Aztec brew takes Mexico’s hipsters by storm

on 04/02/14 at 11:00 am

Booze News
An elderly Aztec woman drinking pulque - Codex Mendoza - mid 16th century

An elderly Aztec woman drinking pulque – Codex Mendoza – mid 16th century

It’s an hour before sunset on a Friday and the pulqueria is already pulsing.

Rock, cumbia and musica romantica beats from a jukebox along the back wall. Chattering drinkers pack tightly from the saloon-style swinging doors to the tile bar.

Heavily inked and pierced waiters wiggle through the throng, juggling sloshing pitchers and pints of what fans insist is the sap of Mexico’s ancient soul.

This is Las Duelistas, one of a surviving handful of down-market Mexico City dives serving “pulque” — say “pool-kay” — the mildly sour, slightly slimy and gently fermented nectar of agave.

Long the province of peasants and poor townfolk, pulque has been reborn this century as a buzz of choice among young, forward-leaning and better-heeled urbanites.

For those able to relish its taste and texture — admittedly still a select few — pulque provides a sip of the past, quaffed in the shadow of the modern.

It’s also just about $1.65 a pint, and a nearly hangover-proof means of getting hammered.

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