Pulque, or octli, is a milk-colored, somewhat viscous alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant, and is a traditional native beverage of central Mexico. The drink’s history extends far back into the Mesoamerican period, when it was considered sacred, and its use was limited to certain classes of people. After the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, the drink became secular and its consumption rose. The consumption of pulque reached its peak in the late 19th century. In the 20th century, the drink fell into decline, mostly because of competition from beer, which became more prevalent with the arrival of European immigrants. There are some efforts to revive the drink’s popularity through tourism.
Ai tempi degli Atzechi era usato principalmente dai sacerdoti per fini rituali ed era considerato bevanda sacra. Si chiamava ixtac octli (“il liquore bianco”). Il nome attuale sembra essere un’alterazione spagnola di octli poliuhqui, termine náhuatl per un pulque troppo fermentato.