To create Nixta, the best tender corn of the season is macerated in an exquisite corn distillate and sweetened with clarified sweet wort—both produced from ancestral cacahuazintle grown near our distillery at a height of more than 7,000 feet above sea level.
Pure cacahuazintle corn is used in two different stages of development: Cacahuazintle sweet corn is macerated and prepared to extract all its delicate flavor. And ripe, cacahuazintle kernels are nixtamalized to produce a sweet wort and alcohol. Together, these ingredients make Nixta Licor de Elote into a flavorful, versatile liqueur that is true to its origin.
Mexico is the birthplace of corn. Approximately 10,000 years ago, corn appeared as the result of the domestication of teosinte, a wild species with a very different appearance from today's corn, cultivated by the first farmers of Mesoamerica. More than just a crop, corn is the primary food base of all indigenous Mexican culture and a foundational element and valued heirloom in the identity of the country.
Of the many criollo corn varieties originating in Mexico, only cacahuazintle corn is used to produce Nixta Licor de Elote. Cacahuazintle has large, bulky kernels and is typically used to make pozole, esquites and corn bread when the corn is tender. Unlike GMO corn hybrids, this ancestral corn has been passed down for generations and cultivated for its taste instead of its commercial productivity. Destilería Abasolo works directly with farmers located in the mountainous areas of the State of Mexico. We pay without intermediaries and support our farmers with direct financing.
From the end of August through September, farmers begin to harvest the first corn of the season to celebrate Independence Day in Mexico. This harvest is the tender corn that the townspeople around the Nevado de Toluca consume as roasted corn or prepared as esquite.
To produce Nixta’s base maceration, our farmers hand-select the best ears of tender corn. The cobs are cleaned. The grains are separated, undergo a roasting process, and are left to marinate over low heat with the corn distillate from our distillery. This part of our process extracts the rich, milky juices from the kernels, concentrating them inside a container that traps all aromas during the process. We call this macerate "base madre", and it can only be obtained once per year.
To produce Nixta's distillate, it is necessary to process ripe and dry kernels of cacahuazintle which are received clean, dry and separated from the cob. The kernels are cooked with quicklime and left to rest for 12 hours. After resting, the corn is rinsed with fresh water, dried with hot air, and roasted for approximately four hours. The roasted grain is then ground in a stone tortilla mill until it becomes a fine flour.
Nixta’s roasted, nixtamalized corn flour is dissolved in stainless steel tanks with hot water and stirred for several hours. Through this process, the transformation of starch into wort occurs and can then be fermented by yeast. The result is a sweet wort that looks like refined atole (a traditional Mexican masa drink) and serves as the main source of sweetness and texture in the liqueur.
This same wort is also used as the base for the fermented spirit by adding a select yeast for a period of more than 120 hours. The fermented wort is distilled, trapping the flavor of the corn in an exquisite corn distillate. This distillate is incorporated into Nixta Licor de Elote until it reaches 30% alcohol by volume. The final liquid is then bottled in custom designed glass worthy of the liqueur.