Friday, April 6, 2012

D'Aristi Xtabentún Liqueur - A Taste of Mayan Culture

Whether or not you believe in the Mayan Calendar doomsday prediction of 2012, one can't deny that their culture is certainly intriguing. The ancient Mayan civilization, centered in the tropical lowlands of what is now Guatemala, reached the peak of its power and influence around the sixth century A.D. They excelled at agriculture, hieroglyph writing, mathematics, pottery and more, and left behind an astonishing amount of impressive architecture and artwork, as well as scientific and mathematical discoveries. Although the Mayan Empire mysteriously collapsed, many of their present-day descendants continue to embrace the traditions, legends and beliefs of their ancestors.

Casa D'Aristi
Established in 1935 in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Casa D'Aristi is dedicated to honoring the Mayan culture with their line of distinctive products, most notably, their delicious Xtabentún Liqueur.

Xtabentún is a regional drink whose origins can be traced to a ritual beverage produced by the ancient Mayans. This fermented drink, called balché, is a type of mead that was created by filling a trough or canoe with water and honey, then adding the bark and roots from the balché tree. This beverage was considered sacred, and because it had strong religious significance to the Mayan people, the Spaniards banned the drink in an attempt to convert them to Christianity. The ban was observed until a rebellious Mayan convinced the Spaniards that the balché actually had health benefits, and many of the Mayan people were dying as a result of the prohibition. They lifted the ban and the balché rituals resumed.

Over time the Spaniards developed their own version of the beverage by removing the tree bark and adding anise. This drink was named after the Xtabentún flowers that only grow in the Yucatan Peninsula. Casa D'Aristi has kept this tradition alive by releasing D'Aristi Xtabentún Liqueur, created with only honey, anise and cane sugar. Although often enjoyed straight, this refreshing liqueur is also delicious in coffee or mixed with tequila and lime juice.

Casa D'Aristi is also known for their other two products, Kalani Coconut Liqueur and Ron Caribe. Created from pure cane syrup and the pulp of ripe coconuts, Kalani is a sweet, full-bodied liqueur that is delicious on its own, paired with dessert, or mixed in your favorite tropical cocktail. Ron Caribe is a rum created from fresh sugar cane and matured for at least six months in oak barrels. Perfect for mixing, it will add distinctive flavor to a variety of rum-based cocktails.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

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