The State of Chihuahua counts with extensive areas covered by sotol population, which require carrying out an inventory to determine the existence of natural vegetative populations in the different regions. Also, these regions comprised in certain municipalities are the ones that count with the sotol plant; they were given names just for identification purposes.
- Coyame region. Municipalities: Ojinaga – Coyame – Chihuahua.
- Jiménez region. Municipalities: Jiménez – Camargo.
- Valle Zaragoza – Satevó region.
- Madera region. Municipalities: Janos – Casas Grandes – Buenaventura – Ignacio Zaragoza – Madera.
The Sotol “piñas” or cores are transported to the distillery, where the sotol is made. The sotol cores are cooked in a cone-shaped stone oven, using mezquite wood and volcanic stones; the cooking process takes 3 days, with volumes of 3 tons of piñas, each one of the around 40 kilos weight. The crushed piñas are left to fermentation for an approximate of 6 to 8 days. Crushing is done manually, with axe. A double distillation then is made in copper pot stills.
Currently there are around 37 brands of sotol in the State of Chihuahua (that could be found), which are located in different regions of the State, mainly in the following municipalities: Ojinaga, Aldama, Chihuahua, Juárez, Janos, Casas Grandes, Buenaventura, Madera, Coyame del Sotol and Delicias.
The sotol distilleries (“vinatas” in Spanish) are found in different areas of the State, so the production capacity varies due to the weather conditions where the distillery is located; in the areas where the weather is colder the plant can be exploited throughout all year without any problem, because the sugars in the plant are founded in the sereque head. In desert areas, where temperatures are higher, it can only be produced in a determined period of the year; it is reported that the best time for production is between October and March. There is no exact data about the total produced volume, but it is estimated to oscillate from 50 thousand to 150 thousand liters annually.
This spirit comes from the Dasylirion or sereque, a unique plant, different to all the other plants contemplated in Mexican designations of origin. According to the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, it is a distinctive sign which recognizes a product as representative of a region. It is an expression of authenticity linked to the tradition of the people who took advantage of the geographical conditions and the natural resources in order to generate a unique product. Currently there are 15 vinatas (distilleries) in operation, such as Lauro Castillo, Cali Álvarez, Dionisio Baca, Felix Romo Martínez, Concepción Mendoza, Ariana de Leon, Carlos Corral, Eduardo Arrieta, Jacobo Jaquez, Salvador Derma, Sotol Hacienda and Sotol Ruelas, among others, established in different areas all across the State of Chihuahua: Ojinaga, Aldama, Chihuahua, Juárez, Janos, Casas Grandes, Buenaventura, Temosachic, Madera, Coyame del Sotol and Delicias.
Some brands in the state of Chihuahua:
- CLANDE SOTOL
- CINCO TRAGOS
- ORIGEN RAIZ
- SOTOL FERNANDEZ
- SOTOL COYAME
- LA PROMESA
- SOTOL CUESTA DEL TORO
- SOTOL INDIO JUH
- SOTOL ORO DE COYAME
- SOTOL FLOR DEL DESIERTO
- SOTOL CHONTECO
- SEIS14 SOTOL
- SOTOL RODADORA
- SOTOL HACIENDA
- SOTOL PIZCADORES
- SOTOL DON PAULINO
- SOTOL DOCE PUNTAS
- SOTOL DON DIEGO
- SOTOL EXCENTRICO
- SOTOL ARACLE
- SOTOL IMPERIAL
- SOTOL VALDES
- SOTOL ONO
- SOTOL CASCABEL AZUL
- HACIENDA DE CANUTILLO
- SOTOL REAL CASA GRANDE
- SOTOL CASA MONTES
- SOTOL POR SIEMPRE
- SOTOL RARAMURI
- SOTOL ALAQUA
- SOTOL ACRONIMO
Sotol Pizcadores uses the sotol plant, also called sereque (Dasylirion), which can be found in the desert region in the state of Chihuahua. This plant grows wildly in the mountain slopes, where rain is scarce, and temperatures are blistering high.
More than 800 years ago, the native tribes in the North of Mexico realized that the cooked sereque cores mixed with water caused fermentation, producing an alcoholic beverage which became part of their culture and was used in ceremonial activities and festivities. However, it was until the 16th century that a high-proof alcoholic beverage was obtained, since the Spanish colonizers introduced distillation to obtain the spirit of the plant. Since the installation of the first distillery and until the end of the 20th century, fabrication of sotol was mainly clandestine, because the government prosecuted those who elaborated it. However, with the designation of origin of Sotol obtained in 2002, vinatas started being developed in the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango, now called “sotol industry”. Starting on 2002, sotol began to be known in the national and international market as a strong high-quality drink.
Production of Sotol Pizcadores started in 2010; however, is its ancestral process that makes it unique. In order to replicate ancient sotol elaboration processes, Sotol Pizcadores conducted a careful study on the elaboration of sotol in the late colonial period, which consisted in cooking the piñas by steaming with oak wood in underground volcanic stone ovens. Later, the cooked piñas were smashed by hand and placed in clay pots to facilitate sugar extraction and start a slow fermentation process with the natural yeast founded in the same sereque plant. After 12 days, the fermentation finished and the juice obtained was subjected to double distillation at low temperatures in a copper pot stills, which improve the fine flavors and aromas of the Dasylirion plant.
In order to produce each bottle of Sotol Pizcadores, it is necessary to cut a head of 10 kilos approximatively. Because of the plants grow in the wild, they require between 12 and 15 years to reach the required weight. This careful selection has allowed obtaining an excellent quality in terms of aromas and flavors, the same that allowed Sotol Pizcadores to obtain 2 gold and 1 silver medal in the Glorious Spirits Tasting Competition held in San Diego, California, in 2015.
SOTOLERA HACIENDA DE LOS ANGELES
Sotol ALAQUA preserves the ancestral essence and artisanal character of this spirits. Native inhabitants of the North of Mexico have used it as food, medicine and beverage in festivities since pre-Columbian times. Alaqua offers all the originality and strong quality that distinguishes the desert plant. This fundamental difference has gained recognition among Mexican spirits, with a growing demand in the global market.
Before the winter, the sereque plant folds in to preserve the natural sugars in its meristem or in the heart,
storing nutrients until the spring-summer season for producing new leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds; for that reason, by late winter, the best piñas for the beverage are obtained.
Sotolera Hacienda Los Angeles takes advantage of the plant through a vegetative management program, promoting production through plantations, which strengthens its future commercialization and sustainability, generating more jobs in Chihuahua, ensuring the permanence of the most ancient and representative traditions of the North of Mexico.
For its elaboration, the wild plant of sotol (Dasylirion) or Sereque, as it was called by the ancient Rarámuri, is manually smashed with axe, then cooked in a cone-shaped ground oven covered with river stones and distilled in copper pot stills; finally, a clear and luminous sotol is obtained, full with citrus aromas, long after taste and slightly smoky profile that reminds earth and wood.
In the North of Mexico, in the region of Madera, the exquisite and versatile flavor of Sotol Delincuente born from the industrious hands of Don Bienvenido Fernández, one of the great pillars of the sotol industry in Mexico.
The plants used for the elaboration of Sotol Fernandez are native from the municipality of Madera, Chihuahua. Sotol is a plant (Dasylirion) that grows on the slopes of the mountains from the Sierra Madre as far as the highlands of the Bolson de Mapimi. Sotol is a generous plant that even in adverse conditions, stores water in bulbs and leaves; it’s distilled by fermenting the bulbs, that resembles a palm. The sotol plant is not an agave, but a Nolinoideae that holds sugars capable for fermentation and distillation in order to obtain a sui generis beverage similar to tequila.
White sotol is the only category that shows the plant’s original flavor; it only goes through a double distillation process.
The mission of the company is: that clients stop liking for loving the flavor that is characteristic of Casa Sotol Fernandez. The vision is: Casa Sotol Fernandez should be recognized by its excellence in the elaboration of the product through the knowledge accumulated generation after generation, seeking innovation every day in order to obtain better results always.
Now, Sotol Fernandez produces Sotol Silver, Reposado and Añejo, with 45 %Alc.Vol. This beverage is enjoyed straight or combined with refreshing beverages or prepared in cocktails. The family recipe: copper por stills, wood casks and a perfect climate, but above all, experience and tradition; this makes Casa Fernandez a referent in the fabrication of the best sotol.
+52 (614) 377 4255
Sotol Rarámuri was created three years ago by Valerie Mayor Bussey, in Ciudad Juarez. It is a company relatively young, however the tradition of producing sotol constitutes 5 generations.
The vinata is in the ejido of Guadalupe, Chihuahua, and with the knowledge of the master sotolero Don Dani Alvarez they produce this delicious elixir. In the summer of 2020, Sotol Rarámuri opened the new vinata in Samalayuca, Chihuahua, 30 km away from Ciudad Juarez. Three varieties of sotol are produced: Sotol Rémari Joven, Sotol Omée Reposado and Sotol Premium Bachawame.
Sotol Rarámuri proudly won Gold Medal in the México Selection by Concours de Bruxelles 2019, in the spirits category, for the Sotol Omée Reposado, placing the name of Chihuahua in the highest place.
The name Surá Rarámuri, which means ‘Corazon Rarámuri’, is in honor of the beautiful ethnic group that reside in the state of Chihuahua, Rarámuri or Tarahumara. The Rarámuri are known for their superhuman abilities; it’s very common to hear about their unparalleled physical power. Like them, the sotol is a super-plant that survive in the uninhabitable temperatures of the Chihuahua desert and in the extremely low temperatures of the Sierra Tarahumara.
+52 (656) 644 1048
SOTOL CINCO TRAGOS
Sotol is the Denomination of Origin spirit from Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango, in Northern Mexico, with semi-desert characteristics that offer an endemic plant called Sotol, a Nahuatl name that means “bats in motion”. Archaeological evidence indicates that in Paquime, Casas Grandes and the Cueva de la Olla, in pre-Hispanic times, the Sotol or Serenque was already used for the confection of sandals, basketry, ropes, textiles and as a medicine and food consumed by priests, rulers and nobles.
Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, mainly driven by the Franciscans, some taverns began to distill the plant and small factories were established in the mountains to provide this magnificent drink.
Casa “La Sotolera” was founded in 2010, in the municipality of Samalayuca, by the León Family; following the NOM159, they certify to consumers that all their products are made with the highest standards of quality.
Sotol is obtained by distillation and rectification of juices, prepared directly and originally from the extracted vegetative material, within the facilities of the factory located within the designation of origin territory, derived from the grinding of mature heads of Dasylirion; with respect and following the tradition, Casa “La Sotolera” offers their Sotol 5 Tragos in 3 different presentations.
+52 (656) 625 2903
SOTOL FLOR DEL DESIERTO
A 100% Mexican company focused in the artisanal production and commercialization of Sotol, a traditional spirit from the north of Mexico, in the states of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila.
Established in Ciudad Juarez, the company was born in 2011, bottling all the effort of their master sotol makers from the Sierra in Chihuahua that produce each one of the sotol varieties linked to the brand.
With Flor del Desierto, they received the Great Gold Award from Academia Nacional de Mezcal (National Academy of Mezcal), for the triple distilled sotol, as well as being the only distiller to ever been certified by the Consejo Mexicano del Sotol (Mexican Sotol Counsel).
The whole team of Flor del Desierto is committed to the invaluable work of promoting the development of local sotol producers and making it reach the hands of those who enjoy it.