The Best Tequila Food Pairings To Try Right Now

Food & Drink

I’ve always loved pairing tequila with food. And most recently, during an awfully hot summer day in the country, I discovered the pleasures of sipping a healthy pour of Casa Dragones Barrel Blend—with an entire pint of Jeni’s Raspberry Rose Jelly Donut ice cream. It was pure heaven.

And I know I’m not alone. Carlos Camarena—the genius behind the El Tesoro tequila portfolio—has a penchant for pancakes and the añejo he produces. Beyond that, Nicholas Soglanich, the South African-born, Dallas-based former professional golfer who now oversees The Tequila Wanderer, is big into tequila pairings as well.

So I reached out to him about what dishes he enjoys best with certain tequilas.

“Almost eight years ago, a close friend convinced me to celebrate my birthday with tequila only. This friend had been turned onto tequila by Mr. Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffet) while working on his yacht,” Soglanich recounts. “Most of my experience with tequila up to that point had been cheap well or mixto tequilas—usually in the form of shots. Initially, it was the lack of hangover experienced with high-quality tequila that caught my attention. Little did I know that my passion for the spirit, its production, history, and culture would grow the way it did. While most will agree that tacos and tequila are the best duo since Jay-Z and Beyoncé, not everybody knows that good tequila is meant to be sipped. So I compiled my list of eight favorite must-try sipping tequilas with some less conventional food parings.”

When Soglanich was curating his list he often keeps in mind the brands that he drinks (or recommends) on the regular. “While I tend to steer toward more traditional profile tequilas, I am also aware that for many starting their tequila journey, the softer, aged tequilas may be more approachable. In general, blanco tequilas pair best with citrus and lime flavors. Reposado pairs best with bold and spicy ones. While añejos and extra añejos are best paired with sweet,” he says. “But I also encourage everyone to experiment with pairings of their own.”

But remember this first and foremost: Soglanich is always happy to offer recommendations, educating as many as he can. However, his best advice is true of almost any spirits: “Ultimately the best tequila there is, is the one that you enjoy drinking the most.”

8 Superb Food and Tequila Pairings to Try Now


“Produced by master distiller Carlos Camarena, El Tesoro Añejo ($50) is created from 100% estate grown agave, cooked for three days in brick ovens and then Tahona crushed,” Soglanich says. “For those of you who are new to tequila, a tahona wheel is a two-ton stone made from volcanic rock that’s used to crush cooked agave and separate juices from fibers. This añejo is rested for two to three years in ex-bourbon barrels and carries cooked agave, cinnamon, and oak aromas in its profile, along with hints of caramel and oak. Pair it with dark chocolate chip banana bread: The heavier sweet flavors complement the añejo well and work even better together when the banana bread is lightly toasted.”


“Looking to replace wine night with something a little more fun? I highly recommend Código Rosa ($59). This pink-colored tequila gets its appearance from the ex-Napa cabernet barrels that it rests in for two months,” Soglanich says. “The tequila profile is characterized by sweet cooked agave, citrus, and a fruity flavor. Think: something between your favorite blanco and bottle of Rosé. This is as close as I will get to having salt with my tequila: Salt and vinegar popcorn is one of my favorite movie night snacks and the fruity notes of the tequila pair perfectly with the salty flavors of the popcorn.”


El Tequileño Gran Reserva Reposado ($59) is produced at one of the oldest distilleries in Mexico and became available in the United States late last year. This tequila has been aged for a minimum of eight months in American Oak and blended with a small amount of Añejo,” Soglanich says. “The result is a tequila with fruity, caramel aromas, and a taste profile with hints of fruit, caramel, and vanilla. Pair it with mango sorbet. The sweet, fruity flavors of the spirit work perfectly with a fruit sorbet—and considering the numerous mango trees on property at La Guarreña distillery, mango sorbet is the perfect choice.”     


“The name Volcán de mi Tierra makes reference to the actual volcano that sits in the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico. This aged tequila is produced using a combination of highland and lowland agave—and a combination of traditional and modern production methods,” Soglanich says. “Cristalinos as a whole, is growing in popularity, as it provides a softer lighter version of an aged tequila, but still carries over certain characteristics. The aged tequila is run through a charcoal filter to remove sediment and color which is why this añejo is almost clear in appearance. Volcán de mi Tierra Cristalino ($70) carries notes of vanilla, caramel chocolate, and oak. Pair it with tajin sweet potato fries. (Tajín is not only great on the rim of your margarita but is a great bar food seasoning. And tajín sweet potato fries and Volcan make for the perfect game day combo.”  


“Anyone who enjoys Mexican cuisine knows that blanco tequilas pair well with spicy food. Cascahuín Tahona Blanco ($70) is in my opinion one of the best blancos available,” Soglanich says. “Produced at Tequila Cascahuin (NOM 1123) in El Arenal, using estate-sourced agave and generations-old production methods, this is a pure valley tequila characterized by a bold agave-forward profile and a spicy finish. The bold flavors are enhanced further by the fact that it’s bottled at a slightly higher proof, clocking in at 84. Pair it with a spicy dragon roll. In my experience, not only do blanco tequilas pair well with seafood, but they work especially well with bold spicy-flavored sushi. Spicy dragon roll is a personal favorite.”


“The second El Tesoro addition to this list is produced using the same techniques as the añejo. But before bottling, this tequila spends five years in French oak previously used for Cognac. The end result is a sipping tequila that carries butterscotch, oak, and floral aromas, and a wonderful balance of sweet butterscotch and herbal flavors,” Soglanich says. “A light fruity finish with hints of spice makes El Tesoro Paradiso ($130) of my favorite extra añejos. Pairing it with espresso fudge brownies. The aged tequilas are often considered ‘dessert tequilas’ by agave aficionados—and as a big coffee drinker there isn’t any better dessert than espresso fudge brownies. The espresso and butterscotch flavors pair wonderfully, and will have you wanting to skip over your dinner and head straight for dessert.”


“All Tequila Ochos are single estate, produced in the highlands of Jalisco. ‘Terroir’ is the French term used to describe the natural elements that influence the grapes being grown for wine production. These elements include soil composition, altitude, temperature, and more.” Soglanich says. “Being single estate and using traditional additive-free production methods, elements of each Tequila Ocho release can be attributed to the specific rancho (estate) where the agave was grown. Los Patos ranch is adjacent to a pond where ducks (the los patos) stop on their north­­–south migrations. The Tequila Ocho Los Patos Reposado ($44) carries spicy floral aromas and a taste profile with earthy, fruity, and caramel notes. Pair it with pan-seared sweet chili shrimp. The subtle notes of the reposado pair wonderfully with sweet chili shrimp—for a sweet and spicy combo.”


“The 50:50 mix of collected rainwater and natural spring water used in the production of this additive-free blanco creates a wonderfully complex sipping tequila. With bold cooked agave notes, hints of pepper, earth, and citrus, the G4 Blanco ($47) is one I highly recommend,” Soglanich says. “Produced in the El Pandillo tequila distillery, in Jesús María, the name G4 refers to the family’s four generations of tequila making. With their dedication to traditional growing and production methods, I know the brand will continue to make phenomenal tequila for decades to come. Pair it with biltong, which is a traditional South African dried meat (similar to beef jerky.) Biltong does not contain any additives and is produced using traditional herbs and spices. The spicy peri peri is a nice complement to the citrus of the blanco. This pairing is actually perfect for the health-conscious reader: Both the tequila and biltong are low carb and sugar-free options.”

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

After Some Setbacks, Sushirrito Is Flourishing
5 New York City Restaurants Hosting Seders And Passover Meals
24 Hours In Paris: Best Things To See, Eat And Do
Southwest Airlines vows to increase winter staffing and improve tech after holiday mess
An Unforgettable Experience at Riva Del Sole Resort & Spa: Luxury at its Finest!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *