The Chef-Approved Way To Enjoy Tequila With Ceviche

Plate of ceviche
Plate of ceviche - Anastasia Kamysheva/Shutterstock

Peruvian food is known for being packed with flavor and featuring a wide range of dishes, whether it's guinea pig, savory lomo saltado, or fresh seafood ceviche. For those who enjoy the latter option, if you want to pair an alcoholic drink with your meal, pisco is the spirit of choice in Peru. You can drink it straight, or mix it into a pisco sour or another cocktail. However, if you're not a fan of pisco but still want a spirit with a Latin flair, tequila might be a nice alternative. Like pisco, tequila has earthy, smooth flavors, although it tends to have a stronger burn.

Fabrizio Villapando, a food blogger and recipe developer at Thee Moody Foody, spoke with Daily Meal and provided some exclusive insights into how you might pair ceviche with tequila. "Personally, I don't think I would add tequila to a raw fish dish," he says. "However, don't you dare think I'm suggesting raw fish and tequila can't be together. Instead, I would think of this pairing a little differently." His idea is to reverse your thinking — add your ceviche to the tequila instead for a unique shot.

Read more: The Ultimate Vodka Brands, Ranked

Play Around With The Ceviche Juices

Row of tequila shooters
Row of tequila shooters - Sbossert/Getty Images

A classic ceviche recipe contains lime juice and oil. These ingredients, combined with the liquid that naturally seeps out of the seafood, create a sour and salty brine. Fabrizio Villapando tells us, "In Peru, they refer to this as leche de tigre. Which directly translates to "tiger's milk" — pretty cool name."

Often, those juices end up sitting around after the meal, but Villapando has another way to use them. He suggests that you "reserve some of that tiger's milk and add that to a shot of tequila, and serve alongside your ceviche. Consider this the Latin pickleback." If you're not familiar, a pickleback shot consists of whiskey and pickle juice. It's strong and vinegary, with a boost of umami flavor that will wake up your senses.

Similarly, the leche de tigre from your ceviche also adds an umami punch, although it has more of a citrus flavor than pickle brine. It also tends to have some herbal flavors, thanks to the parsley and other seasonings used in classic ceviche; this complements the agave in tequila. Combined with the clear spirit, you get a savory shooter that pairs perfectly with your meal, and doesn't let a single drop of flavor go to waste.

Garnishing Your Tequila Shot

Tequila shots with lime
Tequila shots with lime - RHJPhtotos/Shutterstock

No good cocktail, even a simple shooter, is complete without a garnish. With this ceviche-forward twist on a pickleback, there are a few different garnishes you could experiment with. An expensive but impressive option is to drop an oyster into the shot, enhancing the salty seafood flavors in your meal. This is a show-stopper if you plan to serve your ceviche as part of a fancy summertime dinner.

A simpler and more traditional option is to garnish the shooter with a lime wedge. This fruit is a great way to balance out the sharpness of the tequila once you've downed your shooter. Similarly, you could use a different citrus wedge. For instance, if you've made a grapefruit juice ceviche, a small piece of grapefruit would be a fitting garnish for your beverage.

Finally, you could go with a simple sprig of parsley as a garnish. This herb is commonly used in ceviche and can add a pop of color while highlighting the clean, earthy flavor in your shooter. Give one of these garnishes a whirl, and Fabrizio Villapando's genius drink hack will be even more delicious.

Read the original article on Daily Meal