7 Margarita Alternatives This Cinco de Mayo

Thanks to UpOut for the opportunity to write about agave drinks beyond tequila margaritas. While I love margaritas, San Francisco and the East Bay are doing too many interesting things with sotol, bacanora, and raicilla to ignore.

Read the article on UpOut San Francisco

Here’s some bonus content I couldn’t fit into the UpOut piece:

  • Comal in Berkeley deserved a shout-out for its robust spirits list (including sotol, bacanora, and pechuga), strong cocktail program, and delicious food. I suspect Cala could also have made the list but I couldn’t verify their spirits or cocktails in time.
  • Oakland-based Caged Heat cocktail syrup plays a spicy role in a great sotol cocktail I adapted from their website: 1 oz Ocho Cientos sotol, 1 oz. Alipus mezcal, .75 oz lime, .75 oz Caged Heat syrup. (1.5 oz sotol with .5 oz mezcal brings the earthy notes out to play with the syrup’s tamarind.)
  • The Tequila Interchange Project not only supports ecology, wildlife preservation, health care, truth in labeling, and other crucial elements to the agave industry, it’s highly San Franciscan. Among their board and members I spot movers and shakers from ABV and Wildhawk as well as industry names like Marco Dionysus, Jim Meehan, Dale DeGroff, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, and more.
  • Man, I forgot how much I like agave spirits (and sotol, if you come down on the not-agave side of that particular botanical argument). Researching this article has renewed my appreciation.

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