This Type Of Cocktail Is The Secret To Taming Spicy Food

woman holding chili pepper
woman holding chili pepper - Aaronamat/Getty Images

We've all been there. You've overestimated your tolerance for spicy food and found yourself in quite a pickle. As your mouth begins to burn, you instinctively reach for a beverage -- but will that gulp help the issue or exacerbate it? Ultimately, this depends on what you're drinking, but if you want to play it extra safe, we recommend ordering a beverage known to soothe a mouth on fire. Luckily, we have just the answer.

Surprisingly enough, vodka is the secret to taming spicy food. If we're being honest, taking a shot of vodka alone may help distract you from the pain. However, vodka's ability to neutralize spicy food isn't just about getting you tipsy. In reality, the reason alcohol calms that fiery sensation is twofold. For one, the Journal of Pain reports that alcohol reduces pain intensity. And according to a Science Direct publication, alcohol also breaks down capsaicin, the compound that makes spicy food hot.

So, does this mean you should drink straight vodka to tame spicy food? Only if you want to. But if shooting vodka isn't your thing, we recommend going for a vodka cocktail. After all, food is meant to be enjoyed, and there are a host of vodka cocktails that pair perfectly with spicy meals.

Read more: 26 Popular Vodka Brands, Ranked By Their Versatility

The Best Vodka Cocktail To Accompany Spicy Food

straining martinis into glasses
straining martinis into glasses - Lara Hata/Getty Images

Since alcohol neutralizes capsicum, a stronger cocktail may more effectively calm your mouth. As such, we recommend a vodka martini. It's ideal for those who love cocktails that pack a punch and prefer savory over sweet. The traditional vodka martini consists of solely vodka and vermouth, garnished with olives or a citrus twist. You can also order a dirty martini, which adds olive brine for even more saltiness. To play it extra cool, order a martini like James Bond, basically a dry vodka martini that's "shaken and not stirred."

A quality martini should taste smooth and shouldn't overpower the flavors of any meal. In fact, you might find it enhances the salty, umami qualities of your dish and works excellently as a palate cleanser between courses. It also cuts through heavy dishes well, so don't be shy of having one alongside a rich meal.

Milder Vodka Cocktails To Calm A Mouth On Fire

white Russian with ice
white Russian with ice - 5PH/Shutterstock

If martinis are a bit too strong for your liking, there are softer vodka cocktails that are widely available at bars and easy to make at home. The white Russian cocktail comes with ice topped with three simple ingredients: Kahlua, vodka, and cream. It's common knowledge that milk products also subdue spice, so the cream and vodka provide a double-whammy in that department. If drinking a white Russian at mealtime doesn't feel quite right, order it for dessert instead. After hot dishes, it'll provide a nice sweet treat to soothe those tastebuds.

For something fruitier, opt for a lemon drop or apple martini. They still have the elegance of a traditional martini but with a sweet-tart flavor to soften the blow of spicy foods. And if you're craving something fizzy, Moscow mules are a popular cocktail combining ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice. This zesty, flavorful mixture pairs well with spicy cuisines like Thai or Indian. And although ginger has a kick of its own, the lime juice balances it out perfectly.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal