Montelobos Pechuga, $129.99
The back story
Searching for the perfect Thanksgiving sip? It might be time to try a little turkey-flavored mezcal.
In a sense, that’s what this bottle from Montelobos, which bills itself as a “meticulously crafted artisanal mezcal” brand, is all about. Specifically, it’s a style of mezcal that’s indeed called pechuga, which involves flavoring the liquid with meat, fruits, nuts and spices during the distillation process. Often, the meat is chicken, but it can be other things. In the case of this Montelobos offering, it’s turkey breast (pechuga, by the way, means “breast” in Spanish).
The turkey brings “a robust sensory experience,” says Gustavo Guerra, global marketing director of the Campari Group’s Mexican spirits portfolio (Campari is the parent company of Montelobos.) Guerra also calls the pechuga an “homage” to local Mexican traditions.
If nothing else, the bottle taps into the growing fervor for mezcal, the smoky, agave-based spirit that was once viewed as a kind of curious cousin to tequila. (Technically, tequila itself is a style of mezcal.) Mezcal sales are expected to increase by 10.5% annually through 2025, according to one report.
What we think about it
In a sense, if you’re expecting the kind of beverage that can replicate the taste of your Thanksgiving bird, this isn’t quite it. As with other pechugas, the meaty flavoring is much more subtle — to the point you might barely notice the turkey. But this is nevertheless a gloriously complex mezcal with just the right amount of smoke and rich notes of fruit and spice. I detect the turkey more in the fullness of the mouth feel. Either way, it would make a great conversation starter if you shared with your Thanksgiving guests.
How to enjoy it
Drink this one neat to get the true pechuga experience. And if turkey-flavored booze isn’t your thing, Montelobos offers a range of other mezcals.