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.
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