How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sotol

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sotol

Sotol. Our favorite cousin of tequila and mezcal. Put those tequila nightmares aside, for a moment - Sotol is a wonderfully complex and delicious spirit from the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango. Relatively unknown in East TN, Sotol isn't exactly easy to come by outside of Mexico; even in its home, the supply stays relatively small when compared to the giant production levels of agave-based spirits. This is mostly due to the process to make one bottle of Sotol:

-The average yield per plant is about 1 liter. In other words, one bottle is ¾ of a plant!

-The Desert Spoon plant from which Sotol is produced takes around 12-15 years to mature. Desert Spoon is not truly agave – rather it is a cousin to mezcal. Compare that to the 6-8 years for Blue Agave and you can see why this is something special.

-Sotol is generally wild harvested, as opposed to the large agave farms common to tequila producers. This leads to both significant variation from plant to plant as well as some fantastic flavor profiles not found in agave-based spirits.

Familiar with the concept of terrior? Sotol is a shining example of how the environment in which it is grown can influence the final product. Forest-harvested plants feature a hint of mint and pine, while the more common desert plants are earthier and feature a bit more dried fruit on the palate. The Hacienda de Chihuahua brand we are thrilled to carry at Corks is USDA certified organic, a product of both harvesting and fermentation methods dating back hundreds of years. Their full range of Sotol includes everything from the traditional styles of blanco, reposado, and añejo, to a premium aged H5 and a Platinum Blanco.

Finally, Sotol is softer than either tequila or mezcal, making a much more friendly cocktail. Try a twist on an old-fashioned or adding fresh fruit to make a delicious libation for the Spring. The slight smokiness (much lighter than mezcal) also invites simpler concoctions – try it neat or on the rocks with a small twist of lime.

Want to try something unique and brag to your friends about trying something they have likely never heard of? Stop in and pick up your bottle today!



tony gilmore