What to drink with hot/spicy foods?
July 19, 2010 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for what to drink with hot/spicy foods?

I have given up both soda and alcohol. Mostly I am getting along fine with tea and water, but neither of these goes really well with hot and spicy foods, like burritos or chili (with loads of hot sauce). What can I drink with the hot stuff that is reasonable in calories and is reasonably healthy?
posted by JanetLand to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mango lassi! Also milk is supposed to tame the spice. Yogurt smoothies are great too, they can have any kind of fruits added. Use lowfat yogurt.
posted by mokeydraws at 11:23 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ice cold skim milk. It cuts the heat and is refreshing.
posted by greasy_skillet at 11:24 AM on July 19, 2010

Dairy. It neutralizes the spicy oils that burn your mouth.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:24 AM on July 19, 2010

Lassi, either sweet or salt, works well with curry so could be worth a try. V8 / tomato juice type drinks.
posted by i_cola at 11:25 AM on July 19, 2010

Sugar helps as well. Not healthy, but you could mix up some Kool-Aid.
posted by damionbroadaway at 11:31 AM on July 19, 2010

An ice-cold bottle of seltzer might go down good... zero calories and none of the stuff in soda except for fizz. There's also flavored seltzers out there. If you're looking to curb the spiciness, then yeah, I'd be looking at cold milk.
posted by crapmatic at 11:35 AM on July 19, 2010

Fill a glass with ice, squeeze in half a lime, and fill it with carbonated water. The acidity of the lime will help cut the spice, and the flavors should go well together.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2010

horchata! it neutralizes spiciness well, and is delicious besides.
posted by dizziest at 11:41 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

And my first link mentioned "tea in Chinese restaurants" being helpful.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:45 AM on July 19, 2010

Response by poster: Good ideas here. I probably should mention that I'm not really looking to cut the heat, I like the heat, bring on the heat, it's just that ice tea and water don't really mesh with those foods the way soda and beer did.
posted by JanetLand at 11:47 AM on July 19, 2010

posted by Sukey Says at 11:47 AM on July 19, 2010

Second Horchata, also Hibiscus flower water (agua de jamaica). Lemonade is good, too.
Carbonated drinks + hot food = hell in your mouth
posted by clearlydemon at 11:49 AM on July 19, 2010

Thai iced tea is what I drink with really spicy Thai foods. You could also just make honey-sweetened black tea and ice that, the most important part (in terms of spice curbing) being to add milk to it, preferably not skim milk because that's too watery. 1% milk works. I guess the tea doesn't have to be sweetened, but I like it that way with spicy foods.
posted by wondermouse at 11:50 AM on July 19, 2010

8 oz of non-fat yogurt, half a pint of strawberries, 1 banana. Whiz it up in blender and enjoy.
posted by marsha56 at 11:58 AM on July 19, 2010

I really, really like rice pudding (I forget the Indian name for it) after a meal of spicey Indian food.
posted by codacorolla at 12:18 PM on July 19, 2010

Lemonade with fresh mint sprigs.
posted by saladin at 12:19 PM on July 19, 2010

3rd horchata. Also try aloe juice.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:21 PM on July 19, 2010

Try aguas frescas.
posted by NoraReed at 12:27 PM on July 19, 2010

Capsacin is the chemical in spicy foods that burns your tongue. It is fat soluble, but not water soluble. So to get rid of it you need something fatty for it to bind to- yogurt in a lassi, milk, tortillas or chips all work well. In my experience, sodas, water and beer all just make it worse because the water doesn't bind to the capsacin, but they just spread it around.
posted by pickypicky at 12:29 PM on July 19, 2010

codacorolla: "I really, really like rice pudding (I forget the Indian name for it) after a meal of spicey Indian food."


I love horchata (and my local Mexican takeaway does a version with melon that is amazing), but it isn't exactly low cal. It does go well with spicy food, though.

I've always just drunk plain water. I suppose you could always do something like take plain ice water and let some fresh fruit (strawberry, melon, etc.) slices sit in it to infuse it a bit. Add or don't add fresh crushed mint leaves (just one or two, you want a hint not a landslide).
posted by QIbHom at 12:31 PM on July 19, 2010

Limonada? I just tried it yesterday, tossed two quartered limes in a blender with half a cup of sugar, 8c water -- wonderful, and so easy to make.
posted by kmennie at 12:47 PM on July 19, 2010

I like just plain orange juice with spicy stuff.
posted by dilettante at 1:04 PM on July 19, 2010

Mint tea
posted by Erberus at 1:42 PM on July 19, 2010

You say you like soda--would you count sparkling apple cider as soda? If not, it would make a refreshing beverage to go with spicy foods when served cold. Or you can add seltzer to fruit juices to make homemade spritzers.

If you ever feel like drinking a bit of beer, you can mix one part beer with one part sparkling lemonade (still works too) to make a shandy. You could make the lemonade yourself with honey and add sparkling water.
posted by trampoliningisfun at 4:17 PM on July 19, 2010

What's the reason you've given up on soda? If, like many people I know, you've given up on sugared sodas and think that diet sodas taste bad, I recommend giving Coke Zero a try. It really is a thousand times better than any other diet soda. I've converted several diet soda haters to Coke Zero drinkers!

If you object to the chemicals and artificial sweeteners, then please ignore!
posted by ErikaB at 10:32 AM on July 20, 2010

Gew├╝rztraminer usually pairs well with spicy foods :)
posted by RandyWalker at 2:04 PM on July 20, 2010

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