The manufacturing process of Aguila Serpiente’s iconic Artisanal Mezcal begins with the harvest of the agave plant. Each agave plant will flower only once in its lifetime. The agave plant is harvested when it is seven or eight years old. Upon harvesting, we remove the spines of the plant carefully to reveal the heart of the agave i.e. the piña.
The harvested agave piña, weighing 100 to 200 pounds each, is cut into half or quarter. A fire is started in the base of a pit that has river stones placed atop. When the rocks heat up to the desired level, the piñas are placed in the pit. Once the piñas are in, the pit is first covered with leaves, fibers, and straw mats made from the agave plant and then buried so that it can be roasted for four days underground. The process brings out the natural sugars contained within the piña.
Once the piñas are properly roasted for the desired period and the natural sugars come out, the roasted agave goes through the process of Molino or crushing. The roasted agave is ground using a special mill that has a stone wheel being pulled by a mule or horse. We make sure someone is there to move the agave around in the mill so that all of the agave gets ground up evenly.
Once Molino takes place and the roasted agave is sufficiently grounded up, fermenting takes place. The agave is placed in wooden barrels for the fermentation process. We take the pure water straight from the Serpiente waterfall in Oaxaca with its special properties and minerals that guarantee a crisp taste. We heat up the water and add it to the agave, leaving it to ferment for several days. After a sufficient time period, we fill up the barrels with cold water and leave the barrel to ferment further. The exact time for fermentation is based on the weather and the strength of the Artisanal Mezcal being produced.
The next and the final step in the production of our high quality Aguila Serpiente Artisanal Mezcal is distillation. Once fermentation is complete, the mash is removed from the wooden barrels and distilled. The first time it is distilled, we achieve lower grade alcohol. The fibers are then removed from the still and the Mezcal is fermented for a second time to refine the Aguila Serpiente Mezcal.