Until now, tequila has been the Mexican spirit you come across most frequently. But that may change if restaurants and bars around the country decide to take a cue from Josef Centeno, the chef-owner of new Downtown Los Angeles restaurant Bar AmáLos Angeles magazine contributor Bill Esparza came across two elusive—to many of us north of the border, at least—bottles at the Tex Mex-inspired restaurant. As he explains:

Bacanora is a type of mezcal made from the wild Yaquiano agaves that grow in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Sotol is the drink of the state of Chihuahua, distilled from a different kind of agave known as the Desert Spoon. Like mezcal—which comes to us from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca—bacanora and sotol have a smoky flavor profile that comes from pit roasting the agave.
Esparza was particularly happy to see that Bar Ama had his personal bar staple, Cielo Rojo, which he says is an “un-aged bacanora blanco has an intense, rounded flavor of lightly sweet cooked agave, and the smoke isn’t overpowering.” You won’t find a mezcal as good elsewhere in L.A., he says. In fact, “Cielo Rojo is worth the trip to Bar Amá alone.”

[via Los Angeles Magazine]