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Agave and Tequila – An Aztec Legend

Tequila is a spirit with a long history dating back to the Aztecs. The agave plant, from which tequila is manufactured, is said to be a gift from the gods. According to one legend, it was the offspring of an ill-fated love between Quetzalcoatl and Mayahuel, also known as the goddess of agave.

A representative of the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), which is in charge of regulating and marketing Mexico’s most well-known whiskey, provides the narrative in this story. In fact, as is common with legends, there are several versions of the story; this is only one of them.

The Aztecs believed that when the earth first formed, a goddess appeared in the sky. Tzintzimitl was her name, but she was a malevolent goddess who consumed light. She had the land in complete darkness and forced the locals to perform human sacrifices in order to provide them with some light.

Quetzalcoatl, the “Feathered Serpent,” became tired of this abuse and was determined to take action.

Because Quetzalcoatl valued dignity, he ascended to the heavens to battle the evil goddess Tzintzimitl. She was not what he found during his search; rather, it was her granddaughter Mayahuel, one of the fertility deities, who the evil goddess had taken. She enchanted Quetzalcoatl. Instead of murdering the evil goddess, he invited Mayahuel to live with him on Earth.

When Tzintzimitl discovered this, she became enraged and began searching for them. To avoid her, the pair was compelled to flee from one location to another. They chose to become trees one day since they had nowhere else to hide. The two trees were planted so that their leaves would caress each other whenever the wind blew.

The evil goddess persisted in her quest and dispatched her light-devouring stars, who eventually discovered them. Tzintzimitl appeared, and there was a large battle in which Mayahuel was killed. Quetzalcoatl was both angry and heartbroken when he found out. He buried his lover’s corpse before flying into the skies and killing the evil goddess.

As a result, the light returned to the earth, but Quetzalcoatl had lost a loved one. He would go to her grave every night and cry.

When the other gods noticed this, they decided to help him. At the burial location, a plant began to grow. The gods bestowed modest psychedelic powers on this plant in order to comfort Quetzalcoatl’s spirit. He might now find consolation by drinking the elixir derived from that plant.

That is how the Aztecs thought the agave plant came to be and was given the attributes present in tequila today: to heal the souls of individuals who had lost someone important to them.

Mayahuel and Pulque

Mayhuel is a well-known Aztec mythological figure. She is also known as the goddess of maguey, sometimes known as the agave plant, and the goddess of pulque. She is sometimes represented alongside Centzon Totochtin, “the 400 bunnies,” who are her children, each of whom represents the different faces and personalities that humans might display when intoxicated.

Pulque is considered to be the drink that Mayhuel discovered and shared with the people. It is the forefather of other agave-based liquors, such as mezcal and tequila. The main distinction between the three spirits is the type of maguey plant used. Furthermore, pulque is not distilled. Instead, the aquamiel (meaning “honey water,” or plant sap) is allowed to ferment naturally, much like wine.

Pulque is still tied to spiritual and occasionally medical rituals. For example, some people think that if a guy harvests six plants and drinks the pulque elixir made from them, his next child will be a male. Aphrodisiac pulque elixir is also consumed by women to help with menstruation and lactation.

Pulque is not as commonly available as mezcal and tequila nowadays and can only be found in select locations in Mexico. It has an intriguing texture that is distinct from that of distilled spirits. Pure pulque is uncured, but pulque curado is cured pulque that is frequently blended with fruits to make it more appetizing.

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