When you go to a fancy restaurant, quite often the waiter will suggest which drinks go best with each course.

However when you watch TV there’s no one to tell you which drinks go best with each show.

That is until now.

Allow me to be your sommelier of sorts, pairing popular programmes with their beverage-based BFFs…

True Detective + Red Wine

Drink true-detective

Noir meets noir

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Try as a might I haven’t been able to source any of the Lone Star beer favoured by Rust Cohle in Series 1 of True Detective. That said I find a good bottle of red partners up much better with this superbly produced cop drama. Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn have a lot to live up to in the new series which returns this week on Sky Atlantic. Only time will tell if the second coming proves as popular as the first. If not, extra red wine may be needed.

The Wire + Irish Whiskey

Box Set The Wire

A mature pairing

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The Wire, every episode of which has just been added to Sky Box Sets, is one of the greatest shows ever to grace a TV screen. I’m now in the process of watching it for the second time. The first time I tried it I’ll admit its pace didn’t really grab me, but this time round I’m basking in it’s understated brilliance. Perhaps that’s why it’s best paired with a mature Irish whiskey. If you want to be really specific go for Jameson’s as favoured by Detective Jimmy McNulty.

Super Sunday + Beer

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Advertising is the big winner

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Football can only be enjoyed with beer. It’s that simple. As a sports fan who suffers mildly from OCD I derive maximum pleasure by drinking the alcoholic beverage most directly related to the match I’m viewing. When the Premiership was sponsored by Carling, like some sort of lapdog, I would order pints of Carling if I was watching a game in the pub. Thankfully my misguided loyalty doesn’t extend beyond booze otherwise I’d have money resting in accounts with Barclays, Nationwide, Capital One and Axa.

Any Film + Vodka

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Things get interesting

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This goes back to the days when the missus and I regularly went on dates to the cinema. I can’t remember who came up with the idea of smuggling a half bottle of vodka into the cinema and mixing it with a two large cinema-bought Fantas, but I feel it’s a trick worth sharing. Cinema security isn’t exactly watertight (or even vodka tight) and the fact you’re drinking it in plain sight from big paper cups helps pull off this low-end misdemeanour. Mixed vodka drinks have now become tradition for trips to the cinema and occasionally at home when watching a film of epic proportions. It could be something to do with attention span, but either way things tend to get more interesting about an hour or so into the movie.

Mad Men + Bourbon

Mad Men

Best enjoyed in moderation

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I don’t watch Mad Men. There’s too much smoking in it for my liking. There’s also plenty of hard-drinking in the swinging sixties drama based around an advertising agency. So much so that it’s impossible to watch even five minutes without making at least one trip to the drinks cabinet in sympathy. The show pairs particularly well with gin-based cocktails or straight up bourbon. But really any drink except water sits well with Mad Men. Like The Wire it’s just been added to Sky Box Sets, but given the levels of smoking and drinking contained therein it’s best enjoyed in moderation.

Big Hero 6 + Cat Milk

Pic by Disney

Heroes drink milk

Drink Crusha

Not surprisingly Big Hero 6, recently released on Blu Ray and DVD, is a Disney movie that involves a child being robbed of his parents/siblings/guardians at a formative stage of his life. That aside, it couldn’t be more fun in a heartbreaking sort of way. My rule of pairing films with vodka doesn’t apply when watching this acclaimed animation aimed at the universal market. My drink of choice for Big Hero 6 is strawberry flavoured Crusha, known in our house as cat milk. If you’re desperate to make it more potent you can still go down the vodka route. A couple of splashes turns this cool cat into a White Persian.

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