Desert Door Texas Sotol | Process

Loading...

Sotols
Conservation
Wild Texas
Distillery
History
Contact
Cocktails
Locate
Videos
Process

Process

Magic doesn’t come from large, hasty leaps but rather small, crafted steps. Desert Door may be young, but we revere the ancient ways the chihuahuan desert natives made use of the sotol plant. Because at the end of the day—after the twilight dims and the nocturnal rise out of the sand, they delivered on their promise, prompting visions to transcend and bend time.

Step 1

In Far West Texas, wild Dasylirion texanum (Texas sotol) plants grow wild and weed-like by the millions. When they reach maturity around 10-15 years, our team selectively wild-harvests this plant. Taking only a small number of plants from each acre and leaving root systems intact allows this precious resource to remain wild and plentiful forever. The leaves are trimmed, and the heart of the plant is secured for transport to Desert Door Distillery in Driftwood. To similarly prepare sotols for eating or fermenting, “native Americans dug up the shrubs and removed the slender leaves, using the heart and meat at the base.”

Step 2

The sotol hearts are loaded one by one into our cookers. They are cooked in steam, which converts the stored energy into sugar. Steaming maximizes the precious juice obtained from the sotol plants and keeps the flavor light rather than smoky. “Inedible raw, after prolonged cooking they turn to a sugary carbohydrate.” After roasting, Native Americans “scooped out and chewed the soft, fibrous pulp in the center to extract the sweet nutritious juice, spitting out the fiber.”

Step 3

The cooked sotol hearts are individually pressed for their juice. Full of plant sugars, once the dark, molasses-like juice is extracted it’s fermented in tanks for five to six thoughtful days with our organic, proprietary yeast. Depending on environmental factors like climate, we are left with a 10-12% ABV sotol beer at the end of this process.

Step 4

The resulting mash is distilled in our custom-built, hybrid still. When it’s through, the Texas sotol averages 155 proof.

Step 5

Our beautiful spirit is reconciled with water to get to its correct proof. Some at 80 proof goes straight into our bottles, while even less at 120 proof is set aside for barrel aging to satisfy those with a taste for aged spirits. Our rack house in Driftwood is home to many new American oak barrels with a medium char.

Sources:

  • Tull, Delena. Edible and useful plants of Texas and the southwest : including recipes, harmful plants, natural dyes, and textile fibers : a practical guide. Austin, Tex: University of Texas Press, 1999.
  • “Lower Pecos Canyonlands.” Lower Pecos Canyonland Rockshelters, Texas Beyond History, www.texasbeyondhistory.net/pecos/rockshelters.html.

Welcome

Are you ready for something mystical? A land of dry caves, ancient bones and visions? More importantly, are you 21+ years of age?

This site is only accessible to users of drinking age.