October is National Pizza Month. To celebrate, we asked Ashley Ceraolo - Marketing & Beverage at California Pizza Kitchen - to give us her opinion on the best drink to pair with CPK pizzas.
Margherita Pizza with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: “Pizza and beer are made for each other! Why? You get all the cheesy goodness from the pizza and the euphoria of flavors from the hops, which can make for super flavorful and complementary pairings. For those who like to keep their pizza flavors simple, try pairing your classic Margherita pizza with your favorite pale ale, such as Sierra Nevada. The lighter flavors of the pale ale complement, rather than overpower, the simple flavors of the pizza, making the cheese and tomatoes the hero. The malt flavors of the pale ale also balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. The result is an easy to drink, easy to eat combo that’s simple and delicious.”
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Guinness Irish Stout: “One of the golden rules of food pairings is to match ‘like with like’ (for example, for any Hawaiian pizza lovers out there, consider pairing your pineapple pizza with a fruitier beer), but sometimes it’s best to think opposites. With bolder-flavored pizzas, like a BBQ Chicken Pizza made with a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, pairing with opposite flavors in your drink can help strike balance. The dark roasted characteristics of a traditional Irish Stout complement the grilled chicken and balance the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. Bonus? A traditional stout will complement your pizza without filling you up too much, so you can enjoy more pizza!”
Spinach & Artichoke Pizza with a Whiskey Cider Press: “Artichokes have a little bitterness to them, while spinach is typically creamier in flavor. For this pizza combination, skip the sour ales and reach for something spicy, smooth and sweet to balance out the bitter, such as a whiskey based cocktail with some sweetness from your mixer.”
Shrimp Scampi Pizza with a Classic Margarita: Just as seafood and citrus often go hand-in-hand on the plate, citrus-flavored cocktails create a bright, harmonious pairing with seafood topped pizzas. The cool citrus notes in an icy margarita also balance the spicy, slightly bitter fresh arugula atop this pizza.
Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage Pizza with an Agave Mojito: The best match for spicy pepperoni and sausage-topped pizzas? A cool and refreshing mojito packed with fresh mint. Naturally cooling, the fresh torn mint in this herbal cocktail will calm down the heat of these spicy meats and red sauce.