Gallery: Ask A Sommelier: What's Your Favorite Non-Wine Drink?

All Things Sour
All Things Sour
"I love all things sour—this includes sour beer, shrubs (vinegar cocktails), and kombucha. Sour beers have a vinous quality to me, and I find their acetic tones to be very refreshing."—Kerrie O'Brien, DBGB (New York)
Something Refreshing
Something Refreshing
"I reach for an IPA or an amaro-based cocktail first, for the refreshment of it. Wine can weary the palate, much as I love being immersed in it most of the week."—Juliette Pope, Gramercy Tavern (NYC)
Mezcal
Mezcal
"Mezcal…it brings me back to a previous life when I was a Mayan god."—Paul Grieco, Hearth and Terroir (NYC)
Cider
Cider
"Cider all the way. Especially the stuff from Normandy, but the Brits do alright, too. Even the American South is starting to get back in on the act after a hiatus of historical proportions. Diane Flynt at Foggy Ridge in Dugspur, VA is making crunchy, smart ciders from crazy old heirloom varieties. Cider may be the most refreshing beverage I know, and talented hands can make it into beautiful matrices of fruit flavor. Also I can drink gallons of it and not get hammered."—Steven Grubbs, Five + Ten and Empire State South (Georgia)
Smoky Scotch
Smoky Scotch
"Single malt Scotch from Islay—I love that peaty, smoky note to the whisky and it is very soothing at the end of a long day."—Virginia Philip MS, The Breakers (Palm Beach, Florida)
Beer!
Beer!
"I love beer! Particularly Belgian farmhouse styles (Pretty Things Jack d’Or Saison is a current favorite). I think that beer is as fascinating as wine, with its long history and diversity of styles, and equally as pleasurable to pair with food. On my bookshelf at home, Garrett Oliver’s Oxford Companion to Beer sits next to Jancis Robinson’s Companion to Wine."—Chris Baggetta, Quince and Cotogna (San Francisco)
Aperol Spritz
Aperol Spritz
"All about the Aperol Spritz. Very refreshing and great to start the night but also versatile when needed to settle your stomach after a big meal."—Eric Railsback, Caveau Santa Barbara
Negronis
Negronis
"Hi, my name is Savanna, and I am a Negroni addict. I have one almost every night after work. I love the balance of bitter and sweet and the beautiful aromatics coming from the combination of gin, Campari and dark sweet vermouth. My current favorite blend is Aria Portland Dry Gin (made by our bar manager Ryan Csansky), Campari and Carpano Antica Formula…perfect! My second favorite is something my friend and I call 'Bug Juice.' It’s basically a Greyhound with a splash of Campari on top."—Savanna Ray, Wildwood (Portland OR)
More Negronis
More Negronis
"I love a good Negroni. The full flavor and bitter finish make a long night of tasting wine complete. "—Laura Maniec MS, Corkbuzz (NYC)
Manhattan
Manhattan
"Manhattans I will drink both up or on the rocks—depending on what kind of experience I am looking for. If I'm ordering a night cap, I will have it served in a martini glass so I can linger on the spicy notes of the whiskey. If I am out socially and not at a location where wine is a viable option I like a Manhattan on the rocks so that the ice can melt a bit and it is more refreshing."—Liz Nicholson, Maialino (NYC)
Something Bitter
Something Bitter
"I really do just stick to wine for the most part. But if and when I do go outside that realm, it involves Campari or something bitter. A friend just turned me onto a great Amaro from Valtellina made by Braulio and I've been nipping on that after work."—Michael Garofola, Genoa (Portland OR)
Water
Water
"Water. I run a lot. And I drink quite a bit of wine. Gotta stay hydrated!"—Chris Gaither, Spruce (San Francisco)
Beer
Beer
"Hands down, beer is my favorite non-wine beverage because of its incredibly refreshing qualities and the fact that I’m able to enjoy its diversity and various methods of production without over-analyzing it like I do with wine. I tend to favor beers from the old world, as they seem to have a subtler flavor profile and work better with food."—Chad Zeigler, RN74 (San Francisco)
Tea and Sake
Tea and Sake
"I drink tons of green tea these days. For alcohol it's great Nama sake, clean and fresh."—Mark Bright, Saison (San Francisco)