Erstwhile Mezcal is thrilled to release the world’s first Bacon Pechuga, an all-women collaboration between Erstwhile founder Yuan Ji, Master Distiller Hortensia Hernández Martínez, and her daughters – Lidia and Nallely – in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca.

This remarkable 300-liter batch of Bacon Pechuga Mezcal is one of seven exciting new limited-edition releases from Erstwhile Mezcal in 2021: available soon for the first time in international markets and just in time for the holidays.

Ingredients were sourced locally in Oaxaca. The bacon – gloriously thick and marbled, 100 pounds in total – came from a butcher in Etla. The mangos, pineapples, and guavas were ripe and in season at the time of distillation.

Pechuga, the Spanish word for “breast” (of chicken and other fowls), refers to a style of mezcal production where meat, fruits, and spices are used in the distillation process. Each producer has her own preferred ingredients, thereby yielding a rich diversity of flavor and texture.

Most mezcals are distilled at least twice. Pechuga mezcals typically pass through a third distillation, purifying the spirit further. In the case of our Bacon Pechuga, a basket of bacon was suspended within the still during the second and third distillations. Ripe mangos, pineapples, and guavas – skinned and cut into smaller pieces for maximum flavor – were also added. The steam from the boiling distillate was crucial, slowly “sweating” the bacon and releasing its oils to blend with the fruits and agave distillate before traveling to the collector.

The result is an elegant, fruit-forward Pechuga mezcal, with a creamy richness imparted by the bacon. The juicy mango and pineapple come through on the nose. Complex layers follow the palate, starting with a kick of white pepper and notes of eucalyptus. The mouth feel is warm and round, with a soft and elegant finish.


Vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and anyone with a dietary opposition to bacon can take comfort in the fact that the use of meat, while common and popular in pechuga mezcal distillations, is completely optional. Vegan pechuga mezcals exist, and can be just as delicious. In fact, we at Erstwhile enjoy daydreaming about pechuga mezcal recipes for fun, and have some vegan-friendly recipes brewing for future releases. Drop us a line if you like the idea of a vegan pechuga mezcal. We just might make your dream come true.