paloma cocktail with grapefruit

Unexpected Combination: Why Corn Nuts and Paloma Make the Perfect Pair

Everyone who likes a tipple now and then has their favorite bar snacks, be it olives or Chex Mix. If you love a little salt with your alcohol, you shouldn’t be sleeping on corn nuts. The old school crunchy corn snack so often gets overlooked for the more ubiquitous chips, nuts, and pretzels that people can forget what they are missing out on. Drop a bowl on a table at a party and you’ll quickly rediscover that they have an unbeatable crunch, a deep corn flavor that matches the best tortilla chips, and are a classic “I can’t stop eating these” treat. So the only real question is: What should I be drinking while I down these by the handful? For answers to questions just like these, Look reached out to an expert, Natalie Migliarini, content creator behind BeautifulBooze, to ask about the best cocktail and snack pairings. And corn nuts were her ideal pairing for a summertime favorite: the paloma.

According to Migliarini, all the big flavors of a paloma play off corn nuts perfectly. She said, “I think earthy flavors play a big part in flavor connections.” She added that the tasting notes of each complement the other. “The tequila in a paloma and the corn flavor in corn nuts provide an earthy synergy.” But like any great food and drink pairing, it’s not just about what’s the same, and Migliarini tells us that the differences between palomas and corn nuts balance each other out as well.

Refreshing palomas complement salty corn nuts

bowl of roasted corn nuts

Migliarini told us that she likes to play up the bitterness of a classic paloma to contrast the salty flavors of the corn nuts. While your standard paloma is made with grapefruit soda, she adds a little bit of fresh grapefruit juice to help achieve that balance. But the soda, whether you use grapefruit or soda water and fresh grapefruit, is also another key complement to the corn nuts. Migliarini explains, “The carbonation of the soda makes the perfect pairing for washing down a salty and crunchy snack like corn nuts.” So whether you’re considering texture or complementary flavors, corn nuts and palomas check all the boxes.

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If you are trying to make the best paloma Migliarini’s way to pair with corn nuts, look out for Squirt or Jarrito’s Grapefruit as the ideal sodas, along with that splash of fresh grapefruit juice. And while corn nuts should be easy to come by in any grocery store, you can also DIY yourself some high-quality homemade corn nuts with hominy and an airfryer. You can even use that recipe to customize yourself a snack with ingredients like Tajín that will further complement a paloma. After all, if you are going to make a nice handcrafted cocktail for yourself, while not go all the way with it and upgrade your snacks as well?

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