The Traditional Small Bite Pairings To Try While Drinking Mezcal

When you think of Mexican spirits, tequila may come to mind first, but mezcal has definitely made its mark in and outside the country. Tequila is still one of the most popular liquors worldwide, but mezcal, in recent years, has been continuing to increase in popularity globally, as per Restaurant Clicks.

Mezcal, like tequila, is a product of the agave plant and originates from the Mexican city of Oaxaca. According to Mezcal for Life, mezcal was first created centuries ago when Oaxacans paired their natural ingredients with certain distillation methods introduced by Spanish colonizers.

The taste of mezcal varies drastically depending on the specific variety, according to The Spruce Eats. Some are more herbal and floral tasting while others can have stronger flavors, such as having a bit of spice or smokey notes.

Due to the varying flavor profiles and high alcohol content in mezcal, it may seem a bit difficult when attempting to pair the liquor. However, there are plenty of traditional, tried-and-true pairings that will revolutionize your mezcal tasting experience.

Oaxacan classics make the best pairings

In Mexico, the typical go-to pairings for drinking mezcal are traditional small bites. As Food & Wine notes, mezcal is usually enjoyed neat and alongside fresh, light bites, such as tomatoes, pineapple, and dark chocolate. These pairings allow drinkers to pick up on different flavor profiles and some also act as a palate cleanser.

One of the most common pairings is orange slices topped with worm salt. According to Mexcalistas, worm salt is a powder containing a mixture of dehydrated agave worm, chili, and salt that stands out against the stark mezcal flavor. And, orange slices can add a nice refreshing sweetness, making this threesome the ultimate pairing.

However, if that doesn't sound as appetizing to you, maybe cheese will. Those in the cheese world know that Oaxaca is not only known for mezcal, but also for its stringy, white, and creamy cheese. Therefore, chewing on the salty snack is another great addition to any mezcal experience. But, if you can't get your hands on fresh Oaxaca-made cheese, plenty of other cheeses will do.

Finally, those with a sweet tooth will definitely enjoy dark chocolate alongside their mezcal. Both products have origins in Mexico, and since both are fermented they can often share slightly similar flavor profiles, as per Just Luxe. We promise this sweet and smokey combination will keep you interested until the last bite (or sip).