Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Types of Agave Spirits Produced in Mexico

While each agave spirit has it's own name and Denomination of Origin, mezcal is still the general term used by many producers and consumers throught Mexico for any agave spirit.  But for technical purposes,  I have outlined the what is produced in each Mexican state.

-There are 5 states that can produce Tequila; Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas
-99% of all tequilas come from Jalisco and only the Blue Agave can be used.

-7 states that can produce Mezcal; Oaxaca, Durango, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Guanajato, and Tamaulipas.
-30 different types of agave can be used in the production of Mezcal.

-the only state that produces Sikua is Michoacan
-Siku is what the native Indians used to call the maguey.  The Union of Mezcaleros of Michoacan sought inclusion in the Denomination of Origin for Mezcal for over 2 ½ years, but were denied so they decided to get their own Denomination of Origin, and called it Sikua.

-the only state to produce Bacanora is Sonora
-only the Agave Pacifica is used in the production of bacanora.

-3 states that can produce Sotol; Chihuahua, Durango, and Coahuila
-made from Dasylirion Wheeleri (also know as the Desert Spoon or, in Spanish sotol)* the plant is related to the agave within the Scientific classification  “Order” of Asparagales

-Racilla is produced in the mountains above Puerto Vallarta,  Jalisco and is not controlled by a Denomination of Origin.
-Agave is used in the production of Raicilla, not the root of the agave as many have thought.

-Destilado de Agave can be produced anywhere with any type of agave, and does not have a Denomination of Origin.

1. Jalisco - Tequila and Racilla
2. Nayarit - Tequila
3. Guanajuato - Tequila and Mezcal
4. Michoacan - Tequila and Sikua
5. Tamaulipas - Tequila and Mezcal
6. Oaxaca - Mezcal
7. Durango - Mezcal and Sotol
8. Guererro - Mezcal
9. San Luis Potosi - Mezcal
10. Zacatecas- Mezcal
11. Sonora - Bacanora
12. Chihuahua - Sotol
13. Coahuila - Sotol 

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