What Is A Sotol Cocktail?
Although sotol is not technically an agave spirit, it loosely gets put in the same category because the sotol plant is a close relative to the agave.
Sotol has own denomination of origin starting in 2002 and encompasses the Mexican states Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila.
However to the dismay of the Mexican sotol producers, you can find brands in the United States that also make sotol in states like Texas.
How Does Sotol Taste?
Sotol is known to have a bright and grassy flavor with a twangy-funky aroma.
The flavor is not strong and overwhelming and is lighter than mezcal.
The sotol distillation of sotol from the forest tastes different than desert sotol.
- Forest Sotol - pine, mint and eucalyptus notes
- Desert Sotol - earthy, mineral, leather notes
These are the flavors you'll need to keep in mind when you are building a cocktail.
How To Riff With Sotol Cocktails
Sotol is used in many cocktails created by expert mixologists.
The spirit is edgy, different, and not well-known. This makes it a perfect alcohol for bartenders to experiment with.
You don't have to be an expert to create a sotol cocktail.
You can make sotol cocktails pretty much with anything that you would make a tequila or mezcal cocktail with (and more).
Sotol blends beautifully with fruit juices and can be comfortably used in cocktails.
The spirit also tends to go really nice in cocktails that include rum, Chartreuse, and Cointreau.
Photo by Food and Wine Magazine
What Sotol Brands To Use For Your Sotol Cocktails?
Although it is gaining in popularity, the distribution of Mexican sotol has a long way to go. It can be difficult to find in some places the United States, especially secondary markets Charlotte, North Carolina or Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
For this reason, we say use whatever Mexican sotol you can get your hands on. They are all worthy of trying.
If by chance, you do have the privilege of having a selection, we recommend these options;
Puntagave Rustico Sotol
Sotol Por Siempre
Coyote Sotol Chihuahua
Flor del Desierto Desert
La Higuera Cedrosanum
Our Favorite Sotol Cocktail Recipes
Let’s look at some of the top sotol cocktails.
Sotol So Good
Photo by Phoenix Magazine
This purple floral sotol cocktail kitchen was created by Gilbert of AZ.
Gilbert's Recipe is below. Simply combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well and strain over more ice in a glass.
- 1½ oz Sotol
- ¼ tsp butterfly pea flower concentrated powder
- ¾ oz Coconut rum,
- ¾ oz Pineapple juice
- ¾ oz Fresh lime
- ½ oz orgeat syrup (if unavailable sub with simple syrup)
The earthy nature of sotol perfectly complements the floral elderflower liqueur and sweet Cocchi Americano in this elegant sotol cocktail, created by James Simpson in Washington DC.
- 1½ oz. sotol (Espita uses Sotol Por Siempre)
- 1 oz. Cocchi American
- ¼ oz. elderflower liqueur
- 2 dashes orange bitters
The Dog Fighter
Photo by Barleycorn Drinks
This cocktail was created by the Little Water Cantina in Seattle, Washington.
- 1 oz Sotol
- 1 oz Tequila,
- ½ oz maraschino,
- ½ oz lemon juice,
- ½ oz Cointreau
- 2-3 dashes peach bitters
The ingredients are mixed and ice added. The mixture is then shaken until very cold, strained over fresh ice and garnished with a maraschino cherry.
Serve in a glass tumbler or rocks glass.
Photo by Imbebe Magazine
This milk punch is a holiday staple.
This was created by Alex Gregg whilst he was in Curadero, San Diego.
He gave the drink a Mexican twist by adding a base of sotol.
The dry curacao and orange bitters pair very well with the tasting notes of sotol.
This is very similar to pairing vanilla with bourbon and brandy in classic milk punches.
- 1½ oz. sotol
- ½ oz. dry curaçao
- 2 oz. milk
- ½ oz. simple syrup (1:1)
- 2 dashes orange bitters
To prepare La Lechedora, add all the ingredients to a mixing tin, add ice, shake and strain into a cocktail mug and garnish.
Naked In The Desert
Photo by Imbibe Magazine
This is a simple, fun, and delicious sotol cocktail.
It has a bright orange color of the Aperol, citrus from the lime and the earthy flavor of the sotol.
Created by Diego Valencia, this is a sotol cocktail you will not want to miss.
- ¾ oz. sotol
- ¾ oz. Aperol
- ¾ oz. Yellow Chartreuse
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
When preparing the cocktail, all the ingredients are added to a shaker with ice, shaken well and strained into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnished.
Presidio Sotol Old Fashioned Cocktail
This is an old fashioned cocktail, but not as you know it.
Created by Shailee Weber, the Presidio Old Fashioned combines sotol and tamarind to give a unique and adventurous flavor.
Mixing sotol with rye whisky works surprisingly well, and the bitters adds a needed boost of sharpness.
- 1 oz. sotol
- 1 oz. rye whiskey
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 dashes chocolate or Mole bitters
- ¼ oz. tamarind syrup
Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with an orange peel
Alex Bachman’s Round Two Mezcal Cocktail
Photo by Emma Janzen
This cocktail is a mix of sotol and mezcal made by Imbibe Magazine's 75 person to watch Alex Bachman, a true cocktail expert.
Alex uses both mezcal and sotol in this cocktail, along with barley bitters.
The result is a complex and endlessly drinkable cocktail.
- 1½ oz. mezcal
- ¼ oz. sotol
- ½ oz. sweet vermouth
- ½ oz. Gran Classico
- 1 dash black walnut bitters
To make it, all ingredients are stirred with ice in a mixing glass before being strained into a chilled martini glass.
Sotold Ya So
Here, the two types of sotol – aged and unaged - are both used to create a complex base in the sotol cocktail recipe from Rules & Regs in Austin.
This is a interesting and perfectly balanced sotol cocktail that is both fruity and sweet.
- ¾ oz. unaged sotol
- ¾ oz. añejo sotol
- ½ oz. yellow Chartreuse
- 1 oz. cantaloupe juice
- ½ oz. fresh lime juice
¼ oz. agave nectar
To prepare, add all the ingredients to a shaker, fill with ice and shake vigorously.
Pour the sotol cocktail into a rocks glass.
Do you have a favorite sotol cocktail that we didn't include? Please let us know in the comments section.
Greg Rutkowski, President
Greg is a lover of agave spirits, handicrafts, and barware. In 2020 he married all of his loves and created a business bringing amazing pieces from all over Mexico to the United States. Learn more here.