On the anniversary of Texas independence, a toast to Texas’ original spirit, sotol.
On March 2, 1836, a group of settlers in Mexican Texas, mostly not from Texas, declared independence from Mexico, which itself had won independence from Spain in 1821. In their declaration, the signatories, including Sam Houston, Samuel Maverick, George Childress, and José Francisco Ruiz, established the Republic of Texas. Most of the men weren’t natives of Mexican Texas. The majority came to Texas after the passing of the Law of April 6, 1830. Article 11 of the law prohibited immigration from the United States into Mexican Texas, according to the Texas State Historical Association. The article was eventually repealed, but the Law of April 6, 1830, was divisive enough to spark the independence movement. Texas wasn’t a long-lived nation. It joined the Union in 1844.
Throughout it all, there was sotol. Known as the desert spoon plant in English, sotol and its namesake spirit are cousin to agave and its distillates (e.g., mezcal and tequila). The history of sotol goes back 800. But it wasn’t until 2017 that Texas’ first sotol distillery opened. Desert Door in Driftwood, Texas, sources its sotol from the great expanses of West Texas. We share the story of Desert Door in our upcoming April issue, hitting newsstands next month. Until then, we thought you’d like a little taste of this unique operation and its exquisite spirit.
2 ounces Desert Door Oak-Aged Sotol
¼ ounce simple syrup
Dash Angostura bitters
Orange zest, for garnish
Orange peel, for garnish
Stir all ingredients except orange in a low ball glass. Add large rocks ice cube. Peel orange peel and zest over glass. Then top the glass with the peel.
For more information on Desert Door Texas Sotol and its tasting room hours, visit the distillery’s website.
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Photography: Allyson Campbell/Courtesy Desert Door Sotol