Virtuoso: Try These Under-the-Radar Mexican Spirits

Virtuoso: Try These Under-the-Radar Mexican Spirits

We’re uncovering the many sides of agave.

Everyone knows tequila and mezcal, but Mexico produces many other spirits distilled from its agave and agavelike species. These lesser-known gems, each with distinctive characteristics, flavors, and aromas, are ready for your next margarita.

Take sotol: Made from dasylirion, a desert plant similar to agave, it’s characterized by its herbal, mineral, and slightly spicy notes, says Miguel Aquino, a mixologist at Riviera Nayarit’s 59-room Susurros del Corazón. And tequila connoisseurs are hyping raicilla, which is slightly smoother and sweeter than tequila and mezcal, has its roots in ancient Indigenous traditions, and is sourced from mountain-grown Agave maximiliana or coastal Agave angustifolia.

Sip these spirits on their own or add them to anything from a paloma to a negroni.

La Reina Raicilla Blanco

In the rural Sierra Madre village of Atenguillo, distiller Julio Topete Becerra produces small batches of raicilla for (discerning) consumers. The brand’s Blanco is a pleasant introduction to the spirit, with a mild and smooth flavor profile. $90, raicillalareina.com.

Devorah Lev-Tov

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