Reserved for VIPs Only in the Past, Mexico's Ancient Drink Makes a Comeback

Reserved for VIPs Only in the Past, Mexico's Ancient Drink Makes a Comeback

Pulque, the Mexican Elixir of the Gods that looks like milk, is experiencing a resurgence in the country of Tequila and Mezcal. So, we thought we’d tell you a bit more about what it is and how it’s made.

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Hey, don't drink that! It’s not milk! It’s an elixir of gods. Okay, it’s wine – but an agave wine. Actually, it’s called Pulque, booze that looks like milk, but is actually fermented agave sap.

Even though it’s kinda unknown now, Pulque used to be more popular than the Instagram dog filter.

Way back, the Mayans and Aztecs believed the sap was literally the blood of Mayahuel, the goddess of agave, who reportedly taught people how to make Pulque. So, basically she was “Our Lady of Booze”.

Before the Spanish came and did all their conquistadoring, Pulque was a VIP drink reserved for cool priestly dudes– oh, and sacrificial victims, but let’s keep this PG-13.

The drink was so sacred, its makers abstained from boinking during the fermentation as they feared sex would sour the thing.

After the Spaniards came, everyone was allowed to drink it and they sure as hell did: people were so drunk on Pulque, the Spanish had to start their own Prohibition!

Then, in the 19th century, when Mexico became independent, it was time to celebrate with rivers of Pulque, and those who produced it became instant millionaires.

But the fun didn’t last long, because beer came around and since it was cheaper and easier to produce, Pulque was almost forgotten.

By the way, making Pulque ain’t a joke: the plant has to grow for 12 years before you can milk it, and when it’s ready, it can produce up to 160 gallons of Pulque in 6 months. The complex process and its tendency to go sour quickly were probably the reasons it was so sacred and surrounded in ritual.

There you have it, the heavenly booze! Put on a cool Aztec helmet and celebrate the ancient goddesses. Word of advice, though: tell your kids it ain’t milk, and please, do not sacrifice anyone. Ixpantzinco!

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