Raicilla cocktails: The Gift From The Little Root
by Greg Rutkowski
In this article, we examine raicilla cocktails with examples showing you the great diversity of raicilla. Other than the background information and different raicilla cocktail recipes, we also have a brief overview of the different types of raicilla.
We hope you will love the cocktail recipes, most of which have been discovered through experimental mixology.
Are you into agave spirits?
If yes, then you most definitely have tasted tequila and mezcal, the two giants of the agave world. There are many other agave spirits that you really need to try for a change, and raicilla is one of those.
Incidentally... sipping your favorite mezcal brand from an authentic Mexican clay mug is the best way to enjoy reading a comprehensive liquor guide like this one.
Raicilla Background Information
The newest drink on the block, Raicilla, which translates to “little root” in Spanish is produced in Jalisco. It is a herbal distillate that comes from roasted and fermented agave piñas to produce a spirit with a touch of smokiness. Like mezcal and tequila, raicilla is made from agave plant. Itt is not steamed like tequila but roasted like mezcal.
Also, raicilla producers are much more focused on building sustainable agriculture by utilizing at least 12 types of agave as opposed to tequilla which uses the blue agave only. In this sense, many people say that raicilla is a bit like a glass of wine, which is made from different types of grape.
Raicilla is a traditional beverage that has been around for over 300 years, but it wasn’t until 2008 that the spirit was bottled and made commercial in Mexico. Most Mexicans associated raicilla with moonshine and illegal distilling, which is a view that is increasingly changing as this spirit becomes more popular.
Raicilla Cocktail Recipes
This is a bright and bitter raicilla cocktail from Alex Valencia who co-owns the La Contenta in New York City. While the cocktail was originally created by Kati Stipe, there have been slight variations on the recipe.
The Siesta cocktail is a sour that doubles down on the bitter citrus notes of grapefruit and Campari liqueur. It should be shaken and served up in a cocktail glass, perfumed with orange peel oils.
- 15 ml (½ ounce) Campari
- 15 ml(½ ounce) fresh grapefruit juice
This is a sweet, juicy raicilla cocktail crafted by Marco Antonio Juarez Vazquez of House Mama in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. The cocktail also packs a punch of tropical flavors.
Shake with ice and serve in an old-fashioned glass crushed with peach chamoy. Garnish with slices of orange and strawberry.
- 1 1/2 oz Cabo Corrientes raicilla
- 1 oz strawberry-passionfruit purée (fruit blended with sugar)
- 1 dash pineapple juice
- 1 dash orange juice
- 1 dash lemon juice
The Pata salada was first produced by Diego Mendoza of Tramote while at the Grand Mayan Hotel.
To serve, shake with ice and serve in an old-fashioned glass with tajin over the rim. Also, garnish with basil flower.
- 1 1/2 oz Hacienda el Divisadero Raicilla
- 1 oz Midori
- 1 1/2 oz peach juice
- 1 1/2 oz sweet and sour
- 4 basil leaves
St. Louis Catholic
This raicilla cocktail is produced by Lazy Tiger’s Tim Wiggins. It is a play on a classic Manhattan or Negroni, and uses the acidic raicilla to create a delicious and memorable cocktail.
- 1 oz. Mexicat raicilla
- ½ oz. charred poblano-infused sweet vermouth
- ½ oz. Zucca Rabarbaro amaro
- ¼ oz. Cynar 70-proof
- ¼ oz. Providence Haitian rum
- 2 dashes pink peppercorn-orange bitters
Gota de Nopal
This cocktail is produced by Violeta Cisneros, a bartender at Stratosflair Cocktail Academy in Guadalajara. It features jackfruit liqueur, agave syrup and nopal cactus. It involves all the classic flavours that you would expect from a distinctly Mexican drink.
Shake the raicilla, agave syrup, orange juice, oregano and jackfruit liqueur vigorously with ice. Double strain into a 6-oz martini glass and garnish with the nopal leaf on the rim. Need a glass? We've got you covered with our wide range of beautiful glasses created by Mexican artisans.
- 1 1/2 oz Raicilla Sierra Mascota
- 2 oz orange juice
- 1 oz agave syrup
- 1/2 oz jackfruit liqueur
- 2 leaves fresh oregano
- 2 pieces nopal cactus
Another incredible cocktail created by The Lazy Tiger’s Tim Wiggins, this one uses La Venenosa’s Sierra Occidental raicilla. According to Wiggins, the raicilla has a sweet and sour profile like a watermelon Jolly Rancher.
To prepare the cocktail, mix all the ingredients except the grapefruit soda in a shaker with four ice cubes. Then pour the entire contents of the shaker into a Collins glass and top with the grapefruit soda and one ice cube.
- 1 oz. dehydrated raspberry-infused Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
- 1 oz. pink grapefruit juice
- ½ oz. Elvelo Blanco tequila
- ½ oz. La Venenosa Raicilla Sierra Occidental
- ¼ oz. lime juice
- 2 oz. grapefruit soda
Types Of Raicilla
The common types of Raicilla include:
- Blanco: raicilla that is not kept in oak barrels
- Joven (Young): less than one year in oak barrels
- Reposado: between 1 and 2 years in oak barrels
- Anejo: more than 2 years in oak barrels
The oak wood used for the barrels can be either Encino or Roble.
As a new market entrant, many bartenders try to mix new recipes in an attempt to discover the best raicilla cocktails for their customers. There are already a number of raicilla cocktails you can choose from.
You don't need to even go out to a bar to sample a delicious raicilla cocktail. With our impressive cocktail shaker set, you can create new cocktails from the comfort of your own home.
Let's Get Shaking!
So, we hope you are now ready get the ingredients for your choice cocktail.
As more raicilla cocktails continue to penetrate the market and gain more acceptance, people will have more brands to choose from at affordable prices, other than tequila and mezcal.
The best cocktail goes down well when served in a classic glass. Our ranges of charming glasses and premium barware will mean you have all the tools you need for a brilliant cocktail night.