Top 10 wine gods and goddesses11th January, 2013 by Rupert Millar
An unpronounceable name and therefore unmistakeably Aztec. Tezcatzontecatl was the god of pulque, the fermented sap of the maguey plant – from the Agave americana family.
The drink, the colour of milk, somewhat viscous and with a sour, yeasty taste apparently, was considered a sacred drink by the Mesoamericans.
The coming of the Spanish and Christianity led to the drink becoming more popular although it has been in decline thanks to competition from beer since the turn of the 20th century.
The drink was traditionally consumed at the festivals of Mayahuel (the goddess of the maguey plant) and Mixcoatl (a god of the hunt).
The pulque would be drunk by the high priest to aid his connection with the divinities and, more often than not, by his unfortunate human sacrifices to ease their passing as their still-beating heart was ripped from their chests!
As with the Swiss-Alpine grape Humagne, pulque was also given to pregnant women to give them strength.
Tezcatzontecatl meanwhile was also the god of drunkenness and fertility (an odd but as you may have noticed somewhat common combination) and was one of the 400 children of Mayahuel and the discoverer of fermentation, the god Patecatl.
These 400 siblings were known as the Centzon Totochtin (or 400 rabbits) and were renowned for their drunken parties. His brothers included Texcatzonatl, Colhuatzincatl, Macuiltochtli and Ometotchtli.
Try saying those after a few pints.