According to Liquor.com, a new spirit is making commercial inroads on the US spirit market. The Mexican liquor is made of corn, wheat and sugar, and has been consumed for centuries by indigenous peoples during spiritual ceremonies.
As reported by the site, the Mexican government places no regulation on the spirit, which allows it to be made in any way the producer pleases and results in innumerable iterations. Thus, the US version is a little slippery, but generally follows the largely agreed upon formula.
The spirit originated in the Chiapas Mountains in the south of Mexico, and this writer has been warned against having more than one round of it by a native drinker. Its strength has impeded the intention of its distillers and exporters for it to be the new Mezcal, the pit smoked agave liquor that took the US market by storm a few years ago and hasn’t let up.
Pox is funkier and packs a stronger punch than mezcal, and will surely not be the easily palatable powerhouse that the latter has become. However, strong intent by Mexican distributors combined with a moderately hungry international market suggest it will make a small impact soon.
The line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation is a hazy one when it comes to alcohol, and pox makes it clearer than ever that even the most sacred of traditions can be monetized and sold to international consumers. Here’s to hoping it stays pure.