Food and drinks go hand in hand. But not every food pairs well with different types of alcohol. That’s why you need to know what makes a great drink and food pairing. Building your beverage menu knowing it complements the meals from your food menu will make a world of difference!
From beer and chocolate pairing to brandy pairings and the best wine pairings - we have a lot of content about pairing drinks with the right type of food. This information can help restaurant owners build a better beverage inventory that will help them make drinks that complement the type of food that is being served.
But because we haven’t yet shared how to make great food and tequila pairings, it’s time to go into details. No matter what is the cuisine in your restaurant, you can find interesting information that will help increase customer satisfaction.
How to Create Food and Tequila Pairings
Let’s leave all the different varieties of wines aside for a moment. You can have an incredible wine list and dishes to offer alongside any of the bottles. But not everyone is a wine drinker. There are people who prefer alcoholic drinks with a higher ABV. These are drinks like bourbon, vodka, and tequila.
You should know that tequila can be a nice drink to have with a variety of foods. Although most people believe it goes well only with Mexican food, that’s not true. It can be paired with African and Caribbean, as well as Italian cuisine.
Here’s what you need to know when creating food and tequila pairings:
Key Takeaway: There is a wide range of food and tequila pairings you can create and offer to the customers at your restaurant. Make sure you stock quality tequila and then serve it with Caribbean, Indian, and even Thai cuisine. Mexican cuisine is always a good idea.
1. Choose High-Quality Tequila
Needless to say, high-quality tequila will help you create a better experience for your customers. There’s nothing better than the aromas and elevated flavors of high-end tequila. Typically, the best types of tequila are aged a bit longer and that truly brings out the natural sweetness of the agave plant.
2. Pair with the Right Flavors
When it comes to aging tequila, there are five different types - Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, Extra Añejo, and Cristalino. Tequila Blanco is not aged and tastes best when paired with lighter meals. Seafood dishes go well with it, as well as citrus-based meals. Reposado has nutty and vanilla flavors from the oak barrels. That’s why it works best with spicy flavors and grilled foods like meats, shrimp, and vegetables.
The other types of tequila have savory flavors and pair well with sweeter foods. This makes them great after-dinner drinks to serve with the dessert.
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Experimenting
To find out more great food and tequila pairings, you should be willing to experiment. Depending on the distillation process, how long the tequila has been aged, and the flavor profile, you get completely different tequilas. All of them can complement a variety of meals you are already serving at your restaurant. Try pairing them to find out the best match. Once you figure out which tequilas go best with each meal, your waiters will be able to make better suggestions to customers.
Popular Meals That Go with Tequila
Now, let’s dive into the popular food and tequila pairings you can offer. There are dishes for any restaurant. Regardless of the concept of your business and the type of cuisine, you can make tequila lovers happy with these meal options:
There’s no surprise that the best type of food to have with tequila is Mexican. All the classic Mexican meals are complemented well by the flavors of tequila. Tacos and enchiladas, as well as salsa, and guacamole create a perfect match.
If you are running a Mexican restaurant, all you have to do is work on your tequila selection. Make sure you have different options.
Tequila is a drink that goes well with any citrusy flavor. You can try serving tequila with ceviches, shrimp scampi, or citrus-marinated grilled chicken. Your restaurant guests will appreciate these flavorful food and tequila pairings.
The heat of the spicy dishes can be balanced with the crispness and freshness of tequila. Think about pairing tequila with spicy chicken wings. Other great pairing options are chilly and spicy Thai or Indian dishes.
Tequila complements smoky flavors. This makes it the perfect alcoholic drink to pair with grilled steak, fajitas, and barbecue ribs. Everyone who loves a good steak or other grilled meats will appreciate this pairing.
As we mentioned before, tequila Blanco pairs perfectly with light dishes like seafood. You can offer tequila with fish tacos, ceviche, and shrimp cocktail. If you are running a seafood restaurant, you can find many other great pairings by experimenting with the meals you already have on your menu.
Sushi and Sashimi
Sake is not the only drink to offer with sushi. Wine isn’t, either. Tequila is one of the spirits that goes nicely with the flavors of sashimi and sushi. Try it with a spicy tuna roll. It will be delicious!
Cheese and Charcuterie
Charcuterie boards have become so popular for a reason. They are the perfect pair for so many different drinks! Cheese is also well-known for pairing well with various alcoholic beverages. Tequila cocktails or shots will go hand in hand with them, too.
The flavor of tequila makes it a great choice to pair with fruit-based salads. Try serving it with salads that have pineapple, mango, or other tropical fruits in them. Tequila cocktail drinks will be very appropriate for these types of meals.
Frequently Asked Questions about Food and Tequila Pairings
Want to know more? We will answer a few of the most common questions people have about food and tequila pairings.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Tequila With Food?
Tequila can be served neat in a shot glass or in the form of a cocktail. Both cocktails and neat tequila go perfectly with different types of foods.
Cocktails like Paloma, Margarita, or Tequila Sunrise can be enjoyed on their own or with a nice meal. Although the most common choice is Mexican food, there are other dishes that can pair with tequila.
Which Foods Don’t Pair Well With Tequila?
Overly sweet, as well as too light dishes don’t go well with any type of tequila. The flavor of tequila overpowers these dishes and doesn’t create an enjoyable experience. Avoid desserts that are too sweet and light salads and various types of fish if you want to have tequila.
Are There Any Vegan or Vegetarian Tequila Pairings?
Tequila goes perfectly with a variety of plant-based dishes like vegetable tacos, vegan ceviche, and grilled portobello mushrooms. Fruit salads, as well as vegan sushi options, are also great for vegans and vegetarians who want to enjoy food and tequila pairings.
Can I Pair Tequila With Desserts?
Quality Añejo tequila goes well with chocolate and caramel-based desserts. Desserts with a hint of citrus, like lemon tarts, citrus cheesecake, and orange soufflé are also great to have with tequila drinks.