Juice for Caviar, Soda for Foie Gras

Nonalcoholic drinks, paired with a tasting menu at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, blend flavors like prickly pear and kaffir lime leaves; barley and black cardamom; huckleberry and sesame; and cauliflower and turmeric root.

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Now there’s a way for people who are limiting or avoiding alcohol finally to feel like grown-ups at the table: the nonalcoholic beverage pairing.

The desire to hold back on alcohol is not limited to people who never drink. Especially during the holidays, when palates are pounded with cups of good cheer, diners long for a break. Some might opt for a glass of Champagne to start the meal, then taper off. Even for the true wine geek, several glasses during a lengthy multicourse dinner can obliterate taste buds. And wine pairings are especially risky for anyone driving.

“It’s a much bigger group than you think,” said Clark Wolf, a restaurant consultant who divides his time between New York and Northern California. “There are more people who absolutely will not drink at all, and people who will not drink during the daytime or, as we say, on a school night.”

New York Times