In the Chihuahuan desert grows Sotol (also known as sereque in Mexico or Desert Spoon), an Dasylirion wheeleri plant that grows wild in Northern Mexico, New Mexico and Texas.. It has developed for 800 years a type of mezcal that is tangy and sweet and just starting to be recognized amongst artisanal producers.
Throughout history, tradition sotols have been used by indigenous people in religious ceremonies and as a medicinal remedy. Currently, the Sotol is considered a designation of origin so has positioned itself as the typical drink of the state of Chihuahua, which has managed to conquer the most demanding palates.
It is neither mezcal nor tequila: Sotol is independent with a strong and smoky flavor, reminiscent of wood and earth. The traditional production process consists of collecting and defoliating the plants; digging a hole to prepare the oven, cooking the heads, macerating and fermenting the heads in order to distill twice before it's consumption.
Currently there are several brands and varieties ranging from white Sotol, Reposado and Añejo. Sotol is a perfect mix or take on the rocks.
Tenzing currently distributes Flor del Desierto, a small production Sotol.
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- States of Production: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango
- Plant Species: Dasylirion wheeleri (A succulent, rather than an agave plant.)*
- Alcohol Content: 35-55%
- Label Designations:
- Joven/Oro: The result of either Sotol Blanco blended with Sotol Reposado or a Sotol aged in wood for 1-2 months.
- Reposado: Aged for a minimum 2 months in oak, chesntut, acacia, beech, or ash wood casks with a maximum 210-liter capacity.**
- Añejo: Aged for a minimum 1 year in wood casks with a maximum 210-liter capacity.**
- DO Established: 2004
*Sotol may include up to 49% of sugars from other sources.
**In addition to wood casks, other "technological alternatives" are authorized for aging.