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Raicilla–Another Mexican Spirit of Note

Stay Adventurous and Raicilla

Several days ago my friend Craig Zabransky at Stay Adventurous  wrote an article about this spirit he was sipping on the beach in Jalisco… and I said “what?”. I had never heard of this mescal or tequila type distillate called raicilla…rye-SEE-ya. Now Craig is somewhat of an expert drinker (his first sip is recorded on the beach in the youtube video above) and a fine writer. So I devoured the article and then began to research this raicilla stuff a bit.

Tequila is famous. Mescal is as well. I have gotten more interested in some of the local often non-labelled drinks around Mexico such as posh, sotol, and lechuguilla. These drinks have become a part of Mexican back road culture over the centuries since the Spanish introduced wine making and distilling to their conquerees. Wine remained a so-so part of the alcohol scene until the last 30 years. But these sprits are a different matter.

Raicilla production goes on in local communities and ranchitos using ancient techniques--and no chemicals!

Raicilla production goes on in local communities and ranchitos using ancient techniques–and no chemicals!

Raicilla-Mexican Moonshine That Makes Me Happy

This was the title of Craigs piece on raicilla. Here are some basics I have distilled out of the sources on this fine spirit:

  • It is found only in Jalisco
  • It is not imported to the US–so lets go to Mexico!
  • The raicillas vary in flavor according to plants, soils, water, roasting etc
  • Center of the raicilla region is south of Puerto Vallarta

The agave plants of Jalisco are the source for the pinas used in raicilla production.

The agave plants of Jalisco are the source for the pinas used in raicilla production.

 

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