The Liquor Pairing That Will Turn Your Smoky Steak Up To 100

Whether you've cooked your steak to perfection on your beloved seasoned cast iron or outside on the grill, there's nothing like settling in for a gorgeous steak dinner with a refreshing beverage. When it comes to pairing the ideal drink with a steak, many folks reach for a bottle of scotch. Per Jacques Scott Wine & Spirits, that's because the smokey notes of scotch mirror the charred notes of a well-cooked steak. Red wine is also a traditional pairing with steak, thanks to its robust flavor profiles that can stand up to the richness of red meat. But one person's unexpected dream pairing has us drooling and looking to a different shelf at the store.

In a piece from Food & Wine, Benjamin Maides, a culinary director based in Omaha, writes that his preferred pairing with a steak is the agave-based spirit — tequila. Tequila may not be what you've typically opted for with a steak dinner, but after hearing his reasoning, we are sold. 

What tequila pairs best with steak

Tequila is an underrated spirit, too often resigned to college frat parties, but it offers just as many complex flavor notes as a whiskey. "I really like the combo of steak grilled over wood or charcoal and tequila, because the natural smokiness from the wood and charcoal is subtle enough to enhance and follow the flavors from an aged tequila," says Maides in Food & Wine. But if you feel a little lost when it comes to picking out a bottle of tequila, 3 Amigos Tequila recommends a nice reposado or anejo tequila when it comes to beef. 

Reposado and anejo tequilas are aged in oak barrels after the distillation process, says Agave Cocina and Tequilas, which is similar to many whiskey and scotch processes. This gives the tequila time to age and develop additional flavor profiles. Unlike blanco tequila, which is bottled directly after distillation, barrel-aged tequilas take on a caramel color and deeper, richer notes, making these the perfect pairing with your next steak dinner