Pulque is an alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of the agave plant. It’s been enjoyed for at least 1,000 years. It was enjoyed by Aztec priests and sacrificial victims. In modern times, it has lost popularity to beer, but pulque is currently enjoying a revival.
Plain pulque (pulque blanco) is white, slightly viscous and effervescent. It has a pleasant sour taste. If you like beer, you’ll likely enjoy pulque. Many bars also offered pulque sweetened with fruit purées if that’s more up your alley.
Pulque is generally consumed at pulquerías, but some bars also offer it.
While in Mexico City, we discovered a small bar called El Mexicano, located at Regina 29A (metro Isabel la Católica; closed Mondays). They serve pulque blanco, several flavoured pulques, as well as cocktails made using pulque. Their cocktail, tlachiquero, is a deliciously dangerous mix of orange juice, pulque and mezcal. (They also have an extensive list of artisanal beers and mezcals.)
Food at El Mexicano is also delicious. On the safer side, try the goat cheese quesadillas (quesadillas de queso de cabra) and the fig tapas (tapas de jamón Serrano, higo y queso de cabra). For the more adventurous, try the guacamole with chapulines (guacamole con chapulines y totopos). Chapulines are delicious roasted grasshoppers flavoured with lime juice… a popular snack in Oaxaca and areas around Mexico City.
Pulque and chapulines… a memory you’ll never forget.