Tequila is a beloved spirit that has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s distilled from the blue agave plant which is native to Mexico.
This liquor is known for its complex flavors, which range from sweet and fruity, to smoky and spicy. It’s a versatile drink that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways including neat, on the rocks, or mixed with other ingredients in a cocktail.
However, one of the most exciting ways to enjoy tequila is by pairing it with food. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind pairing tequila with food, and recommend some delicious tequila and food pairings.
What makes tequila go well with different dishes?
Pairing tequila with food is not a new concept, but it is one that has gained popularity in recent years.
The science behind pairing tequila with food is similar to the science of pairing wine with food.
Both tequila and wine carry complex flavors that can either complement or contrast the flavors in the food.
Related Article: A Beginner's Guide to Tequila
How do I pair tequila with food?
When attempting to pair tequila with food, it’s helpful to consider the following tips:
1. Match the intensity of the flavors
The last thing you want is for your tequila to overpower the flavors in your dish, or the other way around.
Paying attention to the intensity of flavors is a good way to ensure you pair your drink well with your food.
For example, a light, fruity tequila may be overwhelmed by a bold, spicy dish. It may be better off being paired with something equally as light.
Similarly, a smokey, aged tequila would overpower a delicate dish, and is better paired with something bold.
2. Consider the texture of the food
Tequila has a smooth, silky texture on the tongue. This mouth feel can complement or contrast the texture of your dish, depending on what you’re going for.
If you have a creamy dessert, you can pair it with a smooth, aged tequila to complement each other. Meanwhile, a crunchy taco may beg for a crisp, refreshing tequila to match.
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What are some good tequila and food pairings?
Now that we’ve explored how to pair tequila with food, let’s dive into some delicious matches between this Mexican drink and some decadent dishes.
1. Tequila and tacos
Make it a truly Mexican-themed party with the tacos and tequila combo. The bold, spicy flavors in tacos will pair well with the crisp, refreshing flavors in tequila.
When pairing tequila with tacos, it’s important to also consider the flavour profile of the tequila. If you have a blanco tequila, pair its bright, citrusy flavour with fish tacos.
Reposado tequilas which are aged for at least two months pair better with chicken or beef tacos, because they have a smooth, mellow flavour that will contrast the darker meats. Meanwhile, anejo tequilas can go well with pork or steak tacos.
2. Tequila and grilled vegetables
This pairing may not be the one you directly gravitate towards, but trust us when we say they’re super tasty!
The crisp, refreshing flavors in tequila can pair well with the smokiness and charred taste of grilled veggies.
Blanco tequilas will go well with light, refreshing vegetables such as zucchini or bell peppers. Reposado tequilas pair well with heartier vegetables like sweet potatoes and eggplants.
Finally, anejo tequilas pair well with rich, smoky veggies like mushrooms or roasted tomatoes.
Related Article: Why Does Everyone Love Tequila?
3. Tequila and cheese
When thinking of cheese and alcohol, everyone would pair with wine. But did you know that cheese and tequila make a great pairing too?
The smoothness and silkiness of tequila goes well with the creaminess of certain types of cheese.
If you have a light, citrusy tequila, pair it with a mild cheese like brie or camembert.
A smokier, more mature tequila would go well with a cheese that is equally as mature, such as cheddar or blue cheese.
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