Pairing Food With Tequila: Tips, Tricks + Our Faves
Get ready to set down your bourbon or vodka, and try the wide breadth of flavors and aromas in some perfectly paired tequila dishes. Whether drunk with Mexican food, or sipped with Italian, Caribbean or African cuisines, tequila is a versatile and delicious spirit to pair with many types of food.
Want to try pairing your next dish with some sip-worthy tequila? Here are some of our favorite tips, tricks, and combos.
1. Choose a high-end tequila
When pairing food with tequila, there’s nothing better than the elevated flavors and aromas of a high-end tequila. Superior premium tequilas prioritize quality in taste and deliver an enjoyable sipping experience. The natural sweetness and complexity of the agave plant’s countless aromas will enhance the flavors of the food - as long as you choose the highest quality tequila without that harsh burn and bite that can too easily mask the delicious taste profiles of any style you get.
2. Pair with the right flavor profile
Blanco (or Silver), Reposado and Añejo tequilas are all best suited for different flavor combinations.
Usually bottled following distillation without seeing wood, Blanco or silver tequila lets the natural agave flavor shine, lending notes of vanilla, pepper and minerals into your meal. When paired with food, Blanco tastes best with lighter meals, like vegetable, seafood, or citrus-based dishes. We recommend a light chill to 55 or 60 degrees before serving so you don’t dilute the liquid with ice when sipping.
Reposado, with nutty and vanilla flavors from the oak, works perfectly with more assertive spicy flavors, as well as charred or grilled foods, like shrimp, meats, or vegetables. Serve at room temperature or with a slight chill.
With their savory and round flavors Añejo tequilas pair great with sweet foods or as an after-dinner drinking companion. They will also be great with bold meals you would pair with a Reposado. Serve at room temperature.
3. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Not sure if tequila will taste good with your meal? You’ll never know until you experiment! Depending on the flavor profile, the distillation process, and how long it has been aged - the wide breadth of tequila may surprise you. Just be sure to acquire a tequila that you’ll actually want to taste and sip.
Ready to try out some tequila with your next meal? Here are some of our favorite pairings:
Not to be a cliché but tacos and tequila is one of the most quintessential food and spirit pairings. Try a Blanco tequila with fish tacos, or a Reposado with a more savory meat, like pork.
Raw or Grilled Fish
When eating any sort of raw fish, such as ceviche, fish tartare, oysters or even sushi and sashimi, the light and airy qualities of Blanco tequila would be the best match. That goes the same for grilled fish or seafood, like shrimp.
The char of grilled vegetables would match perfectly with the full-bodied oak and vanilla flavors of a Reposado, while fresh vegetables tossed with citruses like lime or lemon would be delicious with a light Blanco.
A pork tenderloin with a spicy glaze would be the perfect pairing for a Reposado tequila. Whether pulled or grilled, think anything bold and spicy and make sure to match it with a glass of Reposado!
A bold and rich flavor profile, pair Añejo with a red meat to pack a flavorful punch. Add a mushroom sauce and your tastebuds will be in heaven.
Match some Añejo with dark chocolate. The heavier flavors of the chocolate will complement the agave, cinnamon and oak flavors of the Añejo. And you can even add some more breadth with baked sweets that incorporate chocolate, like a banana bread or brownie.