Celebrate Thanksgiving With These Pechuga Mezcals Made Using Turkey
If you’re not familiar with pechuga mezcal, let us introduce you.
Pechuga, which translates to “poultry breast” in English, is a type of mezcal that can be distilled with a wide variety of different spices, fruits and meats, the exact mix of which comes down to tradition and local recipe.
After harvesting and roasting the agave piñas, producers will introduce a smorgasbord of ingredients to the mix during the second distillation of the spirit. Ingredients can include the likes of fresh apples, plantains, star anise, uncooked rice, bananas and more.
At this point, a raw, skinless piece of meat will be hung over the still, suspended only by a piece of string. As heat rises from below to cook the meat, juices drip down into the mix, adding gobs of distinct savory flavor.
While pechuga mezcal is most frequently made using chicken breast, it has been known to be made with everything from Iberico ham to rabbit, and of course, even turkey on occasion.
The resulting spirit doesn’t lean quite as hard into an overpowering meaty bite as you might expect, but is instead balanced out by the assortment of fruits, vegetables and spices that the producer hand picks for each batch.
In honor of Thanksgiving, we thought we’d take a look at a pair of top-tier pechuga mezcals made using turkey. It’s an exciting spirit that may very well be the perfect addition to your next Thanksgiving feast (though admittedly, we’re yet to find a mezcal made with cranberry, stuffing or sweet potatoes).
Produced in Oaxaca, Mexico, Montelobos Pechuga utilizes all the traditional mezcal methods; piñas are cooked in underground stone pits, milled to a pulp using a stone tahona pulled by a mule and fermented in open pine wood vats. After two rounds of distillation, a third and final distillation is made with the aid of turkey, seasonal fruits and spices.
Like many pechuga mezcals, Montelobos has a noticeably thicker viscosity, bursting with sweet and savory notes of brown sugar, mole poblano, pineapple and chocolate.
Here’s where we have to spoil the inevitable – due to the labor-intensive process behind its distillation and the sheer number of ingredients involved, pechuga mezcal tends towards the expensive side. A bottle of Montelobos Pechuga Mezcal will cost you around $120.
Find Montelobos Pechuga Mezcal on Caskers.
El Jologrio Pechuga
El Jologrio represents a collective of sixteen different mezcal producers throughout Mexico, each of whom uses different agave varietals and methods. El Jologrio Pechuga, made by mezcaleros Gregorio Martinez Jarquin, Ignacio Parada and Valentin Cortes in the town of Santa Maria Zoquitlan is a particularly special batch.
During its second distillation, this mezcal is mixed with locally harvested pineapples, oranges and plantains along with the obligatory raw hanging turkey breast.
Its palate combines flavors of citrus rind, pine, dried fruit and ash with a strong finish reminiscent of an aged spirit. This spice-laden bottle will cost a hefty $160.
Find El Jologrio Pechuga at Wine.com.