If you’ve been following our little old website of late, you’ll know we’ve been exploring the art of pairing spirits with food. We’ve looked at whiskey and gin, and today we’re chatting about tequila and how to marry the spirit with different food flavours.
To help inform this guide, we sought out the expertise of someone with a whole lot more knowledge on tequila than we could ever hope to have, Patrón Brand Ambassador Joey Chisolm.
Here’s what he had to say during our phone call on pairing tequila with food.
The type of tequila matters
First, it’s important to recognise the different tequila varieties and their flavour profiles. We’ve touched on this before, but as a refresher, Chisolm explained that:
“In the tequila world, you’ve got categories of like silver or Blanco, reposado and Anejo. They’re the three categories that we have in Australia that are pretty much recognised across the globe.”
“Blanco tequila is unaged, it’s a true representation of the agave plant itself. Reposado is aged for anywhere between three to sort of 12 months, depending on the producer, and then Anejo is over a year – between one and three years aged in oak.”
The flavour profile you’ll get with each tequila is different, so ideal food pairings will change accordingly.
How to pair silver or Blanco tequila with food
On this, Chisolm shared that a good comparison to make is the kind of food pairings you’d see for a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Gris wine.
“The silver or Blanco style is that light and bright citrus forward… white pepper, green capsicum flavour,” he explained.
If you’re looking at food recommendations, Chisolm pointed to pairing a Tommy’s Margarita (a classic cocktail using silver tequila) with “any sort of seafood [or] white meat”. Ceviche was one specific dish he said partnered well, here.
How about Reposado?
Moving into the more aged varieties, Chisolm shared that as Reposado has “a little bit of oak come through” you can pair it with gamey meats.
“Your ducks, your pheasants, fouls, that sort of stuff, or some really nice venison…”
He went on to explain that roasted or more charcoal flavours will work nicely here as well – think: charcoal octopus or capsicums or even chicken.
“That really partners well with Reposado because it’s got that sweetness to it but still that light, vibrant and flavour from the agave.”
Which flavours work with Anejo?
This is the one sweet tooths should pay attention to. Anejo, which is the longest-aged variety, displays more “richness” perfect for an “after-dinner drink”.
Here, you’re going to want to pair your drink with something “chocolatey like a moose”.
“Unlike wine, you know, you’re battling not just like flavours but you’re also battling [high] alcohol. You’ve really got to partner with those correct food varieties to make that [pairing] delicious, you know?”
Here’s hoping this flavour pairing guide gets you off to a solid start then, hey?