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The batida process is one of the more mystical in the tequila world. The word translates literally as “beating” or “thrashing” which is a good hint to how it is applied when making tequila. Just like wine’s great tradition of crushing grapes by foot, roasted agave fibers can be treated in a similar way. In the most extreme example, the distiller gets into the fermentation tank nude with the agave fibers to arrange them all into the layers that he wants.

As with many practices like biodynamic wine production and crushing grapes by foot, it’s not exactly clear whether they have an empirical impact on the final product. That may actually exist but at the very least, these practices demonstrate dedication on the part of the creator and testify to just how personally invested they are in every detail. While I have never seen this process myself, I have talked to people who have so I know it exists, I know that it’s extremely rare, and I don’t know much beyond that. I’d welcome more accounts if anyone has them.

Max co-founded Mezcalistas with Susan way back in 2012. Before that he was a journalist at Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.

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