How to level-up your alcohol-free food pairings!

Thought food pairing was just for alcohol? Well, think again because Author of The Sober Girl Society Handbook, Millie Gooch, explains why that isn’t the case and talks us through how she perfectly pairs her Firefly…

In 2018, after horrid hangovers and overwhelming anxiety, I gave up alcohol in an effort to improve my mental health. Seven months later I started Sober Girl Society, which is now the world’s largest online and in-person community for sober and sober curious women.

When I first stopped drinking alcohol, I remember asking restaurants about soft drink pairings and even staff at some the fanciest of dining establishments, who pride themselves on end-to-end experience, found the idea hilarious. Fortunately, this only spurred me on to do more research and find experts who could debunk the myth that only alcoholic drinks made perfect menu pairs.

The more I researched, the more incredible people and brands I found who were championing the idea that non-alcoholic drinks could make just as great food partners as alcoholic ones – I even found myself knee-deep in research about water sommeliers.

That’s why I was really excited when I found Firefly. Not just because the products are amazing but because their passion for pairing shines through. Each drink is so different in flavour that, of course, it makes sense that you should pair them with completely different dishes so here’s how I buddy-up mine…  

Lemon, Lime & Ginger

I know you’re not supposed to have favourites but this one is definitely mine. Because the fresh zesty flavour will cut through the richness of most meals, this citrussy dream is perfect for dishes like oily fish or creamy pasta. I always have mine with the Jamie Oliver Easy Sausage Carbonara recipe which I cook at least once a week since discovering it in his 5 Ingredients Book.

Link: www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pasta-recipes/easy-sausage-carbonara/

Peach & Green Tea

Okay so this one might be cheating because I don’t actually make this dish, but I found this flavour pairs pretty perfectly with spicy foods. The natural sweetness of the peach give a lovely balance to fiery foods like curry so it’s an ideal accompaniment to my Saturday night Indian takeaway.

Kiwi, Lime & Mint

Bursting with botanicals, this is the flavour you want to pair with a fresh salad. I love these Sesame Chicken Slaw Mason Jars from Good Housekeeping because they taste great, they’re fun and they’re easy to take on-the-go. If I’m out and about or running between meetings, I can grab one of these with my Firefly and the two together make a cracking lunch.

Link: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a41048/sesame-chicken-slaw-mason-jar-salad-recipe/

Pomegranate & Elderflower

The natural tannins in this herbal drink means it goes great with fattier foods like sausages and burgers. This is the flavour I’d opt to take to a barbecue and probably end up drinking about 6 of them because it’s so refreshing.

So that’s how I pair mine! I’d love to hear how you pair yours…

Find Millie on Instagram at www.instagram.com/milliegooch/ or on the Sober Girl Society page www.instagram.com/sobergirlsociety/.