The summer season (which officially started on Saturday) comes with its own informal rulebook of unspoken truths. Commit these to memory and you’ll be one step closer to a foolproof and successful summer!
Rule #1: Grill whenever (and whatever) possible. This includes all your favorite meats, proteins, veggies, and whatever else you dare to try!
Rule #2: Make the most of the season’s fresh produce. This can be said of any season, but is especially true of summer’s flavorful fruits and veggies.
Rule #3: Stay hydrated! Beat the heat by sipping on your favorite refreshing iced beverages when outdoors.
Now what if we told you that you can combine all three of these tips into one brilliant summer strategy?
Using creative food and drink pairings, you can incorporate your favorite grilled meats and seasonal fruits and veggies, plus tie in delicious refreshments that perfectly complement each dish.
Check out a few examples below!
#1: Strawberry Fields Salad Crouton Cups + Homemade Lemonade
Lemonade and summer go hand-in-hand. This quintessential refreshment is also the perfect companion for a fresh and fruity appetizer like this strawberry fields salad. For an added burst of strawberry flavor, try making a strawberry-lemonade variation (recipe below)!
Strawberry Fields Chopped Salad Crouton Cups
This summer salad is made portable with cute flower-shaped crouton cups made with Martin’s Potato Bread—perfect for backyard picnics and al fresco dining. Fruity flavors like fresh strawberries and dried cranberries, mixed with savory bacon crumbles, sliced red onion, goat cheese, and pecans over a bed of mixed greens, topped with a simple vinaigrette is just what is needed this summer! Pair it with homemade lemonade (recipe follows).
How to Make Homemade Lemonade
#2: Sweet Tea Grilled Chicken Sliders + Sweet Tea or Arnold Palmers
If you’re from the South, chances are you are very familiar with sweet tea—a highly sweetened iced tea drink. (In fact, you may even consume it on a regular basis.) Did you know it can also be used as a marinade for meat such as fried or grilled chicken? That—and the fact that it’s a deliciously refreshing summer drink—makes it the perfect pairing for our Grilled Chicken Sliders. If you’re not a fan of sweetened tea, you can also serve your sliders with Arnold Palmers, a 50/50 blend of iced tea and lemonade. (Find both drink recipes below.)
Sweet Tea Grilled Chicken Sliders
An easy marinade of quick-brewed sweet tea, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper adds a decadent flavor to the chicken and helps it achieve that gorgeous caramelization on the grill. Serve the juicy grilled chicken (breasts or thighs, to preference) on plush Martin’s 12-Sliced Slider Potato Rolls along with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and a bit of mayo. Enjoy with your beverage of choice (see below)!
How to Make Homemade Sweet Tea
How to Make Arnold Palmers
#3: Sweet Chili Panzanella Shrimp Kabobs + Watermelon Slushies
What would summer be without some grilled shrimp on the barbecue? These shish kabobs tie back in to rule #1 up above—grill everything! And to cool it down, we reference rules #2 and #3 with some quick and easy slushies. After all, we can’t make it through summer without nature’s ultimate refreshment: watermelon! Together, this food and drink pairing makes for a vacation-worthy meal.
Sweet Chili Panzanella Shrimp Kabobs
Fresh shrimp, marinated in a sweet chili sauce, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro glaze; chargrilled alongside summer veggies like assorted bell peppers, zucchini, and roma tomatoes, and cubed Martin’s Party Potato Rolls! Serve as skewers or disassembled into a traditional panzanella and enjoy with your frozen watermelon slushie (recipe below).
How to Make Watermelon Slushies
What’s your favorite food and beverage pairing from the above list? Let us know on social media!
Looking for more ideas? Try these other food and drink pairings:
- Peach Panzanella Salad + Raspberry & Peach Lemonade
- Fresh Basil, Blackberry, Grilled Chicken Sandwich + Mixed Berry Iced Tea
- Ricotta & Citrus Toast + Strawberry Thyme Limeade
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