The Secret Formula
1000 B.C. to 200 A.D.: The Aztecs Ferment Agave
While it’s possible—probable, even—that the Aztecs knew how to throw a real rager, tequila didn’t start out as the partier’s shot of choice. It didn’t even start out as the tequila we know today. The Aztecs prized a fermented drink known as pulque, which used the sap of the agave plant (this technique was also likely used by the Olmecs, an even older civilization dating back to 1000 B.C. that was based in the lowlands of Mexico). The milky liquid was so important to Aztec culture that they worshipped two gods known for their relationship to booze. The first was Mayahuel, the goddess of the maguey, and the second was her husband Patecatl, the god of pulque. Though the first documentation of pulque—on stone walls, of course—appeared around 200 A.D., the drink really caught on centuries later when the Aztecs received a surprise visit from the Spanish. Read more.....