5 Italian BBQ and Prosecco cocktail pairings you need to try
We love a barbecue at FoodTribe – any weather, anytime of year
Who doesn't love a barbecue? Outdoor cooking, outdoor eating (ok, yes, sometimes under an umbrella and wrapped up in coats and scarves depending on the time of year... we're a hardy bunch), delicious grilled food, and of course, some excellent drinks to go with it all.
And if there's one thing we love as much as barbecues, it's Italian food.
We're already very aware how wonderful Italian food is in all its many guises, and cooking over an open flame has been an integral part of Italian cooking for centuries now. Italian BBQ is the perfect sort of food – vegetables, herbs, and citrus flavours, while filling proteins take centre stage in this much lighter-style of Italian cuisine designed to make for the perfect multi-course meal.
Combining barbecues and Italian food, you're also going to need something perfect and delicious to drink. Put down those cheap lagers or *alright* wine, we're stepping things up. That's right, this is going to be the best barbecue you've ever thrown. We're making cocktails.
And not just any cocktails. We're cracking out several bottles of Mionetto Prosecco, and we're getting fancy. We promise you these are all super easy though, so you won't be stuck mixing drinks all day and missing out on the fun.
So, if you're looking to get the perfect taste of Italy from your home barbecue, and quaff the perfect fizzy Italian drinks on the side, look no further than the expert-picked suggestions we have here.
Courtesy of Will Willis – wine consultant for Mionetto, the world's best-selling international Prosecco brand – we've got five delicious Prosecco-based cocktails paired with Italian BBQ dishes from olive oil company Filippo Berio for you to try.
1. Gin & Rosemary Spritz, paired with Italian Butterfly Lamb
If you're looking for the perfect all-rounder cocktail to pair with Italian-style BBQ food, this Gin & Rosemary Spritz is going to be it.
Thanks to the herby botanicals of the gin and the summery, fruity character of the Prosecco, it'll be the perfect accompaniment for the Italian flavours you pack into your meaty main. However, it still remains dynamic enough to work with lighter starters, too, such as a classic bruschetta.
A G+T is so last year... For 2021, it's all about the G+P (the 'P' means Prosecco, of course)
Thanks to the rosemary in this cocktail, it makes it a perfect accompaniment for red meat, and while there's a few Filippo Berio recipes Willis suggests pairing this cocktail with, the one that stands out most is this beautiful Italian Butterfly Lamb.
Lamb and rosemary are one of those perfect flavour pairings, while using a boneless leg and cooking it on the barbecue means it will not only be quicker than something like roasting, but it'll be easier to serve to your guests as well.
2. Gin Rosé Spritz, paired with Classic Burgers & Caramelised Onions
Using lime and strawberry gin and garnished with raspberries, the flavours of this Gin Rosé Spritz are bold, upfront, and sweet, making the red fruit flavours of the chilled Mionetto Prosecco Rosé an ideal combination. This might be a summery drink, but if the weather's a bit rubbish, you can sip on this and imagine you're somewhere warmer and sunnier.
Refreshing and berrylicious – this is a perfect, easy-to-make cocktail
Given the bold sweetness of this Gin Rosé Spritz, you're going to want to pair it with something that contrasts it nicely, and these Classic Burgers with Caramelised Onions are just the ticket.
The fruitiness of the gin will cut through the umami and saltiness of the burger, while also bringing out the natural sweetness of the onions as well. This is one perfect summer barbecue combination for sure.
3. Lemon & Cucumber Spritz, paired with Chargrilled Prawns with Aioli
Wonderfully refreshing and pleasantly zesty, this Lemon & Cucumber Spritz is going to be ideal for cooling you and your guests down after slaving away over an open flame.
A refreshing cocktail to go with your Italian BBQ favourites
This drink is going to be best paired with something equally light and refreshing, and while a creamy Tomato and Goat's Cheese Bruschetta is one option – especially as the lemon will absorb the acidity in the cheese, making it taste even creamier (yum!) – these Chargrilled Prawns with Aioli are going to be a great barbecued pairing for it.
You simply can't go wrong with lemon on lemon, and the cucumber will perfectly offset the garlic to make it taste smoother and more mild. This one is sure to be a great starter.
4. Limoncello Spritz, paired with Sea Bass with Lemon and Dill
If you give this delicious Limoncello Spritz a try, you'll no doubt find the Limoncello sits beautifully with the Prosecco to create a lovely sparkling citrus sensation that's the perfect accompaniment for a delicious barbecued fish dish!
A sparkling citrus sensation to go with the best Italian foods
Wondering what fish dish is going to make the ideal pairing in particular? This simple but flavourful Sea Bass with Lemon and Dill is going to make the ideal accompaniment.
As mentioned earlier, you can't go wrong with a double burst of lemon, meaning this pairing will deliver the most amazing citrus hit that perfectly complements the meatiness of the sea bass. It's simply a match made in heaven.
Sea Bass with Lemon and Dill - Filippo Berio - The First & Last Name in Olive Oil
5. Sunday Spritz, paired with Fruit Kebabs with Chocolate Sauce
This final cocktail is one that will make a perfect closer for your Italian BBQ if you're drinking and cooking your way through the whole five courses laid out here. This one is a real treat.
Featuring a high level of acidity from fresh strawberries and lemons along with the bitterness of unsweetened cranberry juice, it will help bring out the apple and pear aromas of the Prosecco, while the mint garnish adds a nice refreshing touch.
Kick back on your lounger with your dessert and this chilled-out mixer
With such a complex combination of flavours, along with its natural acidity and bitterness, it will be perfect alongside the simple sweetness of these Fruit Kebabs with Chocolate Sauce.
Yes, even dessert is going to be cooked on the barbecue! The chargrilled and beautifully caramelised fruit is going to be wonderfully juxtaposed by the Sunday Spritz, making for a dessert that's not only delicious all year round, but will be sure to keep your guests talking about it for a while.