Tastes sotol-mezcal

Published on December 17th, 2016 | by Greg


Holiday Spirits: Cruz de Fuego Mezcal & Flor del Desierto Sotol

This Christmas season, you’re likely to need some adult beverages on-hand to keep things warm and merry. Whether you are hosting a party, meeting your significant other’s family for the first time, or simply having some friends to open some presents, we hope your holiday will be nice and bright. And while there are plenty of ways to raise spirits, it might be time to consider some beyond the classics- rum and brandy are great but we suggest something a little more unusual, and a bit smokier.

We’ve got two selections to elevate your liquor cabinet, and the first is from one of the hottest categories of spirits- Cruz de Fuego Mezcal. Lovely straw in color, the bottle looks pretty traditional, with a black and gold label that is a bit subdued. If you don’t know about mezcal, it’s in the same family as tequila- made from 100% agave, and this is an 80 proof joven (young, unaged, and thus whiter). A gold medal winner at the San Francisco Spirits Competition back in 2015, this is still a relatively underground brand from Oaxaca that might not be widely available- but we definitely suggest checking it out if you get a chance. We loved that there was a story, and it’s not a big corporate, mass-produced product- instead, they use traditional methods – even “including horse-drawn grinding stones and wood-fire ovens to bake the agave”! Expect to spend around $50 for a bottle.

Even a little more obscure is sotol, and the Flor del Desierto Sotol is a perfect emblem of the spirit. The artisanal methods are similar to agave, but they use a different plant (sometimes called the desert spoon), and it’s got an 800 year history. Unaged and 90 proof, it’s got a raw, clean taste and a clear, almost transparent hue. Apparently, you can Sotol is only the real thing if it comes from Durango, Coahuila, or Chihuahua, and this one is from the latter. This Desert Flower will run you around $60 in stores.

Pairing these with cheese is a little difficult, but some classic barbacoa and carnitas tacos went perfectly. Or sip them straight, room temperature, with a couple of drops of water in the sotol if you want to deproof a little bit.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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