Why You Should Pair Your Burger With Citrusy Cocktails

The only downside to enjoying a big, mouthwatering burger is selecting what drink to pair it with. Fortunately, Mashed consulted an expert to weigh in on this important issue. The next time you've grilled up a juicy cheeseburger for yourself or guests, you'll be safe in the knowledge that what you're sipping is beverage director-approved.

The name of that beverage director? Jess Stewart of the West Coast Trust Restaurant Group. According to Stewart's expertise, "I'd go for a refreshing cocktail, one incorporating lemon, lime, or another tart/sweet fruit." This could range from the popular (dare we say obvious) choice of the classic Margarita to the grapefruit-centric Paloma. The invigorating punch of a chilled, fruit-based alcoholic beverage will offset that much-desired savory swell of a beefy burger, both hitting the tastebuds in a completely different yet complementary way.

In this vein, the lemon is your friend. A refreshing Pimm's and lemonade could be the perfect mate for a grease-heavy burger. Really, any mixed drink with a citrus base will do, especially on a hot day. While a classic milkshake is always a welcome treat to pair with a burger, there's no reason you can't branch out to fruitier frontiers.

Citrus cuts through and complements a burger's heft

The reason the pop of a citrus-fruit cocktail pairs so well with a heavy burger boils down to juxtaposition. Stewart asserts that a citrus-forward cocktail "would cut and complement the salt and fat from a burger." But citrus isn't the only way to go. If you've ordered a fast food feast but only have a few bottles of wine lying around, there are plenty of wine-and-fast food combinations that can take your meal to the next level. A few fast food restaurants are even licensed to serve alcohol on their premises. Shake Shack is just one example: It offers its own Shackmeister Ale in case you need something to wash down your burger and fries.

So, the next time you're looking for a drink to pair with a hamburger, consider citrus your go-to option. A refreshing splash of lemon, lime, or orange (with the alluring sting of alcohol, of course) will effortlessly enhance your hot-off-the-grill experience. Have a few homemade or canned cocktails on hand to swig in between bites, and enjoy the paradise that is a perfect food-and-drink combo.