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.
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.
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
Los Hombres sin Miedo
Eje 2 Oriente, Calz. de la Viga 765, San Francisco Xicaltongo, Iztacalco, CDMX
La Bella Carolina Pulquería
Nicolás Bravo 29, Magdalena Mixihuca, Venustiano Carranza, CDMX
Pulquería “La Pirata”
13 de Septiembre & 12 de Diciembre, Escandón II Secc., Miguel Hidalgo, CDMX
Pulquería “Las Duelistas”
Aranda 28, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc, CDMX
Av. 5 de Mayo 17, Santa Crucita, Xochimilco, CDMX
Pulquería Los Paseos de Santa Anita
Centenario 128, Del Carmen, Coyoacán, CDMX