If you struggle to sip or take a shot of tequila without following up with a chaser, you’re not the only one. Sometimes the acid of tequila can make taking multiple shots a challenge. And since you don’t want to kill the buzz or end up praying to the trash can or porcelain deity, a chaser becomes essential. So, which chasers are actually worth your time? Which chasers are the best for tequila? We’re going to answer those questions and more right now.
Just What is a Chaser, Exactly?
Don’t know what an alcohol chaser is? Not to be confused with the dating or relationship term, a chaser in the world of booze is something you eat or drink immediately after knocking back a shot or sip of hard liquor. Chasers are used to neutralize any flavors of the alcohol so that the burn of it going down is less traumatic.
Some chasers are better from one form of liquor only. That is why you might find that some tried and true chasers for vodka or whiskey won’t work with tequila.
Do I Need a Chaser for Tequila?
Choosing to use a chaser ultimately comes down to you. Some people find that they do not need a chaser for tequila when it is high quality. Cheaper varieties of tequila are going to be more caustic when taken as a shot, so you may be grasping for something to get rid of the flavor. Better brands of tequila, however, can be sipped or taken as a shot without so much as a wince.
Some tequilas that may require a chaser include Jose Cuervo Gold, El Toro, Pepe Lopez, and Montezuma. A common theme among these brands is the ability to induce your gag reflex and send you running for the garbage bin.
The 10 Best Chasers For Tequila
If you decide upon one whiff of tequila that it’s going to singe your esophagus on the way down that you need a chaser, then you are going to need this list. The best chasers for tequila are ones that reduce the acid of the alcohol and dilute the essence of battery acid that’s stuck on your tongue. And remember, not all tequilas are made for masochists.
10 Best Chasers For Tequila List
- Tonic, Sparkling, or Seltzer Water
- 100% Fruit Juice
- Lime or Lime-Flavored Drink
- Vodka and OJ
- Chips and Salsa
- Pickles or Pickle Juice
1. Tonic, Sparkling, or Seltzer Water
The fizz of tonic or seltzer water works magic in your mouth. The slight tang of the quinine or carbonation will take the edge off hard liquors. Plus, you can mix tonic, seltzer, or sparkling water with tequila to tone down the spirit or make a refreshing cocktail.
2. 100% Fruit Juice
There is a reason many cocktails utilize juice to mask the overpowering flavor of alcohol. Fruit juices work well with a range of liquors and spirits, including tequila. There are tons of fruit juices to choose from, too. Make sure you are choosing the right juice for your liquor. For example, some people will say that grapefruit juice is their go-to for tequila, but others claim that it’s pineapple juice or nothing.
Adventurous tequila drinkers might even find themselves drinking a healthy green concoction. Cucumber, spinach, lemon, and ginger can be blended together to make a health shot that works wonders with tequila. Plus, you get a nice dose of nutrients to make all that alcohol your drinking far less insidious.
3. Lime or Lime-Flavored Drink
You heard of the salt and lime chaser for tequila. You can’t go wrong with it, but if you don’t feel licking like salt off your thumb or you’ve run out of fresh limes, there are alternatives. Anything lime-infused works. You can grab a lime-flavored soda, like Sprite or 7up, for a quick, effective chaser. So, if you ever wondered, “Is tequila and Sprite good?” the answer is yes, it is!
4. Vodka and OJ
Chasing tequila with vodka is not unheard of, especially when you mix that vodka with some orange juice. In essence, you are mixing up a deconstructed Tequila Screwdriver. Why does this work? The vodka counteracts the tequila by masking the flavors. The orange juice is refreshing and sweet, muting both spirits.
Not to be confused with sangria, a sangrita is a traditional Mexican chaser that is often used with higher end tequila. You consume your sangrita after taking a sip of tequila to cleanse the palate. No one really knows where sangrita came from, and the original recipe is lost to history. So, you will find many deviations. Modern sangritas use tomato juice, but some people will swap tomato for orange or lime.
One of the best recipes out there simply needs to be mixed with ice then poured into a pony glass. You will need pure tomato juice, lime juice, orange juice, a dash of Tabasco sauce, and salt. Paired with tequila, it is a sweet, savory, and spicy experience.
6. Chips and Salsa
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that tomatoes slow alcohol absorption? That means more tequila for you! Okay, but seriously, when you chase a shot of tequila with chips and salsa, you get a touch of salt and tomato (kind of like a sangrita) that can subdue the sharpness of cheap liquor swiftly.
Some people will tell you not to mix milk products with tequila—particularly liver-wrecking cheap tequila—but we’ve got some news for you. Hispanic cheeses, like Queso Fresco or Queso Blanco, are an excellent match for Blanco tequila. Since the cheeses aren’t aged, they have a crisp, slightly mineral flavor and just enough milkiness to cut through the acid and alcohol of younger tequila. You can also pair cheeses with older tequilas for a bold combination of flavors.
Although it seems odd to follow up a shot of tequila with beer, it is wonderfully crisp and smooth. Tequila and beer balance one another out. Sometimes, the notes of flavor in beer even compliment the tequila. Some of the best options include light lagers or pilsners, like Tecate or Corona with lime. If you love a darker beer, you’ll find that it partners well with aged tequila.
Not a fan of lime? Cool. Replace it with lemonade. It’s an unexpectedly good Jose Cuervo chaser. The tartness of lemons, as well as the sugar, will pay homage to the flavors of both cheap and aged tequila.
10. Pickles or Pickle Juice
This might sound like a joke, but that horrendous burn of cheap tequila can be immediately canceled out by popping a crunchy pickle in your mouth. Pickle juice is an excellent choice for keeping your electrolytes balanced.
Enjoy The Chase…
There are numerous ways to chase down a foul shot of tequila, such as water, soda, fruit juice, or more bizarre combinations, like tomato and cheese. So keep a chaser within reach. You will enjoy a night of tequila shots or sipping much more.