Drink A Paloma With Your Chili To Deliciously Temper The Spiciness

Nothing makes a meal feel more special than pairing it with the perfect drink. There are plenty of straightforward food and beverage pairings you may be familiar with, from opting for a glass of rich red wine to go with your steak to washing down your oysters with a dirty martini.

But finding the ideal sip to serve alongside a slightly more complex dish, such as a hearty chili, may prove a bit more difficult. The dish features multiple flavor and texture components to consider, including meaty ground beef, hefty beans, and flaming seasonings and spices. So a robust chili requires a sip that's just as multifaceted as it is. However, it should still be simple enough to complement the spectrum of flavors without overpowering them.

Lucky for you, we've landed on a boozy option that strikes the perfect balance. Enter: The sharp and citrusy paloma. The fruity and refreshing concoction is great for serving with especially spicy chili, as it should help temper the heat of the pepper and spices, all while quenching your thirst. In addition to how refreshing the drink is, the acidity of citrus (such as the lime juice used in a paloma) can help cancel out the alkalinity of capsaicin, which is found in common chili ingredients like jalapeños and chili flakes.

The refreshing appeal of the simple sip

Originally hailing from Mexico, the paloma is often compared to the similarly citrus- and tequila-based margarita. Indeed, both cocktails certainly make excellent accompaniments to Mexico's spice-packed cuisine, though some may argue that the paloma is actually the more definitive drink of its country of origin. In the States, however, the refreshing sip can oftentimes be underappreciated.

So why not give it the spotlight it deserves the next time you decide on a chili night, whether you're pairing the paloma with a bowl of chili for one or serving a large group at a party or potluck? And if you are hosting multiple guests, that's all the better — the drink is a certified crowd-pleaser, and can easily be made in large batches when needed.

And though the paloma packs quite a powerful punch with its full-bodied flavor, it is actually rather simple to prepare. If you're looking for a straightforward version to whip up, consider this easy paloma recipe by Tasting Table recipe developer Ting Dalton. "Zesty, refreshing, and really delicious, this drink is perfect as an aperitif or for summer parties or barbecues," says Dalton. All you'll need is your preferred tequila base, plenty of grapefruit juice or grapefruit-flavored soda water, some lime juice, a dash of agave nectar, and salt for the rim of the glass. Then, just combine and stir up all your ingredients, pour over ice, and get ready to wash down your spicy chili in the yummiest way possible.