.
When pairing kombucha, we recommend combining like with like. For pizza, a berry kombucha is a nice match for any pizza with a tomato sauce base. The berry’s sweetness also subtly balances the pizza’s saltiness.
Fermentation, a chemical process that turns sugars into acid, results in a fizzy quality which can be a refreshing contrast to the savory and rich flavors of pizza. Kombucha also pairs well with other fermented foods like a Spicy Korean Kimchi pizza.
An added bonus is that it's healthy, owing to the concentration of probiotics created during fermentation. Even better, sugar has been dissolved during the chemical process so it’s low-sugar as well.
Lemonade is a great non-carbonated option for pairing with pizza. Its acid seamlessly cuts through the creaminess of cheese in pizza.
As with some flavors of kombucha, lemonade has a tangy or sour taste that contrasts nicely with pizza – particularly those with sweeter ingredients like tomato sauce or red bell peppers.
While most people may be more familiar with traditional lemonade, including brand names that combine frozen concentrate with water and sugar, there are lots of ways to elevate lemonade to suit more sophisticated palates at your table.
Borrow from some of the flavors on your pie and infuse fresh-squeezed lemon and water with herbs and spices. Combine like flavors such as a Margherita pizza with a basil-infused lemonade. Or if you’re having a spicy pizza, a ginger-infused lemonade will pair nicely to tame the spiciness.
As a bonus, flavors infused into the lemonade provide such a unique tasting experience that you’ll find you won’t need to use as much sugar.
To discover new options, take inspiration from the taste combinations that are popular in communities with local cuisines, or during special occasions.
For example, in communities with Mexican influences, savory toppings like carnitas, chiles, and cotija cheese can be paired with agua fresca, Mexican cola or non-alcoholic mixed drinks like michelada.
In communities with Southern influences, sweet tea goes nicely with BBQ pizza. Many people enjoy the pleasant sweetness of the tea which tempers any heat from spices commonly found in barbecue sauce.
For popular occasions such as Sunday football, some food and drink combinations have become a tradition. While of course there are many cocktails that go well with pizza, consider a non-alcoholic option: a Bloody Mary with a Buffalo-style chicken pizza.
If you’re keen to add something new to your party menu, consider a red or white non-alcoholic sangria. Each pairs well with a frutti di mare pizza. The fruits and lemons in sangria complement seafood toppings as well as a tomato sauce base. Sangria is also an equally good option if your menu includes a spicy pizza.
CBD-infused beverages are increasingly popular among those looking for a non-alcoholic, low-calorie drink option.
CBD, the short form for cannabidiol, is carried in an oil that has no taste. Flavors are added to the oil, creating a wide range of CBD-infused beverages seen in more menus and that go well with pizza. All the better if you can enjoy a delicious pie while reaping the benefits of CBD which purportedly has a calming, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effect.
When pairing with pizza, combine similar flavors such as a berry-forward CBD-infused beverage with summer toppings like grilled peaches and figs. Citrus-infused flavors will go well with any pie that has tropical flavors and spices.
Time to Experiment
As you become more confident about what types of pizza you most enjoy making, we encourage you to experiment with complimentary tasting beverages.
There are plenty of wines, beers and cocktails that go well with pizza, but it’s a good idea to have non-alcoholic options in mind as well.
If you’re inviting guests over for dinner, or just want to elevate a quiet night at home, you’ll be sure to impress with specialty options like kombuchas, micheladas or even CBD-infused drinks.