The New Cocktail Vernacular: Pechuga

Pechuga has the ferocity of a toddler’s finger painting and the purity of a forest fire. And with that metaphor in mind, let the standards of judging a pechuga be equally complex.  Specifically, a pechuga is a harvest celebration mezcal.  Think of its production the same way gin is made, a completed spirit is reintroduced into the still with botanicals and redistilled.  There are 2 twists: the “botanicals” in pechuga’s case are fruits, grains and/or nuts; each recipe is unique to each Palenque and instead of gin’s constant: juniper, pechuga’s constant is a chicken breast.

 

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This is the “Lucky Charms Cereal Box” diagram of pechuga

 

A chicken breast is hung inside of the still from the top of the swan neck*, supposedly, to mellow the spirit as the evaporated distillate passes over it.  You won’t really see pechuga  in cocktails, but it’s on more back bars everyday.  The reason that it’s important (aside from trendiness & peculiarity) is that pechuga is a spirit that inspires the drinker to look for new flavors in their dram, other than vanilla-harsh-smoky-smoooooooth.  Using those adjectives for spirits are  like calling water –moist-wet-slippery-watery. And in revisiting a pechuga, you get a field guide to the flavors you are searching for.

 

When you say "pechuga" try to say it like Al Pacino would

When you say “pechuga” try to say it like Al Pacino would

Pechuga also changes with each harvest, this technique bridges the gap between vintage wines and artisanal spirits.

 

*So much as there is a swan neck in mezcal, rustic stills take many forms and not often that of the copper giants of single malts

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3 Responses to The New Cocktail Vernacular: Pechuga

  1. Pingback: The New Cocktail Vernacular Mexi-Wrap-Up-Rant |

  2. Pingback: The New Cocktail Vernacular |

  3. Not to be confused with “meshugeh”, an obscure spirit originating in Borough Park, Brooklyn, NY. It’s made by distilling huluptzes in slivovitz, with the gin basket full of gefilte fish. In revisiting a meshugeh, you get a field guide to the flavors you were hoping to avoid.

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