Remember when premium tequila was the hot chick in the room that everyone totally wanted to... um... open doors for? But then mezcal showed up in a mini skirt and a push-up bra, and everyone was like, "Dude, I totally want to... politely stand up when it leaves the table." Well, forget all that, because there's a new Mexican super-spirit about to show up to the party so naked, you'll want to... courteously pull its chair out. Its name? Sotol (aka Desert Spoon), a smoother cousin of tequila that has the complexity of mezcal without the overpowering smoky flavors
Made from wild agavaceae harvested in the Chihuahuan Desert on a 15yr cycle that results in a measly one bottle per plant (as opposed to an 8yr agave plant producing six bottles/worms), sotol is the newest play-thing of Austin's premiere spot for Mexican-influenced cocktails, the Cantina El Milamores at Takoba, which, under the steady-ish hand of friendly barkeep and musical mixologist Brent Dobey, is throwing the super-rare spirit into four easy-drinking cocktails
Numero Uno: Go Old Fashioned by wearing a top hat, using a monocle, and drinking this combination of Hacienda de Chihuahua anejo, agave nectar, Xocolatl Mole bitters, and Hellfire Habanero Shrub
Numero Dos: Showcasing the spirit's ability to substitute for gin (yes, it can do that too), the Desert Collins uses reposado, spiced tonic from locals Liber & Co, and lime juice
Numero Tres: The Sotol Summer is loaded with reposado, Cherry Heering, fresh orange & lime, and a double dose of grapefruit via local flavored bitters and a squeeze of flamed zest
Annnnnnd Numero Quatro: The Border Collins is a riff on the classic Paloma and easily the driest drink on the menu -- sotol plata, a triple shot of grapefruit (bitters, shrub, and fresh juice), and a splash of soda.