Cocktail Recipe: Desert Paloma

Made with sotol, a forgotten Texas spirit that could be the next tequila

HOUSTON – Sotol is a spirit that was first fermented more than 1,000 years ago in Texas. Despite its history and how perfect it is for cocktails, is still a little-known spirit.  But three military veterans are working to change that.

After meeting at an entrepreneur course, Judson Kauffman, Ryan Campbell, and Brent Looby decided to produce sotol from West Texas-grown evergreen sotol plant. “We harvest our plants in the wild. The plant grows all over West Texas,” said Kauffman, a combat-decorated Navy SEAL and owner of “Desert Door Distillery” who stopped by our studio to give us a lesson on sotol and why it is similar to tequila.

“Tequila comes from agave, agave distant cousin: sotol,” said Kauffman, who also spoke about how the three veterans pay attention to all details of their brand Desert Door, from the product to the look.

“The bottles are handmade in Mexico, they are ceramic. We wanted the bottles to feel like something you might have found buried in the ground that was 1,000 years old, because there is such a rich history to the plant,” said Kauffman. “We harvest our plants every day of the week. Once a week a truck driver comes from West Texas and drops them off at our facility just outside of Austin and we make it that week," said Kauffman before sharing this us a cocktail recipe to try Texas sotol.

Desert Paloma Recipe:

1.5 ounces Desert Door Texas Sotol
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce lime Juice
1/2 ounce agave
Capful of Liber & Co Grapefruit Shrub
Lime wheel garnish

Combine all ingredients into shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Fine strain in rocks glass. Add fresh ice and garnish with a lime wheel.


Recipe provided by Judson Kauffman, from Desert Door Distillery.