When it comes to fancy beverage flights and pairings, alcohol seems to have all the fun, but there are many non-potent potables that benefit from a little comparing and contrasting.
Flights are great because they coax out thoughtfulness. When like beverages are sipped in succession, you can detect — and appreciate — the nuances of each one. To build an interesting, fun, and thought-provoking flight, I employ what I like to call “Joel’s Rule of Threes,” which is the rule our senior video producer uses to build his cheese plate (it works as well with drinks as it does cheese).
Basically, you want three drinks that either have one thing in common or all differ in the same way. (For cheese, this means your three choices could all be made from the same animal milk — like goat! — or they could all differ texturally — hard, semi-soft, completely gooey.)
If you’re doing a kombucha pairing, for instance, you could do all tropical fruit flavours, or you could pick three bottles that have a different flavour component, like one herbal, one fruit, and one “weird” flavour like cola. Pour equal amounts of your selections into similar glassware, and sip them from least to most flavorful. Beyond kombucha, there are a lot of beverages it would be fun to fly with:
Tea flights—Chai is an especially fun choice.
Hot cocoa flights (Try dark, milk, and spicy!)
Soda pop flights (There are some very fancy root and ginger beers out there right now.)
Milkshake flights (Live your best life.)
Apple cider flights (Try it plain, spiced, and spiked with ginger.)
If you can drink it, it can be a flight. I’ve seen literal water flights on menus, so don’t limit yourself. If you’re going to do a water flight though, at least go with seltzer. An all-grapefruit seltzer tasting could be very illuminating.