The Carnivore’s Mezcal
Mezcal is a Mexican spirit with around 40% alcohol by volume, distilled from the pulp of different agave species. The taste and appearance of the distillate vary depending on the type of agave, the region, how it is prepared and how long it is stored. Tequila is probably the most famous mezcal. (Tequila is made from Blue Agave in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, Jalisco in Mexico.) Spirits with the simple designation mezcal are mainly distilled in the region around the city of Oaxaca. Also, the states of Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas are producing mezcal.
Pechuga (Spanish for “breast”) is a category of mezcal which specialty is that a piece of raw chicken breast is added to the process of distillation. Pechugas vary in recipes – whereas most distillers add raw chicken or turkey breast – deer, lamb and wild rabbit can be added too. In the process of steam cooking the meat during distillation, fans of Pechugas state that the meat releases collagen from its proteins creating a rich mouthfeel that differs to other mezcals.
Distilled spirits (such as mezcal) are normally qualifying as vegan products being distilled from plant or fruit base. Liquors known to contain non-vegan ingredients are mainly liqueurs and cordials that may contain milk, cream, eggs, and/or honey. Although uncommon, carmine may be used as a dye in some red spirits. Pechugas are the only recognized distilled product that is using raw meat in the distilling process.