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Xtabentun, nectar from the mayas: The legend behind this liqueur.

Xtabentun liqueur

As seductive as the legend behind it, Xtabentun is an ancestral Mayan liqueur, very famous in the Yucatan peninsula. The liqueur is made from fermented honey, resulting from the work of bees that pollinate the xtabentun flower, and rum or anis liqueur. Its name means “vine that grows on stone” or “morning glory” and just to taste it causes dizziness reminiscent of the legend of Xtabay (or Xkeban), an ancient woman selling love who caused men to fall in love with her with the same intoxicating effect as this liqueur.

Legend has it that there were two Mayan women of unparalleled beauty: Xtabay and Utz-Colel. The first, despite being a woman offering illicit love, had a good heart; the second was cold and hated the poor. Ancient storytellers tell that when Xtabay died, dozens of beautiful flowers with an unparalleled aroma sprung on her grave, they called this flower xtabentun; full of rage because of what had happened, Utz-Colel died full of anger and they say that she sometimes comes back to life in the person of Xtabay to make men fall in love with her and get them to become lost in the night.

To try xtabentun is quite an experience which will make you sense the ancient wealth of a people who knew how to condense their beliefs and traditions into a drink in order to share them and pass them on from one generation to the next until today.

The intoxicating feeling of the Riveacorymbosa or Turbina corymbosaas, the scientific name of the xtabentun flower, comes from its seeds, which have a psychotropic nature that can cause euphoria and sleepiness. It is an excellent aperitif and digestive liqueur; its aniseed flavor provides the perfect contrast for the well seasoned Yucatecan cuisine. We suggest drinking xtabentun alone, with ice and honey, or straight out of the fridge; or served in coffee.