Chili is a classic comfort food that can be made in many different ways. Whether you like it spicy, mild, or somewhere in between, there’s nothing quite like a big bowl of chili to satisfy your hunger and warm you up on a cold day.
But what do you drink with chili? It’s not just beer; there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks that pair well with this delicious dish. Here are my top 10 picks for the best drinks to go with chili – from sweet and fruity refreshers to rich hot beverages.
1. Iced Tea
Iced tea is a great accompaniment to chili. Whether you’re a fan of traditional black iced tea, herbal iced teas such as peppermint or chamomile, or flavoured iced teas like mango, there’s something for everyone that pairs perfectly with chili.
Iced teas are naturally lower in calories than other popular non-alcoholic beverages like sodas and juices, making this an excellent choice if you’re looking to maintain a healthy diet while enjoying delicious chili.
Preparing your iced tea couldn’t be simpler – items like ready-to-drink bottles and tea bags are readily available at grocery stores, allowing you to prepare it in minutes without fuss. The cool sweetness of the tea balances out the slight spiciness of the chili – making them the perfect pair.
Lemonade is a classic summer drink and one that goes perfectly with chili. The tartness of the lemon balances out the heat of the chili, while the sweetness of the lemonade adds a touch of refreshment to the dish.
Lemonade is particularly popular in places like the U.S. South, where it’s commonly served with barbecue and other spicy dishes – so it stands to reason that it would make an excellent partner for chili.
You can either buy pre-made lemonade or make your own using freshly squeezed lemons, sugar and water.
3. Tomato Juice
Tomato juice does not get a lot of love when it comes to being served as a non-alcoholic beverage. But it can definitely steal the show if done right next to a hearty bowl of chili. You see, tomato juice can help cut the spicy kick of chili’s flavors, because of its tartness and acidic nature.
When paired correctly, you can get this punch that really complements each other. Just make sure your tomato juice is not overly processed or too thick with syrup – you want something that’s just balanced enough.
Soda is a great choice for those wanting to add some sweetness to their chili. Although most sodas don’t have much nutritional value, they do provide a refreshing and thirst-quenching break from the heat of your chili.
Popular choices for soda include cola, root beer, and cream soda. However, there are also many flavored varieties available such as orange or cherry that can help add a bit of extra flavor to your chili.
5. Apple Cider
Apple cider is a great way to add some sweetness and refreshment to your chili. It’s also a popular winter drink, making it perfect for those chilly days when you want something to warm your soul.
Apple cider is typically made with apples, cinnamon, and other spices that add depth and flavor to the drink. It’s also a great source of antioxidants, so it’s a healthier option than most other sodas and juices.
6. Ginger Ale
Ginger ale is a great choice for those who want something light and refreshing to go with their chili. Its subtle spice adds a unique flavor that complements the chili without overpowering it.
Ginger ale is also known for its calming effects, so it’s a great choice if you want to relax after a spicy meal. Additionally, the natural sweetness of ginger ale helps balance out any acidity in the chili, making it an ideal pairing.
To take things one step further, consider adding a splash of lime juice to your Ginger Ale for an extra sweet and refreshing zing.
7. Sparkling Water
Sparkling water is a great choice for those wanting something refreshing but without the extra sugar and calories of other drinks. It’s also incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed both with and without added flavorings.
Choose plain, unsweetened carbonated water and consider adding a few slices of lemon or lime for an extra dimension of flavor. Different sparkling waters have different levels of bubbles, so experiment with different brands until you find one you like best with your chili meals.
Milk is a great way to combat the heat of chili. While it’s not as refreshing as some of the other drinks on this list, it can be a great way to cool down your palate after a spicy meal. Most dairy milk will work, though whole milk is often recommended as it has a fuller flavor than skim or 2% milk.
You can even explore options like coconut, almond, and oat milk as well! If you want to drink something cold alongside your chili, you can opt for a creamy smoothie with added yogurt or banana — both of which complement the mild spicy flavor of chili while adding some cool sweetness
9. Mango Lassi
Mango lassi is a traditional Indian drink made with yogurt, mangoes, and spices. It’s incredibly creamy and sweet, making it the perfect accompaniment to a hot and spicy chili meal.
Mango lassi is easy to make at home, and it can be made with either fresh or frozen mangoes. Simply blend together some yogurt, mangoes, a few spices such as cardamom and cumin, and a bit of sugar or honey for sweetness.
10. Pineapple Juice
Pineapple juice is a great choice for those who want to add some extra sweetness and freshness to their chili. It has a unique flavor that complements the spicy flavors of chili without overpowering them.
It also contains several vitamins and minerals, making it a healthier choice than many other drinks. If you want to make the most of your pineapple juice, consider adding a splash of lime juice for an extra zing or some coconut milk for an extra creamy touch.
No matter what type of chili you’re making, there is a delicious non-alcoholic drink to pair with it. From sweet refreshers like lemonade and iced tea to tangy tomato juice and rich hot beverages like milk or mango lassi, these top 10 picks are sure to enhance the flavor of your chili and make it an even more enjoyable meal.
So next time you’re making chili, don’t forget to pick up some of these refreshing drinks to go along with it.
Your taste buds will thank you!
Tried one of these combinations? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your