Agave spirit lovers take note: a new mezcal has hit the market.
Yola’s Pechuga Mezcal has just arrived. What makes this luxury mezcal different from others on the market is master mezcalera Guadalupe Bautista’s process:
it is distilled through a turkey breast, is produced from the marriage of seasonal ingredients and citrus fruits like orange, tangerine, lime, guayaba, pineapple, and tejocote. The result of this process is an aromatic and beautiful expression with a very distinctive taste, with no two batches the same.
“There are not many Pechugas in the U.S. mezcal market,” says Camilla Legaspi, head of strategy. “We wanted to take something from Yola’s life, and share it with the world. Pechuga was always around for her growing up, always present in celebrations, and we wanted to share that.”
A lot of mezcal’s major brands are American-owned, says founder Yola Jimenez. “They’re not completely in tune with the tradition and world that is mezcal,” Jimenez says.
“In Mexico, there’s a big range of Pechuga mezcals and producers will personalize it with their own combination of fruits, or different types of protein – some use chicken,” she adds. “Here in the U.S., it has yet to enter the market, and we’re proud to be the first real luxury Pechuga mezcal.”
Jimenez comes from a long tradition of distilling mezcal. Her grandfather, alongside his friend and master mezcalero Javier Bautista, began distilling mezcal in the 1960s. Jimenez inherited her grandfather’s farm in 2007, and she was one of. the earliest pioneers of the mezcal movement, as she founded one of Mexico City’s first mezcalerías, Clandestina.
“Yola’s grandfather loved Pechuga,” Legaspi says. “It also has a big association with dia de los muertos and the beginning of the religious celebrations in Oaxaca, particularly Christmas. We wanted to share Pechuga just in time for the holiday season.”
Pechuga, Jimenez says, is made from espadín, which is probably the most sustainable agave used to make mezcal. “We always wanted to do a Pechuga mezcal because it’s one of the most special and ancestral ways of making mezcal,” Jimenez says. “Mezcales de Pechuga have been around for centuries. It’s an ancestral tradition in Oaxaca, and it’s one of the oldest practices in mezcal.”
“Because of the earthiness and sophistication of Pechuga, we also wanted to present a product that reflected the beautiful nature of it while also showing the elegance of the product and creating something that looked as special as the craft behind it,” Jimenez adds.
To create this Pechuga, Yola’s master mezcalera takes espadín agaves that have been harvested at eight years of age and cooks them in an oven for five days, using wood from local oak and ocote trees. After a six-day fermentation process, the liquid is distilled twice, and then a final, third time. “This is when it becomes Pechuga,” Jimenez says. “The vapors from the boiling mezcal are infused with a creole turkey breast that hangs above, as well as our unique blend of guava and mandarin peel.”
This Pechuga, which costs $119.99, is meant to be sipped during celebrations and times of festivity. “Most importantly is for anyone who wants to celebrate and share warmth with family and friends,” Jimenez says. “It’s the champagne of mezcal.”