JUNE'S SPIRIT OF THE MONTH: MEXICO'S SIGLO CERO POX
If you are from the southern Mexico state of Chiapas, POX (pronounced posh) could be something you’re familiar with. If you’re a historian of ancient Mayan culture you’re most likely familiar with POX. And if you’re not familiar with POX, don’t be embarrassed, I had never heard of the spirit before sitting down with my rep and being introduced to Siglo Cero. In the Mayan language POX means “medicine” or “healing”, the libation has been used in ceremonial events for centuries and is meant to symbolize unity, connecting people to each other and to nature which gives the ingredients for the spirit. Working with the indigenous Mayan community in Chiapas, all 4 corn varieties (making up 44% of the “mash bill”) are grown sustainably by Mayan farmers as well as the wheat (28% of the “mash bill”) and sugarcane (28% of the mash bill) being locally and sustainably sourced.
Focusing on the communities of Chiapas is important to the folks at Siglo Cero. That is shown by working with local farmers for their products but also in how they give back to the communities. A portion of Siglo Cero's profits go to the ALSOL Foundation which works to help support Mexican artists and craftspeople in Chiapas. With such a great background, I was very intrigued to taste Siglo Cero, mainly wondering what the combination of corn, wheat and sugarcane would taste like. And what I found was that this is truly a spirit in its own category. It tastes a little bit like a rum, has body more like a whiskey and has the earthiness found in some savory agave spirits. Subtle lime zest, hints of hay and soft Agricole funkiness. There is a soft sweetness on finish that makes this easy to enjoy. Besides drinking neat or in shot form, I would use this in cocktails like you would a rum.