Corn Toss

Agave spirits aren't the only south of the border sippers.

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Closeup of bright yellow ears of corn in green corn husks.
We're cornverts. / Copyright: whitebearstudio1

When you think of spirits from south of the border, you probably think tequila and mezcal. But corn-based beverages and spirits have just arrived (to the U.S., that is) and they’re giving agave a run for its money. Check these out:

Nixta Licor de Elote, Mexican corn liqueur

“Nixta is not just your average liqueur. It is so unique and has such a rich flavor. It isn’t too sweet or syrupy, it just has a really pure roasted corn flavor. If you are looking to add a savory tone to a cocktail, Nixta would play well with almost any spirit and juice combination,” says Citizen Rail bar manager Sarah Harmacek.

Click here for Harmacek’s Maize in the Shade cocktail recipe.

Chicha, South American corn beer

“Chicha is most commonly associated with the Inca in Peru and throughout the Andes, but the history of chicha actually predates the Inca and there is pot-shard evidence of [the spirit] being made in parts of South America as far back as 3,000 years ago,” says Judd Belstock, owner of Dos Luces Brewery. “It uses a unique variety of yeasts. Ours is spiced with a bit of clove, so it has a complex, ester-y aroma with notes of bubblegum and chai. The taste is relatively simple with a touch of nuttiness and sweetness from the corn.”

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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