Pho is a Vietnamese dish that has gained popularity worldwide. It’s a flavorful soup made with beef broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. As pho can be enjoyed any time of the day, it’s not uncommon to pair it with an alcoholic beverage. But what alcohol goes with pho? In this article, we’ll explore the best options for pairing pho with your favorite drink.
Why Pair Alcohol with Pho?
Pairing alcoholic beverages with food enhances the dining experience by balancing flavors and providing a refreshing break between bites. Pho is no exception as it has a complex flavor profile that can be complemented or contrasted with the right drink. Choosing the right alcohol can highlight the spices, cut through the richness of the broth, and cleanse the palate.
What Alcohol Goes with Pho?
Beer is a popular choice to pair with pho as it complements the dish’s spicy and savory notes. Light beers like lagers and pilsners are excellent options as they don’t overpower the delicate flavors of the soup. If you prefer a darker beer, try brown ale or amber ale, which have a rich flavor that pairs well with the broth’s depth.
2. Red Wine
Red wine may not be the most obvious choice, but it can be an excellent option to complement the meat in the soup. Choose a light-bodied red wine like pinot noir or grenache that won’t overpower the flavors of the dish. The wine’s acidity and tannins can also help cut through the richness of the broth.
Sake, a Japanese rice wine, can be an excellent option to pair with pho. Its subtle flavor won’t compete with the soup’s taste, and its dryness can cleanse the palate between bites. Choose a junmai sake, which has a fuller flavor that can complement the soup’s meatiness.
Whiskey may not be the most traditional option, but it can provide a unique pairing experience. The smoky notes in whiskey can complement the charred beef in the broth, while its sweetness can balance the spiciness of the soup. Choose a rye or bourbon whiskey for the best pairing.
1. Iced Tea
If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, iced tea can be an excellent pair with pho. Its mild flavor won’t overpower the soup, and its sweetness can balance the spices.
Lemonade is another refreshing non-alcoholic beverage that can complement the flavors of pho. Its acidity can cut through the richness of the broth, while its sweetness can balance the spice.
Tips for Pairing Alcohol with Pho
- Choose a drink that complements or contrasts the flavors of the soup.
- Consider the alcohol’s body and flavor profile when pairing it with pho.
- Don’t choose a drink that overpowers the delicate flavors of the soup.
- Experiment with different pairings to find your perfect match.
So, what alcohol goes with pho? Pairing alcohol with pho can enhance your dining experience by balancing flavors and providing a refreshing break between bites. Beer, red wine, sake, and whiskey are great options to pair with savory Vietnamese soup.
If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, iced tea, and lemonade can complement the dish’s complex flavors. Remember to consider the alcohol’s body and flavor profile when making your choice, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different pairings until you find your perfect match.
Q1. Can I pair white wine with pho? A: While white wine can complement some Asian dishes, it may not be the best option to pair with pho. It’s acidity and fruity notes may clash with the soup’s savory flavors.
Q2. Can I pair beer with vegetarian pho? A: Yes, beer can complement the spices and herbs in vegetarian pho. Choose a light beer like pilsner or wheat beer that won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the soup.
Q3. Can I pair pho with cocktails? A: While it’s possible to pair pho with cocktails, it can be tricky to find the right balance. Stick to drinks that have a low alcohol content and subtle flavors that won’t overpower the soup.
Q4. What is the best way to serve sake with pho? A: Sake should be served chilled or at room temperature to enhance its subtle flavor. Avoid serving hot sake as its strong taste can overpower the soup.
Q5. Can I pair pho with sparkling wine? A: Sparkling wine may not be the best option to pair with pho. Its effervescence can clash with the soup’s complex flavors, and its sweetness may not complement the dish’s savory notes.