Tequila is a quality product that can be consumed on a number of different occasions. It’s not just here to get the party started, although it does get the party started! We want to show you the different varieties out there and how tequila is not just for margaritas. We provide you with reasons why the future of tequila is food pairings, filled with a really rich history and more than 250 years of legacy. People normally think of wine when it comes to food pairings. Tequila is both complex and subtle yet versatile making it a natural partner to food. You’ll find nuances of aroma and flavor in the spirit which allows you to combine it with a variety of foods.
Here are 4 Tequila Pairing Recommendations.
Chula Parranda Blanco Paired with a Scallop Crudo
Blancos pair very differently than the reposados or añejos pairings and should be driven by citrus and lighter flavors. Silver Tequila is made of 100% agave and is unaged making it the purest tequila experience. This tequila has a bright and natural sweetness. This is the tequila you want to use when making margaritas. Since this tequila isn’t aged and has a light fresh taste its perfect paired with lighter foods like vegetables and fish. Ceviches or crudos are a great pairing!
Though the restaurants that do these pairings are usually Mexican it can also expand to other foodfare including Asian dishes with the main proponent of vegetables and a base of soy or citrus in the sauce.
Tequila can also be used to pair with sweets thanks to its high sugar content. A vanilla custard or grapefruit based desserts go well with a Blanco’s beautifully light and sweet floral notes.
Scallop Crudo is a raw dish. Crudo, which means “raw” in Italian, is a preparation in which pristine uncooked seafood is served dressed with citrus, good olive oil, and sea salt (additional seasonings optional). Unlike ceviche, in which the fish “cooks” in citrus juice for several hours, crudo is a last-minute preparation meant to highlight contrasting flavors.
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably organic
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 red Thai chile, thinly sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
- 1/2 pound large sea scallops, side muscle removed, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
- Sea salt
- Whisk orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, oil, ginger, chile, and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour dressing onto 4 large rimmed plates. Arrange scallops over. Garnish with mint and chives. Season lightly with salt.
Chula Parranda Reposado Paired with a Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Unlike the tequilas you’re likely familiar with, Tequila Reposado is an entirely different beast. Chula Parranda’s Resposado is aged in American oak bourbon barrels for at least eight months. This Tequila Reposado balances the natural flavor of agave with the wood it’s aged in. It offers a smooth, silky, warm taste with an aroma of wood, honey, and vanilla. It’s great paired with spicy food and pork dishes to accentuate the smokey and woodsy flavors. The sugars in a Resposado pair well with your favorite classic mexican dishes: spicy grilled shrimp, chipotle roast chicken tacos, pulled pork tacos or empanadas with pork filling or even the classic ceviche.
- 8 dried cascabel or 2 pasilla chiles, seeds removed
- 3 ancho chiles, seeds removed
- 3 dried guajillo chiles, seeds removed
- 3 pasilla chiles, seeds removed
- 6 red jalapeños or Fresno chiles, halved, seeds removed
- 6 garlic cloves
- 4 corn tortillas, plus more, warmed, for serving
- 1 teaspoon Mexican or Italian oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds total), trimmed, silver skin removed
- Preheat oven to 500°. Roast cascabel, ancho, guajillo, and pasilla chiles on a rimmed baking sheet until completely blackened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and pour in cold water to cover; let sit 30 minutes to soften. Drain.
- Meanwhile, roast jalapeños, garlic, and 4 tortillas on a clean rimmed baking sheet until blackened and charred, 12–15 minutes.
- Heat a dry small skillet over medium-high and toast oregano and cumin seeds, tossing often, until beginning to burn, about 1 minute. Transfer oregano and cumin to a small bowl. Char cloves and allspice, tossing often, until black and ashy, about 4 minutes.
- Purée softened chiles, tortillas, jalapeños, garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, cloves, allspice, orange juice, and salt in a blender until smooth. Place pork in a large bowl and pour adobo over (meat should be submerged). Cover and chill at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.
- Remove pork from adobo, leaving as much paste on meat as possible, and let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
- Prepare a grill for medium-low heat. Grill pork, turning once after first 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145°, 35–45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before thinly slicing.
- Serve pork with tortillas, guacamole, Grilled Salsa Roja, Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa Verde, and lime wedges.
Chula Parranda Reposado Paired with Chipotle Roast Chicken Tacos
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves plus 3 fresh cilantro sprigs
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves plus 3 fresh oregano sprigs
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed in resealable plastic bag with mallet
- 1 5 1/2- to 6-pound roasting chicken, rinsed, patted dry; neck, heart, and gizzard reserved
- 2 large onions, each cut into 8 wedges through root end, leaving root ends intact
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 8 warm corn tortillas
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, thinly sliced
- Using fork, mix butter, all chopped herbs, chipotle chiles, and crushed coriander in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
- Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Place chicken, breast side up, in large roasting pan; place reserved neck, heart, and gizzard alongside. Starting at neck end of chicken, slide fingers under skin to loosen, being careful to avoid tearing. Spread all but 1 tablespoon seasoned butter over breast meat and thigh meat under skin. Rub any butter remaining on fingers over outside of chicken. Sprinkle main cavity of chicken with salt and pepper; place all herb sprigs in cavity. Tie legs together loosely.
- Place onion wedges in large bowl. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon seasoned butter in small saucepan over low heat; pour over onion wedges and toss to coat. Arrange onions around chicken. Sprinkle onions and chicken with salt and pepper.
- Roast chicken and onions 30 minutes. Scatter garlic cloves around chicken; add 1/4 cup broth to roasting pan. Continue to roast chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170°F, basting occasionally with pan juices and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as needed to maintain juices in roasting pan, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Remove roasting pan from oven. Tilt chicken, draining juices from cavity into pan. Transfer chicken, onions, and garlic to platter. Tent with foil to keep warm. Add 1/4 cup broth and wine to pan. Place over 2 burners and bring juices to boil, scraping up browned bits. Strain juices into bowl. Discard fat from top of juices.
- Cut meat from chicken (reserve 1 1/3 cups for tostadas). Serve, making tacos with warm tortillas, chicken, onions, garlic, and avocado. Drizzle tacos with pan juices.
Chula Parranda Añejo paired with a Spice Rubbed Steak
Tequila Añejo will completely blow away your expectations of what tequila can be. Chula Parranda’s Añejo is aged for at least 24 months in American oak bourbon barrels to produce an unforgettable tequila with every sip. Tequila Añejo transforms into a rich amber color and develops a smooth and extremely complex velvety taste. With its deep, rich flavor profile, Tequila Añejos goes great with red meats and luxurious desserts. Tequila Añejo has rich burnt sugar flavors that pair best with flavorful dishes that pack a punch.
We recommend the Añejo paired with Tequila lime steak or chicken tacos, caramel flans, tres leches cakes, or Mexican hot chocolate and churros. Like most aged spirits Añejo Tequila goes well with dark chocolate – or even milk chocolate if it’s Mexican which has a particularly delicious fudgy texture and offers a tasty end to the meal with its barrel-aged boldness and surprising hint of creaminess.
Mexican Spice-Rubbed Rib Eye Steak with Lime Butter
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder
- Four 12-ounce, 1-inch thick, boneless rib eye steaks
- Vegetable oil, for the grill
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and a pinch of salt. In another bowl, combine the paprika, cumin and chipotle powder with 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Rub the mixture all over the steaks.
Oil the grate and grill the steaks over moderately high heat, turning once, until slightly charred and medium-rare, about 12 minutes. Transfer the steaks to plates and top with the lime butter. Let the steaks stand for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.
CHULA PARRANDA EXTRA AÑEJO
Tequila Extra Añejo isn’t for the faint of heart. Aged in American oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of two years, Tequila Extra Añejo is extremely smooth and complex with warm flavors, aromas of wood, agave, vanilla, and hints of almond and a velvety melt in your mouth taste with a finish of caramel and smoked honey. While they could pair with most of the same foods as Tequila Añejo, Extra Añejo should be enjoyed on it’s own.
Tequila is a great spirit to pair with food and is finally getting the attention it deserves in the culinary world. Experiment with tequilas and start trying to match them with your favorite foods. Keep in mind which flavors in the tequila are going to go with what you’re making and you’ll find an elevation to your culinary pursuits with added depth and nuances to your meal.