sotol

photo of Dasylirion wheeleri

© 2002 Steven J. Baskauf

An alcoholic beverage made in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, by roasting, fermenting, and then distilling the roots of the Desert spoon or sotol plant (Dasylirion wheeleri S. Watson).¹ Sotol is a controlled appellation.²

Although the production process is similar to that used for mezcal, sotol is not a mezcal, since it is not made from an agave.3 

1. Bebidas Alcohólicas-Sotol-Especificaciones y Métodos de Prueba.
Estandares Oficiales (NOMS), 16 June 2004.

2. Declaración de protección a la denominación de origen Sotol.
Diario Oficial de la Federación, 8 August 2002.

3. Agaves belong to the family Agavaceeae; the sotol belongs to the family Liliaceae. Further, publications of the Mexican government do not lump sotol with mezcal, e.g., “en la elaboración de tequila, mezcal o bebida de henequén y sotol…” (Práctica Fiscal - Núm. 379, Nov. 2004).

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