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When I first tasted the Pechuga bottling several years ago, I wrote that it was the finest Mezcal I had ever put my lips to. Sampling it more recently, I was equally impressed. Made just once a year at the village of Minero, and triple-distilled the spirit is cooked with wild apples, plums and raw rice, then a chicken breast is hung above the vat. Here is a fuller description of the process.
Pechuga begins with Minero mezcal that has already been double distilled. In preparation for a third distillation they place about 100 liters of mezcal in the still and add about 100 kilos of wild mountain apples and plums, big red plantain bananas, pineapples, a handful of almonds and a few pounds of uncooked white rice. Next, a whole chicken breast (pechuga), skin removed, bone structure complete, is washed in running water for about three hours to remove any grease. This is then suspended by strings in the atmosphere of the still and a 24 hour, third distillation is begun. The vapor passes over the pechuga and condenses into a crystal clear liquid that has an amazing taste and smoothness. The reason for the breast they say, is so the mezcal is not dominated by the fruit…a balance. Upon completion the pechuga is removed from the still and hung in the family Altar room…the most important space in the house.
At 98 proof, the Pechuga has a terrific aroma and offers balanced, clean flavors. A privilege to drink.