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Pursuits | By Bill Knott


What do Mexicans drink? Tequila and mezcal, of course. And occasionally pulque, a gloopy, milky, slightly sour drink fermented from agave, to which I became rather partial some years ago when I fell in with a few renegades in a Puebla pulquería.  It was housed in a gloriously shabby farmyard shed: by way of sustenance, corn tortillas, pulled pork and a bowl of smoky red salsa sat on a wobbly table, around which hens were clucking, an old gramophone played scratchy hillbilly music, and I was taught to say quite a few utterly filthy things in Nahuatl, much to the locals’ amusement. Sadly, beer has steadily supplanted pulque as Mexico’s favourite tipple over the past century, much of it undistinguished and best employed in a michelada, beer pepped up with lime juice and various spices, served in a chilly salt-rimmed glass. What I had paid little thought to, was...

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