Dishes to Pair With Tequila

por Fernando Ávila Fernando Ávila | Jan 4, 2022 6:25:54 PM

pairing my tequila with food

Which dishes should I pair my tequila with? What other drinks can I mix it with?  This are some of the most frequent questions that our clients ask. As a master distiller, I always suggest getting to know the flavors and aromas of each kind of tequila first and then, based on that and information, choose the dishes to pair with tequila, with the one you specifically chose. By doing so, you will undergo a more satisfying gastronomic experience.

How many tequilas are there?

There are 5 kinds of tequilas:

1. White

2. Young

3. Rested

4. Vintage

5. Ultra-aged

Each of them has its own sensory notes and flavors. From a white tequila to an ultra-aged one, we start sensing an increasing complexity of aromas and tastes, which are a result of the production and aging process. When white tequila makes contact with the barrel's white oak wood for a certain period of time, we then obtain the rested, vintage and ultra-aged profiles. Each depends on their aging time and the kind of wood they make contact with.

At Casa Sauza, we use pipones (large wood tanks) and American white oak barrels. In some pipones the wood is not toasted. The wood of the barrels on the other hand, have different degrees of toasting. This is what gives each of our tequilas a unique and characteristic profile. Knowing the sensory profiles of each tequila will guide us into finding the best combinations (the so-called "pairings") of the different tequilas with different dishes.

Dishes that are best paired with white tequila

White tequila casa sauza

White tequila offers a lot of flexibility on how and when it should be drank. For instance, you could have it in any occasion as an appetizer, since it stimulates salivation, which favors appetite.

The sensory notes and flavors it offers are herbal, sweet and somewhat spicy at first. We also fin in our white tequilas some citrus notes that go well with salads and citrus-based dressings. They also go well with seafood, specially that fresh seafood to which we usually add a squirt of citrus fruits (mostly lemon) and a pinch of hot, spicy pepper. Another good option for this tequila are the many varieties of sushi.

A well-known suggestion is to add red fruits to the traditional guacamole and "scent" it with white tequila, like a Sauza Blue tequila. Based on that same idea, you could combine white tequilas with soups (specially tortilla soup) and cream soups (such as pumpkin).

The citrus notes of our white tequilas are key to creating a great variety of cocktails, such as the worldwide known margaritas or the palomas.

Dishes that are best paired with rested tequila

Rested tequila pair with food

Since rested tequila is left to age for months in white oak barrels, it has more complex notes than a white tequila, yet it can be perceived as a softer tequila than a white one. Some people consider rested tequilas the best balanced ones, in terms of better harmonizing the agave notes with the wood notes. The wood notes contribute with a spicy flavor, along with some vanilla and dry fruits notes. We even find clove and sweet pepper aromas in some rested tequilas.

The tannins transferred by the wood, give this tequila a bittery taste and an astringent feeling, which happen to be the perfect elements for wrapping proteins and fats. This means that these tequilas go well with many of the typical Mexican dishes, specially with those that are prepared with delicate sauces, such as pipian (Hornitos Reposado is recommended). They also go well with second-course dishes, such as meats that are dressed with red fruit sauces and/or spices (Tres Generaciones Reposado is an excellent option).

Dishes that are best paired with vintage tequila

vinatge tequila pair with food

Due to its aging process, vintage tequila starts to have more complex notes, enhanced notes of wood. The aging process add vanilla notes to this tequila and a bigger sensation of roasted wood. They are perceived as softer and warmer, compared to white tequilas.

We suggest pairing them with Mexican dishes or with main courses that have a strong flavor, one given by the sauces they go with. A perfect suggestion would be pairing an Hornitos Black Barrel tequila with a fine mole poblano. Beef cuts with a high contents of fat go well with this kind of tequilas, replacing the traditional red wines that also go with them.

Dishes that are best paired with ultra-aged tequila

ultra aged tequila with food

In an ultra-aged  tequila, the wood notes are quite notorious and enhanced. The notes of toasted wood that we can associate with chocolate, vanilla and dry nuts, such as pecans and dates, are better perceived. These flavors go great perfect with chocolate or vanilla-based desserts. Yet, the sweet agave note should always be present, as the distinguishing feature of a tequila. We can also perceive the secondary notes of citrus fruits.

The ultra-aged tequilas are meant to be tasted slowly, in full appreciation. An excellent option is to have it at the very end of our dinner, along with a cup of coffee, a cigar or a chocolate-based dessert. Maybe even with a creme brulee or a baked flan (creamy desserts). The ultra-aged tequila that we have at Casa Sauza is the XA limited edition.


Tu sum up, enjoying a good tequila is not limited only to drinking it straight or mixed, it can also be paired with a variety of gastronomic proposals, both Mexican as well as international ones.

We invite you to experience other ways of having your tequila, since it is not only for shots. Go ahead and try pairing it with your food!

Discover the specific characteristics that each of our Casa Sauza tequilas have on our next blog.

You can also come to Casa Sauza and eat at our restaurant or have some special tequila-based drinks prepared by our bartender. Have your tequila, at Tequila, Jalisco!

Click here for more information on Casa Sauza Guided Tours

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