I've always loved pairing tequila with food. And most recently, during a scorching summer day in the countryside, I discovered the joys of taking a healthy drink.Mixture of Barris da Casa Dragones- with a 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 soft spot for pancakes and the añejo it produces. Also, Nicholas Soglanich, the former South African-born, Dallas-based golf pro who now overseesThe tequila walker, is also great in tequila combinations.
So I talked to him about what dishes he likes best with certain tequilas.
“Almost eight years ago, a close friend convinced me to celebrate my birthday with nothing but tequila. This fellow was made into tequila by Mr. Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffet) while working on his yacht,” says Soglanich. “Most of my tequila experience up to that point was cheap or mixed with tequila – usually in shot form. Initially, it was the lack of hangover I experienced with the premium tequila that caught my eye. Little did I know that my passion for the spirit, its production, history and culture would develop in the same way. While most would agree that tacos and tequila are a better combination than Jay-Z and Beyoncé, not everyone knows that good tequila is for drinking. So I put together my list of my eight favorite tequilas that you should try with some less conventional flavors."
When Soglanich curated his list, he often had in mind the brands he drank (or recommended) on a regular basis. “While I tend to gravitate towards tequilas with a more traditional profile, I also know that for many who are starting out on their tequila journey, smoother, more aged tequilas can be more accessible. In general, blanco tequilas pair best with citrus and lime flavors. Reposado pairs best with bold and spicy. While extra añejos and añejos go best with sweets,” he says. "But I also encourage everyone to try their own pairs."
But remember this first and foremost: Soglanich is always willing to offer recommendations, educating as much as he can. However, his best advice applies to almost all spirits: "Ultimately, the best tequila there is is the one thatyoulike to drink more."
8 Great Food and Tequila Pairings to Try Right Now
BANANA BREAD WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND EL TESORO AÑEJO
"Produced by master distiller Carlos Camarena,The Old Treasure ($50)it is created from 100% agave culture, baked for three days in brick ovens and then ground Tahona”, says Soglanich. “For those new to tequila, a tahona wheel is a two-ton stone made from volcanic rock used to crush cooked agave and separate the juice from the fibers. This añejo rests for two to three years in ex-bourbon barrels and features cooked aromas of agave, cinnamon and oak in its profile, as well as hints of caramel and oak. Pair with Dark Chocolate Banana Bread: The heavier sweet flavors complement the añejo well and work even better when the banana bread is lightly toasted.”
SALT AND VINEGAR POPCORN AND CODE 1530 ROSA
“Want to replace wine night with something a little more fun? I warmly recommendCode Pink ($59). This pink tequila gets its appearance from ex-Napa cabernet barrels, where it rests for two months,” says Soglanich. “The tequila profile is characterized by the sweet taste of cooked agave, citrus and fruit. Think: somewhere between your favorite blanco and a bottle of rosé. It's almost like having salt with my tequila: Salt and Vinegar Popcorn is one of my favorite movie night snacks, and the fruity notes of the tequila go perfectly with the salty flavors of the popcorn.
MANGO SORBET AND TEQUILEÑO GRANDE RESPOSSÍVEL RESPONDEU
"ElTequileño Gran Reserva Rested ($59)produced in one of the oldest distilleries in Mexico, it arrived in the United States at the end of last year. This tequila is aged for at least eight months in American oak and blended with a small amount of Añejo,” says Soglanich. "The result is a tequila with fruity aromas of caramel, and flavor profile with hints of fruit, caramel and vanilla. Accompany with mango sorbet. The sweet, fruity flavors of the spirit go perfectly with a fruit sorbet – and considering the numerous mango trees at Destilaria La Guarreña, the mango sorbet is the perfect choice.”
TAJÍN DOCE PATATE FES AND MI VOLCANO EARTH CRYSTALLINE
“The name Volcán de mi Tierra refers to the actual volcano located in the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico. This aged tequila is produced using a combination of mountain and lowland agave – and a combination of traditional and modern production methods,” says Soglanich. “Crystallines as a whole are growing in popularity as they provide a smoother, lighter version of an aged tequila, but still carry some character. Aged tequila is passed through a charcoal filter to remove sediment and color, which is why this añejo has an almost clear appearance.Volcano of my Crystalline Land (70$)it has notes of vanilla, chocolate caramel and oak. Pair with tajin fries. (Tajín is not only great on the rim of your margarita, but it also makes a great bar food seasoning.
SUSHI AND SPICY DRAGON ROLL ΚΑΙ WHITE SHADOW
“Anyone who enjoys Mexican cuisine knows that blanco tequilas go well with spicy dishes.Cascahuin Tahona Branco (US$70)it is in my opinion one of the best whites available”, says Soglanich. “Made at Cascahuin Tequila (NOM 1123) in El Arenal, using generationally sourced agaves and production methods, this is a pure valley tequila characterized by a bold agave profile and a spicy finish. The bold flavors are further enhanced by the fact that it's bottled at a slightly higher proof, coming in at 84. Pair it with a spicy dragon roll. In my experience, white tequilas not only pair well with seafood, they also work especially well with spicy, bold sushi. The Spicy Dragon roll is a personal favorite.
ESPRESSO FUDGE BROWNIES ΚΑΙ EXTRA TREASURE HEAVEN YEARS AGO
“El Tesoro's second addition to this list is produced using the same techniques as añejo. But before bottling, this tequila spends five years in French oak previously used for cognac. The end result is a tequila sip that carries aromas of caramel, oak and flowers and a wonderful balance of sweet caramel and herbs,” says Soglanich. “A light fruity finish with hints of spiceThe Treasure of Paradise (130$)of my favorite extra añejos. Pair it with espresso fudge brownies. Aged tequilas are often considered "dessert tequilas" by agave lovers - and as a big coffee drinker, there's no better dessert than brownies with espresso sauce. The espresso and caramel flavors combine beautifully and will make you want to skip dinner and head straight for dessert.
SWEET SHRIMPS WITH PEPPER AND TEQUILA IN OCHO 'LOS PATOS' RESTORED IN PRESERVATION
“All Tequila Ochos are single estate, produced in the highlands of Jalisco. ''terroirIt is the French term used to describe the natural elements that affect grapes grown for wine production. These elements include soil composition, altitude, temperature and more," says Soglanich. "Being a unique property and using traditional production methods without additives, elements of each Tequila Ocho release can be attributed torancho(property) where the agave was grown. The Los Patos resort is located next to a lake where ducks live (hthe Ducks) stop in the north-south migrations. OOcho Los Patos Rested Tequila (US$44)features spicy floral aromas and a flavor profile with earthy, fruity, and caramel notes. Pair with grilled sweet chili shrimp. The subtle notes of reposado pair beautifully with sweet chili shrimp - for a sweet and spicy combo.
PERI PERI BILTONG KAY G4 BLANCO TEQUILA
“The 50:50 blend of collected rainwater and natural spring water used to produce this blanco with no additives creates a wonderfully complex tequila. With bold notes of agave, pepper, earth and citrus notes, theG4 Branco (47 $)it's one I highly recommend,” says Soglanich. “Produced at the El Pandillo tequila distillery in Jesús María, the name G4 refers to the family's four generations of tequila production. With their dedication to traditional growing and production methods, I know the brand will continue to make incredible tequila for decades to come. Combine with biltong, which is a traditional South African jerky (similar to beef). Biltong has no additives and is made with traditional herbs and spices. The spicy peri peri is a good complement to the citrus in the blanco. This combination really is perfect for the health-conscious reader: both tequila and biltong are low-carb, low-sugar options.
This article was originally published byForbes.com. read itoriginal article here.