Tequila is a versatile spirit that can be paired with a wide variety of foods. For our sipping tequilas, here are some recommendations - but please remember, the best pairings are always the ones you discover!
Desserts: The sweetness in barrel-aged spirits is a perfect partner to after-dinner treat. Some ideas are:
Top-quality dark chocolate, milk chocolate or salted caramel with a side of Extra añejo. We love Edward Marc for all of the above and their toffee covered almonds too!
Apple pie, chocolate desserts (including churros), crème brûlée, vanilla, coffee, or chocolate ice cream, poached pears, warm berry dishes and banana-based desserts also work very well with the balanced smoothness and viscosity of an aged tequila
Cigars: The longer a tequila rests in barrels, the more flavors of earth and spice emerge, making it a perfect complement for a wide range of cigars. See some recommendations below, though like any pairing, we encourage you to try and determine what you like best. For additional tips on cigar pairings, visit Cigar Afficiando
La Palina Family Series Miami Babe (U.S.A.; 5 1/4 inches by 50 ring gauge, $16.50; 90 points, October 2016 Cigar Aficionado) Initial wheaty, bready notes become bright with vanilla bean, honey and cinnamon. Notes of orange peel are prominent on the finish. A tasty and attractive cigar with a pristine wrapper.
E.P Carrillo Selección Oscuro Piramides Royal Chosen No. 4 in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of the Year for 2016 with 94 points, this is a blend of Mexican wrapper, Ecuadoran binder and Nicaraguan filler rolled in the Dominican Republic. It measures 6 inches by 52 ring gauge and costs $8.25. The cigar is not only full of dried-fruit notes and a chocolate-covered raisin sweetness, it is an exercise in restraint and balance.
Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado The Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year for 2014 (96 points) is named for Melanio Oliva, the family patriarch, who began growing tobacco in the late-1800s. Measuring 6 1/2 inches by 52 ring gauge, it blends Sumatra-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador with binder and filler from Nicaragua, at a price of $14. This classic smoke has rich, big notes of leather framed by a range of coffee, caramel and woody intonations
CHEESES; This is not your ordinary cheese pairing, we realize. You’re probably wondering, “What are they thinking?!” Tequila isn’t wine. There’s no grand history of pairing cheese and tequila together. But we would never steer you wrong – the notes of tequila, from floral to caramel sweet, make a perfect pairing to some of the world of elegant cheeses
Blanco: Can pair with sharp cheeses and even spice cheeses allowing the flavors to work together; imagine a margarita and a quesadilla... this is a no brainer.
Reposado: Pairs with slightly more pungent cheese; manchego, brie or even some goudas will work with this approachable tequila
Anejo: Annalies has sweet flavors of roasted hazelnut and alpine grasses, the undertones of butterscotch and cocoa enable it to stand up to an Anejo without overtaking it.
Extra Anejo: Rather than another cheese with sweet flavors, try a Stichelton Blue Cheese. Its soft, creamy texture marries with the thickness of an Extra Anejo, while the soft caramel notes you get as it melts away tie back to the sweetness of the tequila