The Best Cheese To Pair With A Refreshing Glass Of Lemonade

When we think about what to drink with cheese, our first instinct tends to be wine, or maybe beer. But it turns out that a crisp glass of lemonade can make an equally good match — you just have to pick the right cheese to go with it. And the good news is, there's more than one perfect partner.

We might assume that acidic fruits such as lemons do not traditionally sit well with cheese, as they can turn the taste of the cheese acrid. But according to cheese expert Chad Galer, who is VP of Product Innovation and Food Safety at Dairy Management, Inc, lemonade actually makes an interesting partner for cheese. Since the drink is both sweet and tart, picking the right option means considering both of these contrasting elements. 

A great option is the incredibly versatile Parmesan cheese. "Its salty flavor contrasts and enhances the sweetness of the lemonade," says Galer, who grew up on a dairy farm, earned a degree in microbiology, and has spent his entire career working in dairy. And it gets even better: "Parmesan also has slight fruity flavors that complement the citrus flavors for a double win."

Try salty and nutty flavors with sweet lemonade

Chad Galer, who has served as a judge at international cheese competitions, and is renowned for coming up with creative cheese pairings such as sharp cheddar with sliced hard-boiled eggs, or creamy chocolate milk with habanero cheese, has some additional ideas for cheeses that would match well with your citrusy glass of lemonade, too.

An interesting option to consider is brie, says Galer, as the "buttery and salty" flavor of the soft cow's-milk cheese tones down the tartness of the lemonade. Or alternatively, you could try a mild gouda, a semi-soft cow's-milk cheese from the Netherlands. "The firm smooth texture of gouda along with the milky, salty, and slight nutty flavors will pair well with the sweetness of a lemonade," reveals Galer.

So there you have it. Now you can try something a bit different for your next cheeseboard, which is equally appealing to those who drink alcohol as it is to the abstainers. To make it extra special, you could even make your own lemonade with this sweet, tangy, ultimate lemonade recipe. Brie-lliant.