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About Nixta Liqueur
Nixta Liqueur (AKA “Licor de Elote”) is produced by Destilería y Bodega Abasolo – a distillery located in Jilotepec, Méx., México. Created as a unique corn liqueur, Nixta is made from the Mexican ancestral Cacahuazintle variety of corn commonly known as hominy in the US. Surprisingly, Nixta is the world’s first corn liqueur, having launched in the year 2020. It is currently the only liqueur of its kind on the market.
As a brand, Nixta takes pride in the fact that the production of this corn liqueur honors traditional processes from start to finish. Starting with locally sourced corn, the ingredients go through a complex process of maceration, roasting, marinating, nixtamalization, mashing, fermentation and distillation. The entire process pays homage to the all-around importance and meaning of corn in Mexican culture.
❖ ABV: 30%
❖ Distillery: Destilería y Bodega Abasolo
❖ Aging: N/A
❖ Price Point: Moderate
Here are the official tasting notes for Nixta Licor de Elote, according to the company’s official website:
❖ toasted corn
❖ sweet corn
❖ roasted corn
My Tasting notes
I began to whiff this glass of Nixta Liqueur, and there was a wave of vague scents that I couldn’t immediately identify. There was a bit of sweetness, and a very smooth aroma. The nose notes continued to get smoother, and I started to detect a graininess that was subtle and pleasant. Even though I knew notes of corn were coming, my nose and brain were slow to detect it. Something about the aromas felt complex.
I took my first sip, and it was immediately sweet with clear corn notes. This liqueur started off completely smooth, with a sparkly burst of alcohol in the finish. My second sip was very similar to the first, but with vanilla notes that added a nice depth to the sweetness. I found that each sip got progressively sweeter and smoother, although it never tasted overly sweet. Towards the end of my tasting, I started to pick out vague chocolate notes.
For my cocktail this week, I wanted to try mimicking the flavors of traditional Mexican Atole inside an original cocktail. Although Atole is normally a hot drink, I felt inspired to make cold, low volume drink that would easily fit in a martini glass. I wanted the flavor of the Nixta to (hopefully) really come through. Thus, the Booze-A-Tole was born!
- 2 oz Nixta liqueur
- 1/4 oz cinnamon syrup
- 1 oz half & half
- 1 dash Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
- garnish: ground cinnamon
- Add the ingredients to a shaker with ice, and shake until chilled
- Strain the mixture into a martini glass
- Garnish with ground cinnamon
I was really happy with the way this cocktail turned out. I think I captured what I was trying to do pretty well, which was mimic the flavor profile of Atole. It was everything I was hoping it would be!
The Nixta Liqueur was really able to hold its own inside a cocktail, and the corn flavor took center stage in a beautiful way. This Booze-A-Tole was nice and sweet, and the corn notes played nicely with the cream and spices. I also found the Nixta to be nice and smooth, despite the low volume of mixers.
I can also see myself substituting this liqueur for other grain spirits, such as vodka, in recipes. In fact, a few days after my official tasting, I experimented with making a Nixta Martini, and I found it to be very delightful and incredibly smooth. Even though Nixta has a slightly lower ABV than a typical vodka, I didn’t notice much of a difference in regards to how it made me feel. My body found this Martini to be quite strong.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Nixta Liqueur for a variety of purposes. Price-wise, it is difficult to make comparisons because this corn liqueur is the first of its kind. Personally, I think the price point is very reasonable and worth it.
The flavor is really versatile depending on what mixers you pair it with. It excels as both a primary or secondary flavor. Even though it’s not designed for sipping, my experience of tasting it straight wasn’t too bad either!
As a Mexican-American, I also really appreciate how this liqueur honors ancestral traditions in a new way. Corn is very important in Mexican culture and cuisine, and has been for thousands of years. Nixta is innovative, and yet at the same time it’s a natural extension of this cultural lineage. I hope folks keep this in mind when they try it for themselves!
This is an absolute must-have for those interested in Mexican flavor palates, as well as those looking for alternative grain-based spirits.
As always, drink responsibly.
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