Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Cocktails

Sotolero

Sotolero cocktail in a Nick and Nora glass, garnished with a dill sprig
Image: Virginia Miller

Tequila and mezcal get most of the attention when talking about Mexican spirits, but the diverse country produces a handful of other liquors that also deserve attention, including sotol. This earthy spirit is distilled from the desert spoon plant that grows wild in Mexico, as well as in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Though it still lags far behind tequila and mezcal, today sotol is becoming a more regular presence on bar menus and in cocktails.

The Sotolero comes from San Francisco bartender Candice Jae. She created the cocktail during her time at Mosto, a bar boasting more than 200 tequilas, 200 mezcals and even a vegan pechuga mezcal flight. The all-spirits Sotolero drinks like a Martini, but by swapping out gin for sotol its flavors are green and earthy.

Lillet blanc aperitif plays the part of dry vermouth in this Martini riff, while Salers aperitif lends gentian qualities to ramp up the herbal notes. Orange bitters add complexity and a citrus accent, which are furthered by a spritz of lemon peel oil. Finally, Jae garnishes the drink with dill, which brings a fresh, green note to the aroma and palate.

The Sotolero is a fun departure from the typical sotol cocktail, which often hews toward the Margarita in style and flavor. Try this one for yourself to see how the interesting spirit plays with complex, herbal ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Por Siempre sotol

  • 3/4 ounce Lillet blanc aperitif

  • 3/4 ounce Salers gentian aperitif

  • 8 drops orange bitters

  • 1 lemon peel, expressed

  • Garnish: dill sprig

Steps

  1. Add the sotol, Lillet blanc, Salers and orange bitters into a mixing glass with ice, and stir for 30 seconds until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.

  3. Express the oil from the lemon peel over the drink and discard.

  4. Garnish with a dill sprig.