Top pairings | 6 of the best drinks to pair with tacos

Pairings | Mexican food

6 of the best drinks to pair with tacos

Mexican restaurants have been on a roll lately so tacos are much more widely available than they used to be in the UK.

Following visits to two of London's most popular taco joints - Breddos Tacos and El Pastor - I've gained an insight into the best pairings for this incredibly moreish street food. And while there’s no reason not to drink wine it’s not my top choice.

Beer

Lager would be the usual go-to but Breddos has their own full-flavoured 5.4% version, Zirkus from Magic Rock, which they describe as a 'tropical lager'. Absolutely delicious and perfect with the food.

Margaritas

You can’t beat the classic kind in my book. Spot on!

Mezcal

Hand in hand with the taco boom there has been an accompanying growth in the popularity of mezcal the more artisanal form of tequila. Both taquerias have extensive lists

Aguas frescas

I drank a tepache at El Pastor which is described as ‘lightly fermented pineapple juice with spices. Refreshing and not too sweet. Not necessarily alcohol-free but very low. Here's how to make it at home.

Sauvignon Blanc

Generally chimes in well with the citrussy vibe of Mexican food

Dry rosé

Better than a red IMHO. Breddos stocks the Domaine des Triennes rosé from Provence which I really like.

Drink Pairings for 5 Popular Types of Tacos

Drink pairings for tacos
Image credit: Roman Odinstov

Tacos al Pastor - Margarita or Mexican Lager

This popular taco variety features thinly sliced pork that has been marinated in a blend of spices, chilies, and pineapple, then cooked on a vertical rotisserie. It's typically served on small corn tortillas with onions, cilantro, and a slice of pineapple. A classic Margarita or a cold Mexican lager can be a great pairing. The acidity and citrus notes of a Margarita cut through the fat and complement the sweetness of the pineapple, while a lager offers a refreshing contrast to the spiciness.

Carne Asada Tacos - Malbec or Negra Modelo

These tacos are made with grilled, marinated beef, usually skirt or flank steak, chopped into small pieces. They are often garnished with onions, cilantro, and salsa, served on corn tortillas. A robust red wine like Malbec or a Zinfandel can pair well with the rich flavors of carne asada. If you prefer beer, a dark Mexican beer like a Negra Modelo can complement the smoky and savory beef.

Tacos de Pescado (Fish Tacos) - Sauvignon Blanc or Wheat Beer

Originating from Baja California in Mexico, fish tacos consist of grilled or battered and fried fish (like cod or tilapia) placed on a corn tortilla and topped with a variety of garnishes such as cabbage, crema (a Mexican-style sour cream), and fresh salsa. A light and zesty white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio pairs well with fish tacos, enhancing the lightness of the fish and the tanginess of the toppings. A wheat beer or a light pale ale can also be a refreshing choice.

Tacos de Carnitas - Amber Ale or Mezcal

Carnitas tacos are made with pork that is braised or simmered in oil or lard until tender and then shredded or chopped. The meat is then often crisped up before being served in tortillas with various toppings. An amber ale or a German-style Märzen beer pairs nicely with the richness of carnitas, balancing the pork's fattiness with their malty sweetness. A smoky Mezcal or an Añejo Tequila can also complement the richness of the meat.

Tacos de Barbacoa - Syrah or Stout

Barbacoa is a traditional Mexican cooking method where lamb, goat, or beef is slow-cooked until incredibly tender, typically with seasonings, and then shredded. The meat is then served on tortillas with onions, cilantro, and salsa. For barbacoa tacos, consider a full-bodied red wine like Syrah or a Tempranillo, which can stand up to the bold flavors of the meat. A dark, roasty stout or porter can also match the meat's richness and smokiness.

See also: Wine, beer and other pairings for Mexican food

Top image credit: Jeswin Thomas 

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You may also enjoy …

Comments: 3 (Add)

Warren on May 5 2019 at 15:16

Pilsner

Dan on May 4 2019 at 16:05

Sierra Nevada IPA

JW on March 18 2018 at 00:29

Coca Cola.

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