Las Perlas de Jalisco

Nikhil Bahadur
Santiago Diaz Ramos

Basic Info

Raicilla is a spirit made only in Jalisco state, from agaves distilled in remote areas. Raicilla is a mezcal – but not on the label, due to Mexican regulations. Raicilleros uses at least nine kinds of agave, all of them wild, some with several differing local varieties. The main agaves are the large agave maximiliana (sometimes called lechugilla), several wild varieties of angustifolia (such as chico aguiar), rhodacantha (local varieties of the “dobadaan” used in Oaxaca), and inaequidens (also used to make mezcal in Michoacan), called bruto because its sap irritates the human skin. Raicilla goes way back in time; its distillation was introduced in the 1600s from the Spanish colonies in the Philippines, which resulted in the common use of the primitive Filipino double-chamber clay still. Raicilla Las Perlas comes from Nikhil Bahadur and 5th-generation raicillero Santiago Diaz Ramos, whom Nikhil encountered while doing business in tequila. The taberna is near the Diaz Ramos hacienda in the small pueblo of Las Guásimos (pop. 42), located inland from the Pacific coast, south of Puerto Vallarta, on the Cabo Corrientes peninsula.