Wine and chocolate pairings have become extremely popular in the last several years. More recently beer and chocolate pairings have also gained in popularity. What may not be quite as familiar is the pairing of chocolate with spirits – especially a spirit like tequila.
Similar to chocolate, the history of tequila includes ancient myths and intriguing facts. Chocolate is derived from the heart of the cacao pod. It was considered the “food of the Gods” in the Mayan culture where it was used in religious ceremonies. The fruit surrounding the cocoa beans was fermented and often used as an aphrodisiac.
Tequila is derived from the heart of the Agave plant. The Mexican devotion to the plant is rooted in ancient history. The Olmecs referred to fermented agave as “a delight for the gods and priests,” and the Aztecs worshiped the plant as the earthly representation of the goddess Mayaheul, who had 400 breasts to feed her 400 children – which, for some, would be considered an aphrodisiac I suppose.
When it comes to pairing tequila and chocolate apart from their respective histories, it’s all about taste. I’m not suggesting you grab a bag of tootsie rolls and down a bottle of cheap tequila in search of the worm at the bottom. I am suggesting you seek out the finest chocolates to pair with one of the finest tequilas available – Tequila Partida.
Tequila Partida is authentic estate-bottled premium tequila made from 100% blue agave in the heart of Mexico’s historic Tequila region. With a clean, smooth, exceptionally pure taste, Tequila Partida is one of the only major tequila brands still produced from agave cultivation and harvest to distillation and marketing as an estate bottled product.
If fine tequila has a soul, it resides in la piña which rests beneath the spiky fronds of the agave. The larger the piña grows, the more its sugars mature. Partida allows the agave plants seven to ten years from seedling to harvest to mature fully. Some premium tequila brands are content with half that time ensuring fuller, riper, richer flavor.
When choosing a chocolate to pair with a spirit, it is always important to consider the flavors within the spirit. Aged 18 months, Partida Añejo exhibits a depth of flavor that only comes from advanced aging. Intense golden color with ochre and copper tones; clean and full bodied. A fruity aroma with notes of cherry, almond and spices. Soft honey fruit tones, with flavors of spices and dried fruits reminiscent of sweet pear and almond, and a very pleasant finish.
Begin with smooth dark chocolate (which pairs well with most spirits) and look for infusions of fruit similar to those in Partida Añejo such as cherry ganache and sweet pear. For my pairing I chose dark chocolate with almonds. It was a perfect match as the almonds enhanced the subtle nutty notes in the tequila. If you want to add a bit of spice, try dark chocolate with notes of cayenne pepper, cinnamon, or both.
If you have only tried tequila in a margarita or possibly as a shot with lime and salt, you are in for an elevated tequila experience with Partida Añejo. Perhaps it’s time.
I will leave you with one more legend – the Legend of the Spirit Bird. The legends say that long ago a woman came upon the Spirit Bird as it faced a challenge. Again and again, it tried to perch upon the Blue Agave but could not keep its balance on the spiny leaves. Then the woman saw the Spirit Bird drink from a tiny hole in the Blue Agave and she understood. And when she tasted the precious golden drops they say it was the birth of Tequila.
Today the Spirit Bird still sits on every bottle of Tequila Partida. www.partidatequila.com