Bitter Spritz OLD Bottle

By Æcorn co-founder Claire Warner

Togetherness and the table

Togetherness and the table

    While we depend on food to survive, we all know it can be much more powerful than that. Food can be magical and mysterious, awakening memories or helping forge new ones. It can be familiar and reassuring and bring comfort. Food can also be brave and daring, making us think about something in a new or in an unexpected way.

"Good food, and drink, connects us in ways that are simple or ceremonial and has the power to open us up for so much more than mere sustenance. "

We Are What We Eat. And Drink.

    In many ways, what we drink can be just as symbolic as the food we eat. We whet the head of babies, toast the happy couple and raise a glass to the dearly departed. Much of the symbolism and ritual has been tied to drinking alcohol, and it has become interwoven into our collective consciences over hundreds of years.

    In the past, if you weren’t drinking, for whatever reason, these occasions could be challenging. That’s because we’ve spent an awful lot of time perfecting the drinks that complement food and very little on the ones that deliver flavour and complexity without alcohol.

    As a result, today’s wine list can run to hundreds of options and the back-bar groans under the weight of all spirited possibilities, yet you, the non-drinker, have precisely three choices: sweet, fizzy or plain.

So why is this?

    The short answer is that we’ve spent an awful long time perfecting the drinks that complement food, particularly wine, yet hardly any time thinking about what is required to stand up to food when you take alcohol out of the equation. Food’s greatest companion will always be a delicious drink. But that drink doesn’t have to be boozy. What food really needs is a foil. Something to stand up to it, something to elevate it, or simply something to refresh the palate to allow you to taste it all over again. Great food tastes best when it is paired with something equally flavourful and complex.

Claire Table

    Having worked in the drinks industry for a long time, I’m very familiar with the ‘rules’ surrounding what you should drink with what you eat and they’re pretty obvious. I expect we’ve all rubbed up against them in some way or another and, through some kind of drinking etiquette osmosis, we probably know that white wine is good with fish and red wine with steak. That champagne and oysters are nice together, or that port and cheese are a ‘match made in heaven’. All these pairings are typically good, until of course you prefer not to drink wine, champagne or port. Then what are you supposed to do - never eat cheese again? Imagine!

    For me, there are already too many rules in life and the ones which dictate what we can or can’t enjoy with our food are simple guidelines as best, draconian at worst. Plus, when you’re not drinking, these rules can conspire against you, so that you feel you’re unable to unlock the true majesty of a dish without something alcoholic in your glass.


    Whetting the appetite has never been easier today, proving that we all deserve a seat at the table, and that great food deserves great drinks, and we all know that a truly great drink is defined not by its alcohol content, but simply by how good tastes.


    If you needed proof, try making one of these tasty AF Æcorn Drinks recipes.