Today brings a guest post from Eduardo Belaunzarán, author of the Mezcaleando, a blog about all things mezcal. He is also connected with Wahaka Mezcal, one of our longtime friends here at Dave Miller’s Mexico.
By far one thing I am always asked about when the subject turns to mezcal is the whole world of Pechuga. In this short post, Eduardo explains the process as clearly as I’ve ever seen. So take a read and if you ever have a chance, don’t miss an opportunity to experience “Mezcal Pechuga!”
Thanks Eduardo for your work on this. Here it is!
PECHUGA means breast in Spanish, but it’s also is how we name a traditional Mezcal distilling process made with meat, fruits or plants. Not to be confused with Macerados, Embocados or Infusions, as those are made with other methods.
The most common animals used for this purpose are chickens and turkeys. Also in some places deer, rabbits, geese, pigs and iguanas are used.
The plants or botanicals used to make “Pechugas” are cardamom, corn, mint, epazote, etc. Any plant in good hands will be able the make a great vegan “Pechuga.”
The most common fruit used are apples but also you can find “Pechugas” made with pineapples, pears, oranges or bananas. For a master distiller any fruit can be useful.
The method to make a Mezcal “Pechuga” are as follows:
1) Use finished Mezcal—around 65 ABV—in the distiller although several Mezcaleros use an unfinished mezcal distilled only one time in copper which is around 35 proof. In Puebla it is traditional to introduce molé in a finished mezcal before starting the “Pechuga” process.
2) Hang or introduce an object (animal, fruit or botanical) in the still.
3) As you start the process a revolution begins between the object extracts and the mezcal steam.
And then “Mezcal Pechuga” will be the result! Drink it with love, respect and moderation.