Today it is all about liquid Mayan medicine! Yes, you’ve read correctly, we are dealing with a very unusual distillate from Mexico, which means as much “medicine”. We are talking about Pox (spoken: Posh), a schnapps from Mexico distilled from yellow, red, black and white corn, wheat and sugar cane. In fact, I had never heard of such a distillate before writing this review – and I’m certainly not alone in this. (provided test product)*
Pox is also a very young phenomenon on the spirits market on the one hand, but on the other hand it is a long established and traditional spirit. How does that fit together? Well, basically, the background is as follows: In the Mexican state of Chiapas, the spirit is traditionally produced. However, it has long been not an official category but a moonshine spirit. Nonetheless, it looks back on a long history that goes back to the time of the Mayas. Descendants of the so-called Tzotzil Mayas make up a considerable part of the population of the state of Chiapas. However, it is thanks to their handicraft tradition that we can get to know the spirit today. And it is also thanks to a new regulation of the Mexican spirits market and the correlating distillation rights in 2012, which for the first time officially allows the state of Chiapas to produce Pox.
The Siglo Cero Pox, that’s its full name, comes in a beautifully designed bottle, which I really like with its eye-catching Mayan-inspired braided pattern around the lower part of the bottle. It comes at an ABV of 40,5 % vol. But how does a spirit like this taste?
Aroma: Okay, what is that? I have to sort myself out here first, because one thing is for sure: I have never had something like this in a glass before. As strange as it may sound, first of all I had to think of Grappa, Clairin or a white Rhum Agricole. But then I discard the thought, because none of the comparisons mentioned wants to really manifest itself (apart from the fact that grappa and Clairin cannot be mentioned in the same breath anyway). What am I getting at? Above all, that this is really something new! I find notes of lightly fermented fruit, not as exuberant as in Clairin or a Jamaican rum, but with recognizable notes of esters. Mangos, bananas, vegetal and greenish notes are also present. Black tea, yes, I find it here as well, together with mineral tones of mild crystal salt and some white grape.
Taste: Also on the palate a quite exciting, new experience. The slightly estheric fruit and vegetable notes are unmistakable here, too, but do not dominate everything else as it can happen with many other spirits. Rather, they leave room for herbal notes (especially mint and thyme), almost tangy grape tones and a very pleasant, soft citrus note. I really, really like this!
Finish: medium long, with a light greenish-woody note
At this point, some readers might expect to see what kind of cocktail idea I will come up with for such a spirit. In fact, I didn’t really have to think long and knew: I definitely want to try this in a Negroni. Therefore, I mixed the Siglo Cero Pox with Carpano Antica Formula, Campari and Mancino Chinato, sprayed it with an orange zest… and was in heaven! Seriously: The Siglo Cero Pox works fantastic in a Negroni! Of course, there’s nothing against experimenting with this spirit (which I’m sure I will do), but a Negroni never needs any justification with me. I can only recommend to try the following recipe!
Recipe “Pox Negroni”:
4 cl Siglo Cero Pox
2,5 cl Campari
2 cl Carpano Antica Formula
0,5 cl Mancino Chinato
Preparation: The drink is built in the glass. Stir all ingredients on ice and spray with the oil of an orange zest.
Garnish: Orange zest
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.