Sacred Aztec drink losing out to beer in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Nov 25, 2007 (AFP) – It was a sacred liquid to the Aztecs and consumed for centuries in Mexico, but the traditional pulque drink seems to be fading in popularity despite its historic roots. “At first, I didn’t like the texture,” said 21-year-old Saria Fuentes, “then I got used to the taste and now, I love it. And it doesn’t give you a hangover. What more can you ask for.”

Produced from the sap of the maguey plant, pulque advocates say the drink has medicinal qualities but worry that beer and other standard beverages are pushing it aside.

Beer drinkers can find pulque’s taste off-putting and no advertising campaign has been undertaken to promote the drink, said Epifanio Leyva, who runs La Botija, a pulque bar or pulqueria in the Mexican capital.

“For 15 years the consumption of pulque has fallen, due to a lack of advertising by the big bars,” Leyva said.

“At this rate, it’s likely that the next generation won’t be acquainted with it,” said Leyva.

Once, 20 trucks would arrive to deliver pulque in the popular Xochimilco quarter every three days, he said. “Today, sad to say, no more than two trucks come,” Leyva said.

Five pulque bars operate in the district, where