Our Origin

Desert Door

Texas Sotol

Immerse yourself in a world of exceptional taste creations and experience the ultimate Texas Sotol.

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Our Story

About Desert Door Texas Sotol

Desert Door’s story actually begins thousands of years ago. The archeological record shows the indigenous people of what is now West Texas using the sotol plant to create a fermented beverage. Centuries later, prohibition-era Texans made moonshine from the spiky plant.

So what is sotol, exactly? Sotol is both the name of our distilled spirit and the plant that it’s made from. The sotol plant is a bright green succulent with a tall shooting stalk that grows wild all over the Chihuahua desert. The founders of Desert Door first happened upon sotol while hunting the Trans-Pecos. The more they learned about the hardy desert plant, the more fascinated they became.

About

There is no recipe for the sotol spirit; our founders formulated Desert Door’s proprietary process through a lot of trial and error. While there are similarities between sotol and tequila, the sotol plant is not an agave (different family, genus and species). Consequently, Desert Door is not a tequila or mezcal but lives in a category of its own. We call it Texas Sotol. You’ll call it unique, earthy, and delicious.

About
Our Story

From the Wild

It was in the Trans-Pecos area that Judson first encountered an odd, spiky desert succulent with a tall, shooting stalk. When Judson asked his uncle if he was familiar with the plant, he replied, “Oh yeah, that’s called a sotol. They used to make moonshine from it back in the prohibition days. It was pretty much undrinkable.”

Our Mission

Restoring History

A lightbulb went on for Judson - someone really should try and make a high-quality, modern-day version of this forgotten spirit. He brought the idea to his friends Ryan and Brent and the rest is history. The story’s a little more involved than that, but honestly, not much more.

Our Mission

Values That Define Us

Speaking of history, it turns out the sotol spirit has been around since well before Prohibition. Sotol grows wild all over the Chihuahua desert from Mexico all the way up to West Texas and has a history that dates back thousands of years. Indigenous residents of what is now Western Texas were using the native sotol plants to make food, tools and yes, fermented drink.

Our creation

Something Different

While the founders of Desert Door don’t claim to have created something entirely new, what is new is their particular take on sotol. Using a species of sotol plants that is native to Texas (the aptly named Daisilirion Texanum), they have created a spirit that doesn’t fit neatly into any spirit category: Texas Sotol. 

The Desert Door Distillery

There’s no handbook on how to make sotol. Desert Door’s process was arrived at mostly through trial and error. Granted, much of the methodology is based on distillation practices that date back to the Middle Ages.

There, we’ll walk you through our whole process, from wild-harvesting to cooking and aging and bottling. At the end of the tour, you can order a few cocktails in our tasting room with a whole new appreciation for what goes into making our unique liquor.

About
About

Figuring out how to harvest and process the sotol plant, how to properly extract the sugars, divining the right cooking temperatures and times - let’s just say there was a lot of liquor squandered before landing on what we now proudly call Desert Door Texas Sotol. 

If you’d like to hear more about how we make Texas Sotol and see for yourself how we turn a desert plant into a complex, flavorful spirit, be sure and book a tour of our distillery in Driftwood.

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Stage 1: Harvesting the Sotol Plants

The Art of Selective Harvesting

Desert Door begins its unique journey to craft Texas Sotol by selectively harvesting mature sotol plants from Texas ranches. Carefully, they remove only the heart of each plant, preserving the root structure to encourage regrowth. This initial stage sets the foundation for their exceptional desert spirit.

Stage 2: Extracting Sugars with Precision

From Plant to Extract

After harvesting, the sotol plants make their way to the Desert Door distillery. Here, proprietary ovens are used to cook the plants and extract the precious sugars. This step is a pivotal moment in their process, as the extracted juices hold the essence of the desert.

Stage 3: The Art of Fermentation

Unleashing Organic Yeast

The extracted sotol juices move into fermentation tanks where organic yeast is introduced. Over several days, the yeast works its magic, transforming the sugars into a unique and flavorful mash. This is where the spirit begins to take shape, guided by the hands of skilled artisans.

Stage 4: Distillation, the Desert Way

Crafting the Desert Spirit

In Desert Door's hybrid still, the fermented mash undergoes distillation. Here, skilled distillers use their expertise to fine-tune and refine the spirit. What emerges is a truly distinctive desert liquor that embodies the essence of Texas and the spirit of exploration.

Stage 5: Aging and Bottling the Desert's Bounty

The Final Touch

While most of the distillate goes directly to the bottling line, a portion embarks on an additional journey. It's aged in virgin white oak barrels to create Desert Door's Oak-Aged Texas Sotol. This final stage adds depth and character, culminating in a complex and flavorful spirit.

Meet Our Team

Team
Jenny Wilson
Founder & CEO
Team
Robert Fox
Store Manager
Team
Cody Fisher
Brewing Maestro
Team
Jacob Jones
Barista
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