Something corny is going on in Decatur cocktails

Nixta corn liqueur is produced using nixtamalization, a 4,000-year-old cooking technique that uncovers the deepest flavors and aromas of corn. Courtesy of Nixta

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Nixta corn liqueur is produced using nixtamalization, a 4,000-year-old cooking technique that uncovers the deepest flavors and aromas of corn. Courtesy of Nixta

Mexican liqueur lends itself to bartender creativity

Having grown up in the Southwest, Seth Hall is very familiar with the taste of masa, the dough of ground corn used for making tortillas. The first time he tasted Nixta corn liqueur, he said, “it brought me home. It just tastes like that, like the base of corn tortillas.”

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Made by the same team behind Abasolo corn whiskey, Nixta corn liqueur aims to reflect the purest flavor of the grain. Courtesy of Nixta

Credit: Handout

Made by the same team behind Abasolo corn whiskey, Nixta corn liqueur aims to reflect the purest flavor of the grain. Courtesy of Nixta

Credit: Handout

Combined ShapeCaption
Made by the same team behind Abasolo corn whiskey, Nixta corn liqueur aims to reflect the purest flavor of the grain. Courtesy of Nixta

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Made by the same team behind Abasolo corn whiskey, Nixta licor de elote, the world’s first corn liqueur, aims to reflect the purest flavor of the grain — specifically, 100% non-GMO cacahuazintle, ancestral heirloom maize grown in the high valleys and foothills of the Nevado de Toluca volcano in Mexico. It’s produced using nixtamalization, a 4,000-year-old cooking technique that uncovers the deepest flavors and aromas of corn.

Nixta’s golden bottle, shaped like a bumpy corn cob, is the most asked about of those sitting behind Hall’s bar at Boho115 on Decatur Square. Tasting the liqueur, one encounters a silky mouthfeel and hints of roasted corn’s subtle sweetness, as well as caramel and vanilla.

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The Girl Next Door is Boho115's homage to the scent of the waffle cone at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Angela Hansberger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Angela Hansberger

The Girl Next Door is Boho115's homage to the scent of the waffle cone at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Angela Hansberger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Angela Hansberger

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The Girl Next Door is Boho115's homage to the scent of the waffle cone at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Angela Hansberger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Boho115′s location, next to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, prompted Hall to create his cocktail called the Girl Next Door.

“Every time they make waffle cones, we can smell it, so I decided to make a strawberry milkshake cocktail to mimic them,” he said.

It basically is a Ramos gin fizz — a tall, creamy classic with sky-high foam that takes some muscle to shake into fruition. Hall shakes together Nixta, Pilar blonde rum, fresh strawberry simple syrup, heavy cream, egg whites and rose water. The multi-shaker process includes dry shaking (no ice), whip shaking (with large cubes) and then wet shaking. It gets poured into a tall Collins glass and is chilled for a few minutes before getting topped with soda water. If you love cocktails, and those toasty waffle cones, you will dig it. Corn is a lengthy part of the finish.

The Girl Next Door is part of Boho115′s secret menu. Ask for it.

The unique flavor of Nixta, and the stunning bottle, also inspired Ean Bancroft, former bar manager of SOS Tiki Bar and owner of Mother’s Best Catering Co. He saw the bottle on Instagram and bought it immediately.

Bancroft loved Nixta’s flavor in cocktails, but wanted even more corn. “I wanted to see it intensified in a package that could bring out more corn flavor, like elote — Mexican street corn,” he said.

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It’s Gonna Be Maize at Deer and the Dove uses Nixta corn liqueur to mimic elote (Mexican street corn) in a cocktail. Courtesy of Terry Koval

Credit: Terry Koval

It’s Gonna Be Maize at Deer and the Dove uses Nixta corn liqueur to mimic elote (Mexican street corn) in a cocktail. Courtesy of Terry Koval

Credit: Terry Koval

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It’s Gonna Be Maize at Deer and the Dove uses Nixta corn liqueur to mimic elote (Mexican street corn) in a cocktail. Courtesy of Terry Koval

Credit: Terry Koval

Credit: Terry Koval

“I tried to mimic everything quintessential for elote, the corn, the cotija cheese, the lime, cilantro, and, yes, the mayo,” Bancroft said. It’s Gonna Be Maize is now on the menu at Deer and the Dove, where he tends bar. He described it as a “patio crusher,” and said it tastes a bit like if a daiquiri and a margarita mingled in a cornfield.

The tequila base is infused for a week with roasted corn and cotija, then strained. A barspoon of Duke’s syrup is added for mouthfeel, sweetness and color. “It had to be Duke’s mayo,” Bancroft said.

He incorporates lime and cilantro by making an oleo-saccharaum, a process using peels, sugar and herbs to extract flavor oils. Tequila, Nixta, Duke’s syrup, lime and cilantro oleo, and lime juice are shaken and poured over ice, and topped with an herbaceous and spicy mix he created to mimic Tajin, often sprinkled on street corn.

“It’s a sweet expression of dry corn,” Bancroft said, “with lingering flavor.”

Boho115. 115 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-343-4637, boho115.com

Deer and the Dove. 155 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-748-4617, deerdove.com

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