Easy Fermented Drinks – Pulque

Pulque is made from fermented agave sap. This drink, lost in time is easy to make and relatively inexpensive. And it’s a fermented beverage so unique it’s not available in most stores.

The agave plant is a source of many popular alcoholic beverages from tequila to mezcal. Pulque is made from fermented agave sap or honey water. It’s spontaneously fermented creating a milky probiotic-rich alcoholic beverage often referred to as the drink of the gods.

In case you’re looking for more unique brewing recipes check our Pumpkin Spice Latte Stout Fall Recipe

A beverage with a rich history

A glass of Pulque in front of a agave plant.
Credit: https://en.sierralagoresort.com/blog/dining/pulque-a-mexican-intriguing-ancient-beverage

The history of Pulque dates back nearly 2000 years. Originating from Central Mexico Pulque was often drank in rituals and religious gatherings. Over the years it grew in popularity. After several smear campaigns from the beer industry Pulques sales greatly declined as it became synonymous with the lower class.

Now Pulques is near forgotten. It’s rare to find it outside of Mexico for a couple of reasons. The main one is because of its source. The mega or century agave plant. These agaves can take up to 14 years to reach their peak before harvest. During harvest, the flower stalk is cut off and the sap is collected from the center of the plant. This sap then naturally ferments. It is anywhere from 2 to 8% ABV. This collection and fermentation process makes the Pulque have a short shelf life.

The mega or century agave plant.
Credit: https://gardenandme.com/century-plant-agave-how-to-grow-and-care/

The recipe

For our recipe, we will be using store-bought 100% agave nectar. Our Pulque will be more clear and a bit sweeter than traditional. Were going to make a 2-gallon batch. Feel free to scale this up or down depending on how much you want to make.

We start with 1.75 gallons of distilled water for a clean base. We add 44 oz of organic Raw Blue Agave Nectar. Agave nectar is the closest thing we can get to agave sap. Agave syrup is fine to use as well but it’s more processed than the nectar.

Next, we will add some nutrients to support healthy yeast growth. Were using Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne yeast. This yeast ferments out very dry and tends to have some fruity esters that will complement the agave nicely.

Give it a good shake to incorporate oxygen, pop on an airlock, and set it in a cool dark place at 69 F for 10 days.

Traditionally Pulque is not heavily carbonated. Once the bottling is done we let them sit for another 2 weeks. The Pulque is cleared up quite well. It is almost clear with a slight straw-like color. the flavor is slightly sweet and fruity with notes of honey, peach, and apricot.

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