Published on December 17th, 2016 | by Greg0
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.