Move over tequila and make room for Bacanora. The Mexican spirit is just starting to creep over the border.


Bacanora is a cousin of Tequila and it’s sidekick Mezcal. Though the three are all a part of the holy trinity of Mexican spirits, Bacanora has a taste that’s unique from the others. Derived from the Pacifica agave plant, it has a distinct smoked herb flavor that you can’t find in a bottle of Tequila or Mezcal. In it’s early stages, Bacanora makers added pine nuts or almonds to the spirit to give it a nutty flavor that complemented the smokiness. Oh, the cocktail possibilities.


Ironically enough, all Bacanora was considered illegal until 1992. Now lawful, the spirit must be produced in the Sonora region of Mexico in order to be acknowledged as real Bacanora. Most production is still local but one brand has started exporting Bacanora to the U.S. At $50 a bottle, Cielo Rojo, is priced as super premium tequila. You probably won’t find it at your local bar but search the liquor stores. Even though it’s tough to find, we hear it’s worth the hunt.


Since Bacanora is new to the scene, people are still experimenting with how to drink it. According to experts (yes, there are other experts besides us), it’s in its prime straight up with a lime. We think it would make some very interesting margaritas or the perfect La Paloma. Maybe even an extra smoky Bloody Maria.


Have you tried Bacanora? How did you drink it?