Food & Drink

The Best Liquor You're Not Drinking Yet

It's Called Sotol. And It Hails from Mexico.

By Sam Eichner ·
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There’s no time like the present to further diversify your drinking repertoire. Mostly because we’re reaching peak summer, and you have a substantial amount of drinking left to do. But also because the oldest sotol distillery in Durango is selling their wares in the US for the first time. And what they’re selling is pretty damn exquisite.

Sotol, to those unfamiliar, is both the name of the spirit and the plant from which it’s derived. Nicknamed “the Desert Spoon,” sotol is harvested not too dissimilarly from agave for crafting mezcal and tequila. However, given the way in which sotol is produced, and fact that it has a Denomination of Origin composed of only three Mexican states—Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua—it is much less prevalent here than its brethren.

Fabriquero, the aforementioned distillery, uses century-old methods to make their sotol. These include picking the plants one-by-one and cooking them for five days in a lava rock-lined pit with acacia and mesquite, before crushing them by hand and allowing them to ferment in open air. Akin to the best mezcals, Fabriquero’s sotol is terroir-driven—meaning it has a unique taste that's different from every other sotol on the market.

Generally, sotol has the smoky character of mezcal and the grassy undertones of a botanical gin, making it a versatile spirit for cocktails. A few ideas are listed on Fabriquero’s website. But because we care about the health and well-being of your next party, we asked the distillery's co-founder Danny Mena to share with us a few of his personal favorites for summertime and beyond.

Note: Fabriquero is currently available in New York, Illinois, California and seven other states, and will be available in 18 more states by the end of the summer. However, the online retailer won’t be up and running on their site until next week. So if you can’t find a bottle nearby, we recommend using the ever-reputable Mesh & Bone’s sotol instead.

White Sotol Sangria (serves 4-6)
1 cup Sotol Fabriquero 
1 bottle of the cava of your choice
1 cup sweet vermouth blanc
1/2 cup of torn mint leaves
2 peaches (big slices)
2 lemons sliced
1 pint of raspberries
Add sugar to taste (depending on sweetness of fruit and personal preference) but no more than 1/4 cup

Sotol Palomazo
1.5 oz Sotol Fabriquero 
1.5 oz Aperol
1.5 oz grapefruit juice
Mix together and serve over rocks 

Bonus: Mena also recommends replacing the vodka in your go-to Bloody Mary with sotol, which we think is a fine idea.

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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