Here's some I've come across that are equally as impressive as they are unique:
1. Abasolo Whisky (86 proof) - 100% Ancestral corn whisky from Mexico - Yup! This whisky is the first to be made from Cacahuazintle corn, cultivated over many generations to develop it's distinctive flavor. It's made in copper pot stills and aged in used American oak barrels to give this spirit it's unique, rich taste that you'll love. I expected it to be more on the sweeter side since it was 100% corn, but it actually finished more like an agave spirit.
2. Nixta Licor (60 proof) - This sweet elixir is delicious on it's own or as a wonderfully sweet and creamy spirit to use in cocktails when you want a full mouth-feel base. Since it's made from heirloom corn using the 4,000 year old cooking process -nixtamalization, I fully expected it to take like vodka. That wasn't the case, but delicious none the less. The bottle is also exquisite in the shape of a corn cob and is sure to be a conversation starter.
3. Yobo Soju (46 proof) - Soju is a Korean spirit traditionally made from rice. However, this spirit is made in small batches from grapes by a Korean American mom to twins that wanted to pay homage to her ancestry. This drinks nicely alone or is light enough to be used in cocktails. If you stock sushi, sake or soshu in your home bar, then this is one to add into the rotation. I personally have been wanting to learn more about all the Asian spirits and seems like this is a good time to dive in!
4. Violet Crown Emerald Absinthe (140 proof) - I'm especially partial to this one as the owner/distiller is a friend of mine. This is made right here in the Austin area, just outside in Bastrop, TX. It's the first and only absinthe distillery in the United States. When the pandemic hit, they were one of the first to go into Hand Sanitizer mode and donated much of it to health care workers, hospitality industry and to the public - me included, via personal visit as I had just started chemotherapy treatments. Made with 13 herbs and spices in small batches (55 gallons), it easily will become a favorite. They make an Opal version too that's also delish!
5. Chawar (80 proof) - Made in Ecuador in the Andes Mountains, this Agave spirit uses a different process than a tequila or mescal in that the juice - chawarmishki (aguamiel) is extracted from the piña once it reaches 12+ years maturity vs harvesting the entire plant. These indigenous women hand-harvest the plant sap using decades of ancestral tradition, prepare it, then sell it to the distiller. The spirit comes in three varieties: Blanco, Reposado and Anejo Rosado, which are aged in French Oak barrels. The flavor is sweeter than tequila or mescal and I found it to be very vodka like. Huge plus for me!
There ya go! I know they're not vodka, but it's okay so stray on occasion - just don't make it a habit ;)