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Mezcal At Mealtime: Feast On These 6 Terrific Dishes

pairing mezcal with food

Mezcal, a spicy, intense and smoky drink made from agave plants is a thoroughly tasty and versatile spirit which can be paired with an array of foods. These culinary treats are as diverse in their flavour profiles as in their placement in a course meal, meaning you can pair mezcal with a savoury snack and a dessert and it will taste just as fine with both! Now, mezcal has begun to feature prominently in cocktails bars across America popularising the Mexican liquor and its several food pairings.

The drink packs some really distinct notes and it is usually produced in small scale distilleries which make use of agave varieties growing in the wild or cultivated in measured bunches for the production of mezcal. This means that every batch of the spirit has slightly different flavour notes emerging out of the agave and the process of roasting the plant underground. Such subtle differences render a bit of an excitement to consuming this beverage. Paired with different foods, it acquires a very full and appealing finish that is thoroughly hard to ignore.

Next time you are home hosting a gathering and choose to serve mezcal, you can check out some of the dishes below which work well with its earthy profile:

Peri Peri Chicken

A favourite for being a delectable bar bite, peri peri chicken can be served as a popper or as strips deep-fried and coated in lots of spicy peri peri spice mix. The spicy chicken is packed with heat and when it acquires a perfectly succulent cook, fats ooze out of it making the dish even more tempting. Such classic peri peri chicken can be paired with a clear mezcal or a mezcal cocktail so that its spiciness blends well with the intensely smoky notes of the spirit.

mezcal and food pairings


A Latin American dish that is quite spicy, menudo is akin to a stew and is made from tripe, roasted chillies, hominy and lime. With origins in Mexico, the dish celebrates classic flavours of offal that go into making the dark red stew out of broth, red chilli peppers, onions and oregano. Enjoyed with mezcal, the two foods not only become a celebration of Mexican culture but also dance on your taste buds in a sheer explosion of complex flavours.


Mezcal pairs splendidly with dessert and one such effective combination is a shot of the spirit downed with a slice of cheesecake. The slightly tangy cheesecake with its crumbly base and hints of vanilla bring out some of the herby flavours that are inherent to some varieties of mezcal. This combination slightly offsets the savoury note of some mezcals by introducing a creaminess that helps to arrive at a stunning flavour balance. You can enjoy a classic cheesecake with mezcal de pechuga that carries slightly fruitier notes. 

Citrus Fruits

If there was one group of fruits that pairs well with cocktails and spirits in general, it is the citrusy, tangy varieties like grapefruits, limes and oranges which help to balance the bitterness in liquors without making a drink too sweet. The same goes for pairing mezcal with a thick orange or lime wedge because the tangy and sour juices of the fruits undercut the intense smokiness and roasted feel of the drink to make it smoother and softer on the tongue.

mezcal and bread

Vindaloo Curry

Out of all the varied foods that would go well with mezcal, vindaloo curry is one preparation from the repository of Goan cuisine that would make this liquor sing because of its fiery spiciness. The dish is often enjoyed with rice and is typically made from caramelised onions, coconut milk and tons of spices. Pair your mezcal with a spicy vindaloo curry because the two indulge with each other in a thoroughly pleasurable affair.

Brioche And Ash Goat Cheese

Ash goat cheese carries a slight smokiness which is typical of any mezcal variation. But while pairing the liquor with brioche and cheese, go for a slightly intense version as the smokiness of the drink will be highlighted by the soft and buttery bread enjoyed with a bit of crumbly cheese. This is a classic pairing when you want to host an elegant cocktail night at home.

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