Snake-Spiked Mexican Moonshine Winding Across U.S.

Ethically sourced sotol is proving popular along the border.

The Mexican moonshine industry is booming in the U.S.
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Mexican moonshine has become so popular with Americans that nine new brands have poured onto the scene over the past year alone. Including ones in which snake is among the ingredients.

Traditionally, this distilled spirit is called sotol. Its authentic Mexican history, as well as a reputation for being responsibly sourced and hyperlocal, has made it the next big thing in the booze business — even though it has only been legal in Mexico since the 1980s.

The in-demand drink has been made by Mexican natives for “a millennia,” by harvesting and fermenting the sotol plant. It’s often aged with snake meat and venom to give it supposed medicinal properties and any distilleries choose to coil a whole rattle snake inside each bottle before it is shipped.

“They are artists more than distillers,” Sotol Clande distillery owner Ricardo Pico told The Guardian. “They are making irreplaceable batches based of centuries of knowledge. That is what consumers want.”

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