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Revival for ancient Aztecan brew

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 - 02:00

Sept. 6 - A new drinking fad hits Mexico City; a potent ancient Aztec drink over 1,000 years old. Tara Cleary reports.

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Mexico's maguey cactus plant yields its abundant fluid. Pulque producers are reviving the alcoholic drink first brewed more than a thousand years ago. And now there is even a museum exhibition in Mexico City about the drink once enjoyed by Aztec nobility. Museum Director, Salvador Zarco explains. SOUNDBITE: Museum Director, Salvador Zarco, saying (Spanish): "Among the Aztecs the drink was reserved for the nobles and priests for ceremonial use and for pregnant women. The Aztecs had a high regard for this sticky beverage." In more recent times, pulque has been the cocktail of choice for Mexico's traditional working class. And as the face of the country changed with mass European migration, so did attitudes towards the traditional drink. But the brew is enjoying a revival among young people, with 50 pulquerias or bars in Mexico City. Pulqueria owner, Arturo Garrido, says pulque wasn't as popular a decade ago. SOUNDBITE: "Pulqueria" bar owner, Arturo Garrido saying (Spanish): "It was during this time that pulque consumption was drying up and there were these terrible campaigns against pulque and this almost finished pulque production in Mexico. But, we are seeing a resurgence." And hip young patrons are lapping it up. SOUNDBITE: Pulque drinker, Carlos Ricano, saying (Spanish): "My parents don't like pulque as there were restrictions in Mexico City so they hardly drink it but my grandparents are big fans of pulque so there is a generation that likes it, one that doesn't and another that has returned to it, which is really cool." Cool factor aside, at just about $2 U.S. dollars a litre, move over tequila, pulque could be the new high. Tara Cleary, Reuters.

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Revival for ancient Aztecan brew

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 - 02:00