Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Tequila, move over and make way for Bacanora – Cocktails anyone?

the sister worth waiting for

Tequila, move over and make way for Bacanora!

What is bacanora?

Bacanora is an agave-derived liquor made in the Mexican state of Sonora. Its origins are pre-colonial. Bacanora is a rare, sublime wild Silvestre maguey agave spirit made in limited small batches, on the rustic family ranchero, just as it was prepared four centuries ago, in northern Sonora, Mexico.

Bacanora was illegal from 1915-1992 in Mexico and the United States. Bacanora is the the un-discovered third sister of the trinity: mezcal; tequila; and bacanora. As of February 2011, Cielo Rojo is the first premium bacanora  to be imported to the USA., from the Baviacora-Aconchi-Banamichi appellation of the Rio Sonora-Sierra Madre Mountain region.

Tasting notes: An herbaceous, sweet grassy true agave floral nose; creamy and buttery on the front, with a marvelous licorice; subtle notes of vanilla and spice, balanced with a complex sweetness. Silky on the tongue, with a genuinely smooth finish.

The hand-blown glass bottle is made from recycled glass with the label depicting the sacred rancho Tepua mountain.

In Tucson, you can find bacanora at Hacienda Del Sol. According to the importers, bacanora is being experimented with at Café Poca Cosa by Christopher Davilla and his sister; Janos’ Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, Pasco Kitchen & Lounge, and The Hub just ordered it; and Jonathan Cork’s bartender Jeff Hughes just made a stand-out bacanora margarita. Also El Charro will be getting some. You can buy it at A.J.’s, Plaza Liquors, and The Rum Runner.

  1. I’ve been to the Rio Sonora region, about 4 hours south of the border- where the wild bacanora agaves grow.

    As part of last years’ agave harvest, I went into the mountains with a burro and helped collect the agave cores. We roped them onto the burro… trekking down to the valley, where the roasting pits awaited us.

    There, the burros were set free to be rewarded with a 3-day vacation, grazing, and slowly meandering back to rancho Tepua.

    Meanwhile, we hand chopped and then roasted, the agaves, and set the
    sweet pulp into fermentation pots. Wild yeasts feed the process there.

    In the evenings, under the stars, we delighted in sipping the prior harvest,
    that had already been double distilled into premium Cielo Rojo (‘Red Sky’) Bacanora. I love the smoothness and flavors, and invite you to try it.

  2. No one in town (Santa Rosa, CA) has any Bacanora, not Bev Mo or the big independant spirits store. Probably zero call for it right now.
    I wanted to get a bottle of Cielo Rojo reposado to compare to HDC Sotol. Darn. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  3. Jerry

    You can ask the big box chain to order for you or perhaps there’s a great independent liquor store that will do so too.

    If there’s a high end Mexican restaurant that does tequila tastings or some hotel/resort they might put you in touch with a distributor who can direct you.

    Good luck.

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