- Oaxaca, Mexico
Leonel Hernández (Don Gil), a third generation maestro mezcalero, produces his mezcal in San Pablo Villa de Mitla, a town and municipality in Oaxaca. It is famous for being the site of the Mitla archeological ruins and is part of the Tiacolula District in the east of the Valles Centrales Region.
Mezcal Local is made with 100% agave Espadin, harvested after 10 years. The agaves are cooked underground for 3 days, ground using an Egyptian mill, and then fermented in wooden vats for 10 days. During the distillation process agave hearts, as well as a combination of fruits (apple, peach, banana and orange), are added to the still. The heart of the agave acts as a natural purifier and the fruits add a wide range of distinctive flavor notes. This mezcal is distilled twice in copper.
Mezcal Local is a vegan mezcal de pechuga (pechuga translates to breast in Spanish). This means the finished mezcal is redistilled with local fruits, grains, and nuts, and a raw chicken or turkey breast is hung over the still, cooking in the emanating vapors, supposedly adding to the spirit’s final flavor.
These mezcals are usually made in small batches according to old family recipes and served during special occasions such as harvest, weddings, funerals and festivals.