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What to drink with Mexican food?

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Sour lime with floral citrusy taste and hint of tequila, margarita is known as the most popular Mexican beverage. However, it is not the only drink that pairs with all Mexican food.

As a foodie passionate about Mexican cuisine, the goal is understanding the best drinks to pair with Mexican dishes. While some like hot sauce with their meats and salsa, others prefer sodas and iced teas. 

Beer or margaritas are most commonly served, while others prefer wine coolers or cocktails that are a little more complex than a shot of tequila.

What to drink with Mexican food? Other than margaritas, Mexican food complement wonderfully with beer, mezcal, agua frescas, and wine. Some of the national drinks are michelada, paloma, champurrado, and ponche.

When it comes to wine selection, go with Malbecs, Tempranilos, or red Rhône wines that blend well with smoky and earthy chipotle, chilies, or grilled meats.

Depending on the food pairing the drinks may vary. For instance, tacos go well with gin and tonic, burritos with Tempranillo, enchiladas with Pinot Grigio, and tamales with Pinot Noir.

As a result, what to drink and eat with Mexican food depends on the type of dish and ingredients used. Here’s a look at some of the best drinks to have with Mexican food.

What wine do you drink with Mexican food?

All wines do not go with every Mexican dish. In fact, some of the flavorful and spicy dishes in Mexican cuisine don’t pair well with wine at all. 

On the other hand, some dishes match up quite well with a wide variety of red, white, or sweet wines.

  • Tacos, chalupas, sopes, tostadas: dry rosé, Lambrusco, Spanish Garnacha
  • Tamales, gorditas, enchiladas, burritos: cabernet franc rosé, tempranillo, syrah
  • Empanadas, chili rellenos: sauvignon blanc, verdejo, torrontes
  • Queso fundido quesadillas: sangiovese, tempranillo
  • Barbacoa, carne asada: cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon
  • Chorizo: cava, crémant
  • Al pastor, carnitas: sparkling brut rosé
  • Pozole: white port, tonic cocktail
  • Torta, pambazo: cava
  • Cecina: nebbiolo, cabernet sauvignon
  • Arroz con pollo, arroz con camarones: cava, sauvignon blanc
  • Fajitas: primitivo
  • Chili con carne: cava
  • Chimichangas: extra-brut cava

Sauce makes huge flavor difference in Mexican dishes and what drinks to serve. Depending on the sauce used in the meal, the wine selection changes.

  • Adobo: moscato d’asti, prosecco, crémant
  • Enchilada sauce: sangiovese
  • Green chili sauce: Sauvignon blanc, Grüner veltliner
  • Red chili sauce: German riesling
  • Guacamole: verdejo, dry riesling, sauvignon blanc
  • Molé: chilled amontillado sherry
  • Pico de Gallo: albariño, vino verde, pinot gris
  • Ranchero sauce: cabernet franc, gamay
  • Tomatillo salsa: sauvignon blanc, grüner veltliner, verdejo

Red wines that go with Mexican food?

When pairing red wine with Mexican food, think about the level of spiciness and the type of dish worth pairing. For spicy meals, a sweeter red wine would be preferable. 

When dishes have an inherent sweetness to them, then adding sugar in the form of a sweet wine complements both flavors. Good red wine is one with decent acidity and balance. 

To this end, Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice for many dishes, including chicken, beef, and pork. Another great option is Zinfandel, which has a lot of flavor, but not as much heat as other choices.

Other red wine options to pair with Mexican food:

  • Gamay
  • Beaujolais
  • Zinfandel
  • Shiraz
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinto Noir

What is a popular Mexican drink?

For those that love sweet drinks, there are plenty of Mexican beverages to order. 

Margaritas are one of the most popular choices because it includes classic or various fruity flavors. A good margarita contains tequila, triple sec, and lemon/lime mix. 

Additionally, consider bacanora, a tequila cousin from Mexico. It is super sweet and takes on the flavor of fruits in the recipe.

Other popular Mexican drinks are:

  • tequila
  • mezcal
  • raicilla
  • paloma
  • carajillo
  • michelada

What drink goes with tacos?

While there’s a lot of debate over whether to put hot sauce on your tacos or not, one thing that everyone can agree on is that beer goes well with tacos, especially with lagers such as Corona, Pacifico, Modelo, and Tecate. 

From lager to IPA, there are various domestic, import and craft beers to consider when it comes to pairing with tacos:

  • Grilled fish and shrimp based tacos: lagers, Hefeweizens, California pale ales
  • Fried fish tacos: pilsner, belgian wit, American IPA
  • Beef and pork tacos: amber ales, American brown ales, smoked porters, dark lager
  • Chicken tacos: IPA
  • Vegetable tacos: medium-bodied IPA with herbal accents, saison

What non-alcoholic drink goes well with tacos?

A non-alcoholic drink that goes well with tacos is freshly-made limeade. A glass of the refreshing, cool beverage is a great way to counter the spicy and hearty taste of tacos. 

Add a little mint and lime to water, then sweeten it with agave nectar to make this delicious non-alcoholic Mexican drink.

For any non-alcohol drinkers, here are some authentic fun drinks that pairs well with tacos:

  • agua de jamaica
  • agua frescas
  • horchata
  • virgin piña colada
  • virgin sangria

Drink Pairing with Mexican Food

Wine, beer, and mixed drinks are just the start of what anyone has to choose from. Margaritas, sangria, and rum punches can also deliver a delicious experience! 

Whether it is to scarf down chips with salsa or have a luxurious feast at an upscale restaurant, there’s a drink for every taste. Here are Mexican foods and beverages that go together perfectly:

  • Tacos, tostadas with guacamole and salsa: Sauvignon blanc, albarino, margaritas, wheat beers, citrus pale ales, agua fresca
  • Tamales and other dishes with masa harina: Chardonnay
  • Chicken enchiladas or burritos: pale ale, Chenin blanc, unoaked chardonnay
  • Beef enchiladas or burritos: amber ale, medium-bodied red Rioja, tempranillo, garnacha
  • Mole: negra modelo, stout, petite Sarah, zinfandel
  • Slow braised carnitas: barbera, Malbec, Syrah, dark ales, amber
  • Churros and cajeta pancakes: sauvignon blanc, black Americano coffee
  • Ceviche: white or rosé wine
What to drink with Mexican food

Drink with Mexican Cuisine: Conclusion

Mexican food is a favorite cuisine for many. Whether it is a family get-together or a romantic date, Mexican food is sure to please all. 

There are a wide variety of beverages that go well with Mexican food.

Typically margaritas are served with various Mexican dish. However, there are other alcohol and non-alcohol beverages to serve including agua frescas, mezcal, horchata, michelada, paloma, champurrado, and poncho.

Depend on the sauce and main ingredients of the dish, red and white wine also optimize the culinary experiences. 

Use drink and food pairing to complement each other and maximize the flavor. With this guide, you will have a clear idea of what beverages go with specific dishes of Mexican food.

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