|Pouring the pulque.|
MEXICO CITY -- The ancient booze of the Aztecs has been losing its buzz over the past century, the victim of changing tastes, slander — and beer.
But salvation may yet come for the slightly viscous, naturally fizzy fermented juice of the maguey cactus, still peddled over the counter from big glass jars in the mega-metropolis of Mexico City, where on a warm Saturday afternoon, hazy old-timers can be found slurping down plastic buckets of the brew in a place where you urinate down a hole in the corner.
Yes, what might still save pulque (pronounced pull-kay) from the cultural rubbish heap are not its traditional consumers — the poor, the old, the rural — but young urban hipsters who have taken to the antique drink as a kind of retro, subversive return to their pre-Colombian roots.
At the Pulqueria Las Duelistas in the shadow of the San Juan food market here -- where butchers skin pigs and where sweet baby goats lay on the tile in their pre-taco state -- a young crowd was packed inside, getting its Azteca on.
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