Review: Nixta Licor de Elote

Review: Nixta Licor de Elote

What’s elote? It’s grilled Mexican street corn. What then is licor de elote? Why, it’s a liqueur made from — and intended to taste like — corn.

Nixta Licor De Elote comes to us from the folks at Destilería y Bodega Abasolo, the Mexican distillery that makes Abasolo Whisky out of 100% Cacahuazintle corn. Nixta starts with the same base spirit, but from there things diverge:

After experimenting with Abasolo’s clear, unaged base the distillers discovered that they could produce a velvety liqueur that reflected the purest flavor of corn. Nixta starts with a blend of ancestral Cacahuazintle maíz, harvested during a very short season from the high valleys and foothills of the Nevado de Toluca volcano. Half of the batch is roasted, while the second half is kept in its raw, tender state. The mix is then macerated in the raw distillate, after which it is combined with the “base madre,” a blend of nixtamalized Cacahuazintle corn, water and piloncillo, a form of unrefined cane sugar traditional to Mexico and Latin America.

Like Abasolo Whisky, Nixta utilizes an ancient process to unlock the full flavor potential of its corn. After harvest, the Cacahuazintle kernels undergo nixtamalization, 4,000-year-old Mesoamerican culinary process in which the corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution (usually limewater) to make it more pliable and unlock the full potential of the non-GMO, sustainably grown kernels, which contain higher starch and less fat content than common varieties.

So, what does a corn liqueur taste like? Well, corn. The nose is heavy with roasted corn notes — not popcorn — lightly smoky and gently sweetened with a note of marshmallow. On the palate, that roasted, slightly charred corn character diverges toward kettle corn a bit, thanks to the inclusion of a moderate amount of sugar in the mix, offering a sweet cream note that helps to balance out the intensity of the grain. Sweet and a touch vegetal on the finish, it’s a one-trick pony that will certainly stretch the mind of any armchair mixologist.

The brand suggests a couple of cocktails, which I’m pasting below. I wasn’t provide enough of a sample to try them out; if you do, please post your thoughts in the comments. And yes, the bottle is amazing.

60 proof.

B / $33 / 

Maíz Margarita
1 oz. Nixta
1.5 oz. reposado tequila
.75 oz. lime juice
.25 oz. agave
pinch of salt

Shake ingredients with ice and serve on the rocks.

Corn Colada
1 oz. Abasolo Whisky
1 oz. light rum
1.5 oz. Cream of Coconut
0.75 oz. pineapple juice
0.75 oz. Nixta
0.5 oz. lime juice

Blend with ice.

Nixta Licor de Elote




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Richard Levitt on February 10, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    I wanted to like it, but found it way too sweet and oddly unpleasant. Brought it to a dinner party to see what some friends thought of it and saw a lot of “ick” faces. May try one of the recipes you posted, just to see if we can use it up. The bottle is about four shots shy of full and I’m afraid it’ll either get tossed or remain at that level for the next 10 years.

  2. David Robinson on August 3, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    I read the comment above but my experience was just the opposite. I loved it. I kind of go a sweet tequila taste to start with a long finish towards a slight cinnamon taste. Almost like a mild Hot Damn if you know what that is. I drink it neat and love it. I’m normally a bourbon guy that fades into tequila. I Yet I love this stuff!

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