mezcal shot served with sliced fruit
Food - Drink
Sotol: The Lesser-Known Liquor Tequila Lovers Should Try
For a long time, tequila was the most common Mexican spirit, but the recent popularity of mezcal has piqued interest in exploring all the liquors Mexico has to offer, like sotol.
While tequila and mezcal are distilled from agave, the less common Mexican spirit, sotol, is made from any plant in the Dasylirion shrub species, also known as the sotol plant.
Depending on where the plants are harvested, sotol can range from a piney flavor to earthy, leather-like flavors, but it is typically herbaceous with floral and citrusy notes.
Production can also alter the spirit, imparting everything from a funky, cheese-like flavor depending on the yeast used to an Irish-cream-like consistency when walnuts are added.
Sotol is made by harvesting the hearts of the sotol plant, which are steamed before being turned to mash, mixed with yeast, distilled in copper stills, and finally, bottled.
Since sotol is a complex spirit, it is best enjoyed sipped neat, but it can also be incorporated in cocktails such as the old fashioned and many tequila- and gin-based drinks.
Although it has been produced for 300 years, sotol is only now becoming widely sought-after as new producers grow the spirit’s popularity in both Mexico and across the States.