7 Drinks To Pair With Indian Food

Indian food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, and with the right drink pairing your meal can truly shine.

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Indian Meal (Rice, Potato in Curry, Chicken Masala) and Wine in Luxury Indian Restaurant

As you delve into the rich tapestry of flavors, textures, and aromas that Indian cuisine has to offer, the question of what to drink becomes pivotal. This culinary voyage, whether embarked upon in the lively streets of Mumbai or the opulent dining halls of New Delhi, is incomplete without the perfect drink. What makes it truly magical is its ability to harmonize with the intricate web of spices, herbs, and aromatics that define Indian dishes. Prepare to be captivated, as every sip unveils a captivating symphony of tastes, enriching your dining experience in the most delightful ways.

Red Wine

sparkling red wine in a glass with grapes in the side

Red wine, derived from dark-hued grape varieties, boasts a diverse palate. Its robust, fruit-forward varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon offer a luscious blend of blackberries and cassis, harmonizing exquisitely with hearty Indian dishes rich in spices like lamb curry or tandoori chicken. For milder fare such as vegetable biryani or paneer tikka, the lighter Pinot Noir with its notes of cherries and earthy undertones provides an ideal balance. The nuanced tannins and complex aromas in red wine complement the intricate flavors of Indian cuisine, making it the ultimate pairing choice. Best savored when slightly chilled, red wine elevates the dining experience, enhancing the bold flavors and vibrant spices of the subcontinent’s culinary treasures.

Masala Soda

Jeera Masala Soda recipe.

Masala Soda, a beloved Indian beverage, tantalizes the taste buds with its vibrant medley of flavors. It’s a swift concoction of fresh mint leaves, zesty lime juice, and a hint of peppery ginger, elevated by the warmth of chaat masala, black salt, black pepper powder, and roasted cumin powder. The sweetness is adjustable to your preference. Topped with fizzy club soda, it delivers a fizzy burst that complements the spiciness of Indian cuisine impeccably. Best savored during scorching summers, this homemade delight distinguishes itself from store-bought versions with its authenticity and the joy of crafting it from scratch with common, readily available ingredients.

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White Wines

White wine in a glass with fall grapes

White Wines, such as Chardonnay, offer a delightful blend of crisp acidity and buttery richness. This variety’s apple and citrus notes perfectly complement creamy Indian curries like butter chicken or paneer tikka masala. Its versatility lies in its ability to balance the heat of spicy dishes and accentuate the flavors of aromatic spices, such as cumin and coriander. The best part? It’s a refreshing choice for warm evenings or special celebrations, enhancing the overall dining experience with its fruity undertones. Pairing Chardonnay with Indian cuisine elevates your meal to a harmonious symphony of flavors.

India Pale Ale


Crafted with the harmonious blend of malted barley, hops, water, and yeast, the India Pale Ale is a symphony of flavors. It boasts a robust bitterness that perfectly complements the spicy, aromatic nature of Indian cuisine, creating a delightful contrast. The pronounced hoppy notes, often with hints of citrus or pine, cut through rich curries and enhance the overall dining experience. This brew’s distinctive character, marked by its bold and hop-forward profile, sets it apart as the ultimate companion to enjoy alongside your favorite Indian dishes, whether it’s a casual weeknight meal or a festive celebration.

Mango Margarita

Mango smoothie margarita with lime and mint.

Complementing the vibrant tapestry of Indian flavors, the Mango Margarita combines the richness of frozen mango, the zing of lime juice, the smoothness of tequila, the sweetness of Cointreau, a frosty infusion of ice, and a touch of sea salt. Crafted with sweet and creamy mangoes, this cocktail offers a tantalizing blend of tropical sweetness and citrusy brightness. Best enjoyed on balmy evenings, its balanced profile beautifully harmonizes with the spicy, aromatic notes of Indian cuisine. Elevating your dining experience, this Mango Margarita brings a refreshing twist to your culinary journey.

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Sparkling wine

bottle with glasses of cava sparkling wine

Sparkling wine, with its delightful fizz, complements the rich and vibrant flavors of Indian cuisine exceptionally well. Its crisp acidity and zesty profile cut through the creamy textures and spicy nuances found in dishes like butter chicken and biryani. The fruity undertones, often reminiscent of green apple and citrus, offer a refreshing contrast to the warmth of Indian spices. This sparkly pairing is best savored during celebratory gatherings or intimate dinners, enhancing the overall dining experience with a touch of elegance and sophistication. Its versatility in accommodating a wide range of Indian dishes makes it the ideal choice for those seeking an enchanting culinary adventure.



Cider, derived from the pressed juice of apples or sometimes pears, boasts a fruity symphony that complements Indian cuisine remarkably. Its crisp apple notes, sometimes with subtle pear undertones, create a delightful contrast to the bold and spicy flavors found in Indian dishes. What makes it shine is its inherent versatility; it pairs seamlessly with a broad spectrum of Indian fare, from rich curries to fiery tandoori specialties. This simple and straightforward beverage is best enjoyed chilled, offering a harmonious balance to the spices and heat of Indian cuisine. Its ability to cut through the complexity of flavors makes cider an ideal companion for your next Indian culinary adventure.

7 Drinks To Pair With Indian Food
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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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