In Mexico City, a female-powered distillery is helping upset the country’s traditionally masculine liquor industry. Founded by Hillhamn Salome in 2015, Flor de Luna distillery is 100 per cent female-owned with a product made entirely by women. Its flagship product, Xila—which according to Salome means “woman” in Zapotec, the language of the Indigenous people of Oaxaca—is inspired by two cultures, with the agave liquor coming from Oaxaca and the ancho chile grown in Puebla. It is flavoured with six additional ingredients: black pepper, caramelized pineapple, cinnamon, clove, hibiscus, and lavender.
In a country dominated by tequila and beer, Xila’s unique sweet and savoury profile also sets it apart. Called “The Mexican Aperitif” by the brand itself, Xila is unlike other liqueurs, its spiciness making for a marvellous pick-me-up for the palate before a meal or a last hit of flavour for otherwise underwhelming cocktails. Salome herself prefers to mix two parts Xila with one part dry vermouth and some tonic water for a simple, refreshing drink. But regardless of how you prefer to drink it, Xila stays true to its purpose. “I founded my company with the purpose of always supporting women in the industry and in any way I can,” Salome says.