Amidst the challenging times we as South Africans find ourselves in, being on lockdown for 21 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we still need some normality so that we can get back to the things we love once lifestyle has returned back to normal.
If you love Tequila and also love pairing your alcohol with the perfect dish, but not always sure what food to pair it with, then you are in the right place as the Table Bay Hotel recently hosted an event at Camissa Brasserie Restaurant where they created a cosmopolitan experience marrying flavours of delicious Tapas and Tequila together.
The dishes presented at the Table Bay event will give you a few ideas what you can create in the comfort of your own home while sipping on a delicious Tequila. Gone are the days where Tequila was only associated with margaritas and burritos. Or where wines are only paired with food.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with Tequila? Tequila is so much more than the headache-inducing liquid you took shots of with a slice of lemon and heaps of salt at birthday parties or get together with friends. That being said, tequila is wonderfully complex and versatile and can add depth to any culinary dish.
THE MILENARIO STORY
The story of Sierra Milenario Tequila stretches back to the time of the ancient Mexican gods.
The creator god, Quetzalcoatl, fought with the goddess of darkness because she had stolen the light of the sun god. In anger, the goddess of darkness killed Quetzalcoatl’s wife. As Quetzalcoatl´s tears fell on her grave, the shoots of a beautiful agave grew from the earth.
He killed the goddess of darkness and sunlight returned to earth, ripening the agave. To thank Quetzalcoatl, the sun god gave him agave nectar to help alleviate his pain.
The Tequilas within the Sierra Milenario range each carry a different Mayan zodiac sign, to represent their unique qualities: the snake, the jaguar, the monkey, the eagle, the rabbit and the crocodile.
The Sierra Milenario Tequila Reposado is a handcrafted 100% de agave tequila manufactured at the family-owned Destilerías Sierra Unidas in Jalisco, Mexico. Reposado is the favourite variety of tequila among Mexicans.
SIERRA MILENARIO TEQUILA REPOSADO
Through the storage in American white oak barrels for a minimum of nine months, the Sierra Milenario Tequila Reposado gains a crisp, full-bodied profile with roasted almonds, fine chocolate and light notes of coffee. Agave, summer flowers, sweet pineapple, hints of smooth caramel and honey round off the flavour.
The Sierra Milenario Tequila Reposado is represented by the Mayan zodiac sign of “IX – I’X”, the jaguar, featured by a ruby blood red. With a female character, the jaguar stands for intuition.
DISH: Grill juicy pineapples and top it with spicy chilli pepper and cilantro. The combination of spicy chili pepper and the sweet-tart pineapple is always a great one. Adding tequila behind that and binding the contrasting tastes with citrus creates a drink that is delightfully complex. To lift the flavour of the tequila, coat the rim of the glass with a slice of lemon and dip it into salt.
SIERRA MILENARIO TEQUILA FUMADO
Sierra Fumado, a crisp and fruity tequila with a subtle smokiness and a kick of chili. The way in which it is made is key to its delicious flavour. After cooking the agaves, they are put into a stainless steel container and placed this on top of a brazier that burns mesquite and Mexican logs. The pot is perforated, infusing the agaves to achieve an array of crisp fruit flavours paired with smooth, subtle smokiness.
The Sierra Milenario Tequila Fumado is represented by the Mayan zodiac sign “IMIX – IMOX”, the crocodile. Its grey color tone and the masculine character stress the edginess of the crocodile.
DISH: This tequila was paired with freshly caught Swordfish ceviche served in a shot glass. Ceviche can be made with any other fish, prawns or scallops. Toss it with lime or any citrus juice, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. The citrus juice will ‘cook’ the raw seafood and it works well with the flavour of agave (the plant from which tequila is made). Give it a try! It’a delicious and refreshing at the same time.
SIERRA MILENARIO TEQUILA EXTRA-AÑEJO
Stored in French Limousine oak barrels for at least four years, the Sierra Milenario Tequila Extra-Añejo is characterized by an elegant silky-smooth body and its taste indicates roasted agave, vanilla, sun-ripened fruits, pineapple and brown spices.
Sierra Tequila Milenario Extra Anejo has a deep golden amber colour. On the nose it is rounded and profound with hints of honey, agave juice, vanilla and subtle notes of caramel. In the mouth it is decadently smooth with a soft medium to full body and hints of caramel, grilled ripe tropical fruits and brown spices . It’s finish is elegant smooth and invites appreciation.
The Sierra Milenario Tequila Extra-Añejo is represented by the golden color tone of the Mayan zodiac sign “MEN – T’ZI’KIN”, the eagle. The masculine eagle carries the characteristic of wisdom in itself.
DISH: The two dishes paired for this tequila were nothing short of flavour. The flavour explosion of spices create a sensation like no other and the spicy notes complements the intense flavours of the tequila. The first dish paired was cumin enhanced chicken tacos with tangy mango salsa. The second dish was a slow braised beef chili con carne. Because this Tequila was kept in the barrels for at least 4 years, it developed a very rich, powerful flavour with a smooth finish. So any dish with rich, spicy flavours will enhance the flavours of the Tequila beautifully. You can even coat the rim of your glass with chilli infused salt.
SIERRA MILENARIO TEQUILA CAFÉ – COFFEE LIQUEUR
A rich, dark tequila-based coffee liqueur. The intense Sierra Milenario Café contains only the finest Mexican ingredients: coffee beans from the well-known Chiapas Maya jungle and vanilla from the heart of Mexico’s prime vanilla-growing region, Veracruz. The coffee flavour takes away the bite and strong finish of regular tequila’s and makes it smooth and easy to drink.
DISH: It can be enjoyed straight on the rocks, making it “perfect for sipping” or mixed in cocktails. Why not drizzle this one over you vanilla ice cream! This one is my favourite and irresistible. It leaves a delightful lingering aftertaste.
Mexican law states that only the liquor made from the agave in this region can be called Tequila. It is aso known as Mezcal or Agave spirits.
Hope this article gave you insight about what food to pair with the different types of Tequila. The next time you host a gathering or a party, you’ll be ready to pair Tequila with the right food pairing to go along with it. Although it may take a little planning to make this happen, the end result is sure to be a memorable experience. Your friends and family will be super impressed.
The Sierra Milenario Tequila range can be purchased at Pick ‘n Pay, Ultra Liquors, Norman Goodfellas and of course at the Table Bay Hotel. Although no alcohol can be purchased during this lockdown, you can always add this to your list of items to buy when the restriction has been lifted.
Stay safe and let the creative juices flow while being in self-isolation to help curb this Corona virus pandemic. Have fun exploring with Tequila!