Mezcal Gin MG is a gin, made in a traditional style of Mezcal called Pechuga.
Firstly, Pechuga means “breast” in Spanish. It refers to a process wherein Mezcal undergoes a second distillation with a chicken or turkey breast suspended in the still. The vapors pass through the meat during the distillation, similar to how a gin basket works. Mezcal Gin MG replaces the meat with traditional gin botanicals.
The base spirit of Mezcal Gin MG is what makes it a Mezcal. It is distilled from a wild varietal known classified as a cenizo, and is of the specific species Agave Durangensis. The plants are between 9 and 13 years old when harvested, roasted and distilled.
The gin botanicals straddle the traditional and the local. Among the local additions are dried Ancho Chile and Avocado leaves— which yes are edible and quite good for you. However, even the so-called “classic” botanicals in Mezcal Gin MG include some surprises, such as the Longan. In other words, there’s a lot of things from base to botanical that makes this gin quite unusual.
[For more on Mezcal Gin MG from a Mezcal perspective, check out MezcalReviews.com, which is an excellent resource on all things Mezcal]
Aroma: Slightly smoky, with notes of deep roasted chipotle peppers, cubeb and hibiscus tea. It’s extraordinarily complex with botanicals and the signature aroma of Mezcal simultaneously present.
Flavor: Light grass and agave flavor early, with some citrus notes of lime, and orange. Mid-palate, an earthy moderate smokiness emerges with notes of roasted, nearly burnt pepper skins and toasted black peppercorns. Towards the finish, amidst a hazy smoke emerges notes of roasted juniper berry, with musky florals sitting above a dried Guajillo pepper note.
It’s quite remarkable the way the citrus complements the agave, and the ancho complements the natural roasted smokiness of Mezcal.
Finish: Exceptionally long and quite pronounced. The agave lingers on the palate as do some notes of roasted peppers and other peppery, slightly spicy notes.
Cocktails and suggested serves
Mezcal Gin MG is a highly specialized gin and will not be an easy substitute in most gin cocktails. In fact, the dominating smokiness means I suggest that you treat it more as a Mezcal behind the bar than a gin.
It can work in a Martini (drier the better, and stick to a lemon twist or Gibson style) or a Negroni.
But beyond that it’s hard to recommend treating it as if it is a gin. The base spirit and the underlying Mezcal is the star and it will dominate the taste of any cocktail— especially lighter gin drinks like the Gin and Tonic or Tom Collins (just to name a couple).
Overall, Mezcal Gin MG
While it’s not the first or the only agave based gin, Mezcal Gin MG does a great job showcasing a selection of botanicals that serve to enhance the underlying base spirit.
As long as its treated more as a Mezcal than a gin, bartenders will find it a fun spirit to play with behind the bar.
Gin fans might find it to be a bit light on the juniper— it definitely reads more as a Mezcal with botanicals than it does a gin. However, that isn’t meant to detract from all the positives. Delicious on its own and sipped as a pechuga with botanicals instead of meat— Mezcal Gin MG is a fun and nicely balanced spirit, that just slightly misses its mark as a gin.