Our production processes are a true blend of European and Mexican methods. All our processes include hand crafting on site using mango and agave from the region. Thus we take great pride in being ‘Authentically Local and Proudly Artisan.”
Development in Onilikan, Mazatlan liquors
It all starts with the fruit. Our products are made from mangoes and blue agave (Agave Tequilana blue Weber variety) grown to full ripeness in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, where Mazatlan is located. Mangoes are harvested at full ripeness, when they are full of sugar and tropical flavors. Agave is grown in red Sinaloan soil, which is high in potassium that helps the plants make and store complex sugars. They are harvested when 9 to 12 years old, and the center of the plants, known as the piña or pineapple, is cooked to convert the complex sugars into simple sugars.
To make the liqueurs we add more cut up fruit to the alcohol solution and allow it to soak for a minimum of 6 weeks. This brings even more fruit flavors and aromas into the alcohol. After that we strain out the fruit, dilute the alcohol level down to 24% and add some sugar. This yields very smooth, flavorful liqueurs great for drinking at room temperature or chilled. If we are making a spirit, we simply use mineral-free water to dilute the alcohol level down to 40% (80 proof). All other steps in our manufacturing process are competed on site and carefully crafted to respect and preserve the character of the starting plant material and guarantee the quality of the end products. These steps include filling and labeling each bottle by hand. All four products are 100% natural, made purely from the Sinaloa mango and blue agave, with no artificial flavors or additives.
Production of our liqueurs and spirits involves a combination of fermentation and distillation. We first grind up the ripe fruit and squeeze out the juice which is rich in sugar and fruit flavors. We then add a specially selected strain of yeast to ferment the sugar into alcohols. Fermentation is done at cool temperatures, which helps optimize the concentration fruit aromas in the resulting alcohol. Distillation is the next step and our German made aromatic, copper still (“Dora”), is specifically designed to harvest flavors and aromas. We distill the liquid twice, which concentrates the flavors and aromas, and the alcohol to about 85%, or 170 proof. The concentrated alcohol solution is then used to make either liqueurs or spirits (Aguardienties).