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‘Ayuuk’ may be the world’s first Pasilla Mixe spirit. Pasilla Mixe is a unique smoke-dried chili pepper grown in the Sierra Mixe mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, at elevations of 2,700 m above sea level. The pepper is integral to the communal identity of the Mixe people (known as Ayuuk in their native language), requiring labor intensive cultivation. Once fully ripened, the chilis are partially dried on the plant, then finished on wicker racks over hardwood smoke. Empirical Spirits is partnering with these native farmers to support the continuation of this tradition. True Pasilla Mixe possess a deep red fruitiness and intense earthiness found nowhere else. For ‘Ayuuk’, a base of Purple wheat and Pilsner malt provides a rounded foundation for the natural spice and smoky earth tones of the chilis. The chilis are macerated in wine, distilled, blended with spent Pasilla Mixe kombucha, then finished in Oloroso sherry casks for five days. ‘Ayuuk’ is earthy and smoky, with intriguing dark red fruit and spice notes.
About Empirical Spirits:
Based in Copenhagen, Empirical Spirits was founded by Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen, both alumni of Noma, the seminal restaurant named best in the world five times. With a fanatical focus on flavor elements, and taking inspiration from eastern and western distilling traditions, they strive to use alcohol as a medium for experimentation instead of producing spirits that fit into well-worn categories. Vacuum distillation allows them the precision and freedom to create new flavors and gastronomic experiences.