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Sonoran Restaurants To Help Boost Bacanora Consumption

Sonoran restaurants are set to start promoting the regional agave spirit Bacanora. For many, boosting its profile on local menus a matter of pride.

In recent years, the Sonoran agave distillate Bacanora has gained greater recognition alongside other Mexican spirits like tequila and mezcal. But after decades of prohibition and persecution, the Bacanora industrystill struggles with the perception that it's informal, and the spirit is often passed over for its better-known cousins.

Now, the Sonoran arm of the national restaurant association (CANIRAC) has agreed to help boost local consumption.

"This will give our businesses a greater sense of our identity," said association president Manuel Lira. "We're Sonorans. And we think we have the best agave spirit."

While many restaurants may already offer one or two Bacanora options on their menus, he said, an upcoming series of workshops aims to help establishments promote the spirit’s legacy, talk to patrons about the industry and offer a greater variety of Bacanora-based drinks.

Lira hopes the effort will make it a go-to pick for locals — and catch visitors’ attention.

Kendal Blust, an Arizona native, reports from KJZZ’s bureau in Hermosillo, Sonora, focusing on business and economic relationships between Arizona and northern Mexico.Prior to joining KJZZ, Kendal worked at the Nogales International, reporting on border and immigration issues, local government, education and business. While working on her master’s degree at University of Arizona School of Journalism, she did stints with the Arizona Daily Star and the Tico Times in Costa Rica, and completed a thesis project about women art activists in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands.In her pre-journalist life, Kendal was a teacher, first helping Spanish high school students learn English, then heading to Tucson to teach fourth grade.When she’s not in the newsroom, Kendal enjoys getting outside for a hike or a swim, catching a good movie, hanging out with family and friends, and eating great food.