What we’re drinking: Nixta Licor de Elote, a Mexican corn liqueur (and apparently the world’s first corn liqueur)
Where it’s from: The same distillery (Destilería y Bodega Abasolo) where they’re producing Abasolo, a corn whiskey we raved about last year. Nixta is made from a base of cacahuazintle maize, grown in the high valleys and foothills of the Nevado de Toluca volcano in Mexico.
Why we’re drinking this: Because Abasolo was an amazing find last year, and the idea that a different type of corn — along with a 4,000-year-old process called nixtamalization (where corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, washed and then hulled) — could produce such a unique spirit left us wanting more.
Plus, we’d tried Nixta with Abasolo in cocktails and loved it, but we were curious if the corn liqueur could hold up on its own or outside of its immediate family.
“When we were making Nixta, we wanted to create the purest form of ancestral corn distillation that was as versatile as the grain itself,” as Cesar Sandoval, Abasolo’s Natiional Ambassador told us. “It’s a completely new flavor category and profile.”
How it tastes
Nixta is made with a base of half roasted corn and half raw corn, macerated in unaged Abasolo. The liquid is then mixed with a “base madre,” which blends nixtamalized Cacahuazintle corn, water and piloncillo — a form of unrefined cane sugar traditional to Mexico and Latin America.
Roasted, buttery corn notes dominate the nose, but it’s very sweet (caramel, vanilla) on the palate and gentle on the finish. A very elevated kettle corn — including the creamy, oily mouthfeel — was my overall impression.
How to use it
I asked Sandoval for a few ways to mix Nixta. He recommended a few simple cocktails:
Jilo Old Fashioned: 2 parts Abasolo, 0.5 parts Nixta and 3 dashes of Angostura bitters, stirred over ice
Corn Colada: 1 part Abasolo, 0.75 parts Nixta, 1 part light rum, 1.5 parts cream of coconut, 0.75 parts pineapple juice and 0.5 parts lime juice, all blended together
Maíz Carajillo: Shake Nixta with cold brew or espresso and top with cinnamon
Oh, and for food? Soak a Tres Leches cake, reduce it and use to make flan or pour over vanilla ice cream.
Where to buy it: A 750ml bottle of Nixta is available pretty much anywhere (see: Drizly) for about $30.
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