Copper potstill and alembic-still distillation are common in mezcal production. Alcohol molecules have a unique chemical reaction when coming in contact with copper. The interaction that occurs in mezcal copper stills is similar to that found in scotch whiskey production. For this reason, many scotch whiskey drinkers prefer mezcal made in copper stills over mezcal made in other still types.
The copper stills used for mezcal production are placed in a masonry base that is typically made of clay, rock, and sometimes brick. An enclosed wood-fire oven underneath is used to heat the distillate. Most of the copper stills used for mezcal employ condenser coils that sit in large cool tanks of water.