From her award winning cookbook to her celebrated television show, Pati Jinich celebrates Mexican culture. While the table is set with an abundance of flavorful food, the libations can add a spirited refreshment to the gathering. With the help of the traditional Gran Centenario tequila, the connection between food, family, and culture will always be front of mind.
Many chefs are well-versed in the craft. From cooking techniques to sourcing ingredients, that well-composed plate is more than just a smattering of ingredients combined in a haphazard way.
For Pati, each recipe is more than just the well-balanced flavor bite. She invites everyone to appreciate the history and culture infused into the experience. A better understanding how that complex mole evolved into the multi-ingredient dish enjoyed today is just as vital as the step-by-step process to master the cooking technique.
As a Gran Centenario ambassador, the rich history associated with the tequila brand is as vital as its flavor for Pati. During a recent conversation with FoodSided, she explained, “growing up in Mexico, Gran Centenario is the tequila we all loved and drunk. After moving to the U.S., it was the tequila that everyone would put in their suitcase to bring me.”
While the flavor always impresses, it is the craftsmanship that draws people back time and again. Pati explained, “the brand had the first tequila master distiller. It has passed down the techniques like an heirloom going from one generation to another.”
At the same time, the tequila brand is never afraid to innovate. As seen with its new Cristalino offering, that clean, crisp, smooth spirit lends itself to a variety of applications. Whether drunk neat or paired with a classic Mexican dish, the possibilities are many.
The idea of pairing food and cocktails is a topic that Pati has been exploring on both her PBS show, Pati’s Mexican Table, as well as through her partnership with Gran Centenario. Specifically, she looked to the Yucatan to influence some offerings.
For example, the Yucatan is full of bright, zesty citrus flavors. In addition, it is home to the stinger-less honey bee and a lot of honey production. That combination of citrus and honey works well both in the glass and on the plate. Add to that mix a little spice from a habanero or other pepper and the offering hits all the flavor notes.
While the Yucatan has a myriad of flavors, Jalisco is home to tequila production. Pati suggested pairing some classic birria with the Gran Centenario. As Pati explained, “birria is so complex deep, and chocolatey, I like to pair it with a Reposado or an Añejo. Served simply on the rocks, the flavor pairing is delicious.”
But, Pati suggested another option that reflects a fresh, bright take. Pati said, “I have a spiked agua de mango that would work well. The combination of mango nectar, or fresh mango, with lime juice and the reposado or añejo tequila is refreshing. Topped with some bubbly water, it contrasts the other rich flavors.”
Overall, the Gran Centenario tequila can pair with any and every flavor from the 32 Mexican states. Whether it is the robust salsa macha from Veracruz or showcasing a rich, sweet pairing with a dessert, the versatility that the tequila offers ensures that the bottle is always within reach.
More importantly, keeping that tequila part of the food and beverage conversation is vital. Beyond the enjoyable taste, it is putting culture and tradition front of mind. People want to make connections. Whether it is around the table, through their family, or exploring the world, a satisfying meal and a refreshing drink will help bring those sentiments front of mind.