Agave

What? Spirits distilled from the agave, a desert-growing plant native to Jalisco, Mexico. The Agave Tequilana is used in Tequila, the Maguey is used in Mezcal, but Sotol is made from the Dasylirion wheeleri (which isn't actually an Agave but a shrub...forgive us but this is such a unique drink it fits nowhere else).

Where? Mexico! Jalisco for Tequila, mostly the Oaxaca region for Mezcal, and the Chihuahua region for Sotol.

When? Sotol is resolutely pre-colonial, with cave paintings 11,000 years old perhaps representing production and consumption of Sotol. It's been clinging on against the march of its more famous post-colonial cousins ever since.

How? Never, ever, consume any of these drinks with salt and lemon in a shot glass. Or else we will come and get you. Margaritas are absolutely delicious though.

Tip For Beginners: Fans of smoky single malt whiskies should absolutely explore Mezcal.

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