The Expert-Approved Cocktail Pairing For Tamales

plate of unwrapped tamales
plate of unwrapped tamales - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Tamales are already pretty great on their own. The soft cornmeal dough combined with the savory fillings makes for an addictive, rich bite. You can make a delicious batch of Instant Pot spicy beef tamales or the more traditional tamales de rajas. Either way, you end up with something tasty. This flavorful, portable dish doesn't need much else added, but if you want to elevate your dining experience, try pairing your next tamale with a paloma cocktail.

"I love a Paloma with a nice and herbal reposado tequila," Molly Horn, Manager of Cocktail Strategy & Spirits Education at Total Wine & More, told Tasting Table. "The savory notes of grapefruit juice are complemented by those herbal and oak notes in the tequila and pair very well with the savory, rich flavors of a tamale."

A paloma is a tequila-based cocktail with tequila, lime juice, and a grapefruit soda like Squirt. It is equal parts tart, sweet, and earthy without being too alcohol-forward in flavor. Horn points out how this cocktail works particularly well for tamales since it cuts through some of the dish's richness. This cocktail introduces flavor elements such as bitterness and acidity, creating a more complex flavor palette.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Other Tequila Cocktails To Try With Tamales

paloma cocktails in glasses
paloma cocktails in glasses - Clarkandcompany/Getty Images

A paloma is one of the easiest tequila-based drinks to try with tamales, but you could experiment with different recipes to find one you enjoy best. Tequila is a good choice for tamales for a couple of reasons. As Horn mentions the herbal, earthy notes of tequila cut through the savoriness of the tamales, plus both tamales and tequila share an origin country of Mexico. Having a similar geographical origin typically means that the dishes and drinks of the region go better together. Another classic tequila cocktail to try is a classic frozen margarita. The slushy texture of the drink contrasts nicely with the rich softness of the tamales, and the hint of salt from the cocktail brings out all the flavors.

Or, if you're looking for a drink that's easy to sip, you may want to try a spiced ranch water cocktail. Mixing tequila with soda water gives this drink a refreshing edge, perfect for going up against the doughy density of the tamales. You could even make a big batch of ranch water for a party and let guests serve themselves for the night, making it a great drink for entertaining.

Read the original article on Tasting Table