Pulque: the rise and fall of an ancestral beverage

Legend has it that, in ancient times, there was an Aztec princess named Xochitl who liked to frolic through the countryside and make friends with the animals. One day, on one of her walks, she saw a group of tlacuaches (opossum) merrily coming and going from the maguey fields. When she went to investigate, she discovered that they had made holes in the agaves from which a whitish liquid was flowing that they drank with joyful abandon. Xochitl immediately went to fetch a pot to catch some and taste it. Days later, she realized that the agave juice had changed, it was thicker and more viscous, yet the flavor had become even more exquisite. 

Pulque elaboración
Photo: Revista Mira

While there are many stories surrounding the origin of pulque, the alcoholic beverage resulting from the fermented sap of the agave plant, in its dawn this beverage was consecrated by the gods and their representatives – the priests, kings, and warriors. Later, during the Porfiriato period (1876-1911), it saw its greatest boom mainly in the central highlands and in the states of Hidalgo, Puebla and Tlaxcala. So popular it was that it became a drink representing national identity.

pulque sabores
Photo: La Ruta de la Garnacha

In recent years, the consumption of pulque has declined, as some consider it unhygienic and there is a stigmatization around its consumers. For example, Mexico City once had more than 3,000 thriving pulquerias in the time of Porfirio Diaz, while now there are just over 20 left.

In order to keep this ancestral tradition alive, we give you five pulquerias that you should visit to pay homage to our Mexican roots and avoid losing a drink that, in both its components and its production, tells a grand story of Mexico.

La Paloma Azul

Av. Popocatépetl 154d, Portales Norte, Benito Juárez, CDMX
FB. @palomaazuloficial

pulquería la paloma azul benito juárez CDMX
Photo: La Paloma Azul

Los Hombres sin Miedo

Eje 2 Oriente, Calz. de la Viga 765, San Francisco Xicaltongo, Iztacalco, CDMX
IG. @loshombressinmiedo

pulquería los hombres sin miedo iztacalco CDMX
Photo: Javier Caballero

La Bella Carolina Pulquería

Nicolás Bravo 29, Magdalena Mixihuca, Venustiano Carranza, CDMX
FB. @pulquerialabellacarolina

pulquería la bella carolina venustiano carranza CDMX
Photo: La Bella Carolina

Pulquería “La Pirata”

13 de Septiembre & 12 de Diciembre, Escandón II Secc., Miguel Hidalgo, CDMX
IG. @pulquerialapirata

pulquería la pirata miguel hidalgo CDMX
Photo: Sergio Bautista

Pulquería “Las Duelistas”

Aranda 28, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc, CDMX
FB. @pulquerialasduelistas

pulquería las duelistas centro histórico CDMX
Photo: Lana

El Templo de Diana

Av. 5 de Mayo 17, Santa Crucita, Xochimilco, CDMX
FB. @eltemplodediana1

pulquería el templo de diana xochimilco CDMX
Photo: cebeck

Pulquería Los Paseos de Santa Anita

Centenario 128, Del Carmen, Coyoacán, CDMX

pulquería coyoacán los paseos de santa anita CDMX
Photo: Paola Rubio

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