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date: 24 April 2017

Alcohol in the Atlantic

Summary and Keywords

Dating from the earliest times in Latin America, alcohol has played a crucial social, economic, political, and cultural role. Often reserved for politico-religious leaders, alcohol was a conduit through which power flowed in many pre-contact indigenous societies; indigenous drinkways (production, commerce, and consumption habits) were associated with communal ritual events and social prestige. Introduced to the Americas by Europeans, distillation profoundly altered the potency of alcoholic drinks for people who were accustomed to fermentation. Even as the social and cultural practices of alcohol consumption changed over time, alcohol continued to have political and economic implications in the colonial and national periods in Latin America. Fearing that inebriation bred disorder and recognizing that moonshining undercut their own revenues, colonial and national governments alike sought to regulate, if not control, the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol. In nations as diverse as Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, and Guatemala, indigenous women came to play integral roles in the (oftentimes illicit) sale and production of alcohol. A cash nexus for moving labor and land and a crucial component of the economic system by which (often unscrupulous) labor brokers recruited workers, alcohol was a currency of local economies. As a commodity of local, national, and international significance, alcohol shaped the fate of nation-states.

People’s class, ethnic, race, and gender identities all played into their access to alcohol. Although a person’s choice of libation could define their position, some of the more fascinating histories of alcohol are punctuated with women and men who used alcohol to disrupt social conventions. Through the consumption of alcohol, rituals and ceremonies created and reconstituted community both within and across ethnic groups. Imbibing could also divide people. Even while they sipped their cognacs and brandies, elites portrayed indigenous people, the poor, and other marginalized people getting drunk on moonshine to discount and denigrate them. Often associated with (particularly violent) crime, alcohol was seen as a vice by many and excoriated during temperance movements. Yet defendants across Latin America took advantage of judicial systems that considered alcohol a mitigating circumstance in many crimes. As 20th-century evangelical sects that preached abstinence as the route to wealth and marital bliss grew to unprecedented numbers, traditional healers and biomedical practitioners continued to tout alcohol’s medicinal value. In short, alcohol was a marker of social position and cultural identity, a crucial component in community and state building, and a commodity around which different cultural traditions, healing practices, and policing policies developed and evolved.

Keywords: alcohol, gender, moonshine, nation-building, colonialism, race and ethnicity, class, health care, labor, policing practices, religion, ritual

Alcohol has left an indelible mark on Latin America. Examining alcohol drinkways (production, commerce, and consumption habits) sheds light on Latin America’s social, economic, and political worlds.1 As much as any other commodity, alcohol shaped the course of Latin American history. From the women who produced chicha (fermented beverage generally made from fruits or vegetables) and beer in ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes to the multinational companies that branded such products as tequila and rum as national drinks with international appeal, alcohol helped to define people and nations.

Although its role and significance varied depending on historical contexts, alcohol’s influence reverberated across the indigenous, colonial, and national periods in Latin America. Roughly adhering to chronology, this interpretive article explores a few analytic categories across time: access to alcohol (status, production, regulation, and consumption), alcohol and power relations, drinking and social structure, and alcohol and commerce. In contexts that ranged from religious rituals to reciprocal relations, alcohol was a conduit through which power flowed in many pre-contact indigenous societies. With the introduction of European technology and resources, the variety and potency of alcohol expanded. Even as the social and cultural practices of alcohol consumption changed over time, alcohol continued to have profound economic, social, and political implications in the colonial and national periods in Latin America. Colonial administrations and national governments sought to capitalize on the alcohol economy by regulating and taxing it. Though difficult if not impossible to quantify, clandestine alcohol production and sales emerged in response to official oversight. The vast resources and varied personnel dedicated to stamping out that trade speak to its significance. Concerns about the detrimental effects alcohol consumption had on social order and public health buttressed authorities’ battles against moonshiners and bootleggers. In an indication of how integral a part of the economy alcohol had become, it was both a commodity and a currency. From midwives to magistrates, compensation regularly included liquor. So integral had alcohol become to labor brokers’ strategies for entrapping workers on rural estates that according to contemporary observers, plantations would have failed without alcohol.

As it flowed through local, national, and international economies, alcohol shaped social relations. In many pre-Columbian societies, inebriation was a privilege reserved for political and religious leaders. Suggestive archaeological evidence that quotidian drinking was more prevalent in peripheral communities than those situated close to capitals demonstrates the attenuation of power in indigenous empires. Access to alcohol was also an indicator of an individual’s class, ethnic, and gender identities. Depending on the context, alcohol consumption could reinforce or upset social conventions. As often as it facilitated community cohesion via rituals, customs, and celebrations, imbibing could separate people (such as elites who were convinced their consumption of foreign liquors in upscale saloons was far more civilized than the working-class and poor masses who drank moonshine or frequented pulquerías) and catalyze conflict.

In response to political and intellectual elites’ concerns about public inebriation, authorities arrested (mostly lower class) drunks for unruly behavior. Just as frequently, intoxication enters the public record when defendants deployed it as an extenuating circumstance. Although such strategies make delineating the connection between alcohol and crime difficult, most scholars agree a causal relationship seldom emerges in the empirical data. Assessing alcohol’s effects on health is also challenging. Whereas authorities and medical professionals vilified alcohol for causing certain diseases, making people susceptible to others, and spurring violence, traditional healers and even some doctors prescribed it. In short, alcohol was a marker of social position and cultural identity, a crucial component in community and state building, and a commodity around which different cultural traditions, healing practices, and policing policies developed and evolved.

Pre-European Alcohol Drinkways and Practices

On the eve of the Spanish and Portuguese invasions, indigenous rulers deployed alcohol as a governing tool. Some groups used celebratory performances and formalized feasting and drinking to augment their power. Indigenous alcohol’s psychoactive (and at times hallucinatory) properties made it a crucial component for contact with gods in religious rituals. Using alcohol as a form of taxation, both the Aztecs and Incas sought to regulate its production, sale, and consumption. In the Andes where maize chicha was a customary drink, women in the Inca cult of the sun produced it for ceremonies and for profit. The Inca state also distributed and served alcohol to workers as part its reciprocal relations with its charges. Within the Aztec and Inca empires, similar varieties of alcoholic beverages predominated. Outside their hegemonic reach, local populations produced a diverse array of alcoholic drinks.

Fermented drinks were derived from available resources. Even into the 20th century, regional variation abounded with little overlap. So distinct were different communities’ concoctions that Henry Bruman could divide ancient Mesoamérica up according to local preferences for fermented alcohol.2 In central Mexico, maguey (an agave plant) was the base for pulque (fermented agave juice), the potency of which was enhanced by adding cuapatle (bark of Acacia angustissima, a digitoxin). Further south Mayas and other groups used maize, honey, pineapple, peanuts, jocote, coyol palm, molle (a fruit native to the Andes), and bark from the balché tree to produce chicha, beer, and other libations. Along the Brazilian coastline, Tupinambá peoples fermented manioc, corn, fruits, and vegetable saps in a drink called cauim that they consumed during their ritual ceremonies. Across the Andes in southern Chile, indigenous peoples fermented Calafate berries from Molle trees and murtilla shrubs with pine nuts from Aruacaria trees.3

Indigenous Consumption Patterns

Like libations, patterns of consumption varied by region. Excepting military men, the elderly, pregnant women, and the infirm, Aztec commoners were not allowed to drink regularly. Because Aztec leaders considered pulque or octli the “cause of all discord and dissention,” laws prohibiting illegal drinking were strict and punishment was severe, as Prince Cahualtzin learned when he was executed for chronic drunkenness. Within ritual contexts, however, extreme intoxication among men was permissible.4 Some ritual binge drinking led to erotic dancing and adultery.

As much as leaders may have wanted to reserve intoxication for themselves, the archaeological record suggests the practice was widespread. Basing her study on Spanish chronicles, historian Sonia Corcuera de Mancera insists, “The problem of inebriation was chronic and serious” among Aztecs.5 Extensive maguey fields suggest a vibrant pulque trade; the taxation related to it speaks to mass consumption. In an indication of the limits of their hegemony, Aztec leaders could do little to curtail the mass community drinking that predated their rule. Identifying two broad patterns of consumption in pre-Hispanic Mexico—drinking restricted to nobility in communities controlled by military rulers and ritual drinking among commoners in communities that enjoyed some autonomy—historian William Taylor argues, “Few if any totally abstinent communities [existed] in central Mexico or Oaxaca before the conquest.”6 Archaeological evidence from Mesoamerica (such as the Toltec pulque cups and jugs for transporting liquids in central Mexico) and the Andes (where the majority of household pots were dedicated to alcohol) also point to common consumption.

The many uses to which people put alcohol shed light on why its consumption was common. Inebriation played a role in the cosmology of many indigenous groups. For Mesoamerican religious and political leaders, pulque was a ritual drink. In addition to helping people honor or connect with the gods, alcohol was also a source of nutrition.7 While some people depended on it as a substitute for water, many indigenous healers praised alcohol’s curative powers. Aztecs deployed pulque for stomach problems, constipation, diarrhea, and menstrual cramps.8

A symbolic and material manifestation of generosity and reciprocity, beer was the most important intoxicant in much of the Andes. In one of the earliest records of the craft beer industry, 13th-century, Xauxa elites brewed beer in their homes to enrich themselves and attract others to their community. In other parts of the pre-Inca Andes, breweries produced beer for large groups. At times tastes more than convenience shaped local production; despite living at an altitude where maize agriculture was difficult, Tiwanaku (300–1000 ce) leaders imported corn from the valleys to produce their beer of choice. Cadavers buried with special drinking cups suggest how ubiquitous beer consumption was among the Tiwanaku. For the Wari (600–1000 ce), molle or pepper beer became an ethnic marker by which they could distinguish themselves from the peoples they occupied. After the Inca conquest, the beer economy diversified as households shifted from producing foodstuffs to producing alcohol.9

Widows and pregnant and nursing women notwithstanding, Andean and Mesoamerican women’s limited ability to consume alcohol stood in stark contrast to their central role in its production. Although the female brewers who spit in corn concoctions to speed fermentation dominated beer production, they reaped few of its benefits. As the Incas strengthened patriarchal rule, they reciprocated men’s public labor to the state with alcohol and excluded women from the ceremonies in which men consumed it.10 Credited with discovering how to extract sap from maguey, Mayahuel was a revered goddess.11 Her elevated position among the pantheon of Aztec deities speaks to women’s crucial contributions to alcohol drinkways. Because Aztec rulers wanted to regulate production and consumption, unlike their Andean counterparts, the women who produced pulque were not allowed to sell it.12 Given women’s varied and valuable roles in the Tenochitlán (today Mexico City) and other marketplaces, Aztec rulers may have excluded them from alcohol commerce to limit their economic power.

Colonial Consumption

Alcohol played a central role in the conquest and conversion of indigenous peoples. As evident in the Portuguese soldiers and authorities who used alcohol to establish peaceful exchanges with otherwise fierce indigenous groups in Brazil,13 the first Europeans to arrive quickly recognized the social influence of alcohol. Informed by the drinking traditions in Europe and the Americas, missionaries used alcohol to facilitate the conversion of natives. To ensure they had a ready supply and to profit from an expanding market, the Jesuits produced aguardiente, which (among other reasons) often put them at odds with colonists who too sought to access and control indigenous peoples with alcohol.14 In many ways, the central role of the Catholic Church in colonization paved the way for tolerance of alcohol consumption in Latin America.15

Whereas colonists and missionaries alike pushed their own libations, they were concerned about the influence of indigenous alcohol. With religion so closely tied to politics in the colonial period, the Crown and Catholic church had an interest in outlawing libations that strengthened local indigenous governance, community cohesion, and customs. Such was the case when the Jesuits first encountered Tupinambá peoples who inhabited much of coastal Brazil. When the missionaries realized that Tupinambá feasts marked by binge drinking reconstituted their culture and buttressed their autonomy, they sought to eradicate them. Unlike missionaries elsewhere that deployed alcohol as a tool of conversion, Brazilian Jesuits preached temperance and abstinence in an effort to convert Tupinambás and assimilate them into colonial society. The persistence of Tupinambá cauim feasts into the 21st century hints at those early Jesuits’ inefficacy.16 A similar standoff took place in Mexico where missionaries sought to eradicate indigenous people’s consumption of pulque precisely because of its status as a divine drink. Even as they preached sobriety as a Christian norm, Augustinian friars encouraged the consumption of wine.17

With their knowledge of distillation (the process of vaporizing then condensing fermented solutions to be collected as a purified liquid) and introduction of resources new to the Americas such as sugarcane and grapes, Europeans dramatically altered the influence of alcohol. As colonial officials used alcohol revenue to govern, alcohol took on political as well as economic significance. Without displacing fermented drinks, distilled liquor introduced new dynamics in the production and consumption of alcohol. Accustomed to the Mediterranean tradition of drinking wine with meals, European colonists set the stage for daily drinking. Common consumption spurred taverns and other drinking establishments, which facilitated socialization that frequently contravened social norms. Elite men conversed with the poor and working-class women who served them drinks and food; African and mulatto drinkers rubbed elbows with Spaniards in cantinas.18

Given that much alcohol was produced from sugarcane, the plantations of which depended largely on slave labor, alcohol permeated the Atlantic slave trade and the lives of Africans in Latin America. Brazilian cachaça (sugarcane brandy) played a central role in the trafficking of slaves from Africa.19 Another by-product of sugar, grappa (a fermented beverage) appealed to slaves, indigenous people, poor free people, and even West Indies Company soldiers because it was as intoxicating as (but less expensive than) wine. In a manifestation of how slaves made the best of their conditions, those who worked on sugar plantations traded grappa to slaves without access to sugar production who in turn traded it for foodstuffs. So integral to slave life and diet had aguardente (cane liquor or rum) become that some governors refused to place any restrictions on its commerce or consumption. On the other hand, African slaves’ penchant had for drinking grappa and cachaça concerned authorities and plantation owners who believed inebriation led to fights among slaves that frequently resulted in murder.20

For colonial regimes, alcohol was a doubled-edged sword. Governments came to depend on alcohol revenue to support public works and to maintain social order particularly during famine and other hardships. Yet as the alleged alcohol abuse among slaves suggests, alcohol could also disrupt social order and public health. Suffering through a drought that decimated maize harvests, Guadalajara (Mexico) residents benefited from their officials’ ability to draw upon alcohol revenue to purchase and redistribute corn in 1650. Such advantages failed to sway officials and other colonists who were convinced indigenous peoples were prone to alcohol abuse, which led to crime. The very commodity that fueled government revenues engendered social ills.

With the exception of some native concoctions’ hallucinatory effects, distilled alcohol radically altered the effects alcohol had on indigenous people. Historian David Christian notes: “Distilled drinks were to fermented drinks what guns were to bows and arrows: instruments of a potency unimaginable in most traditional societies.”21 For this and other reasons in 1757, the Portuguese Crown prohibited colonists from trading aguardente with indigenous villages.22 Because the beverage led to disorder, the Minas Gerais (Brazil) government only allowed licensed mills to produce cachaça throughout the 18th century. As the hundreds of mills in operation there attest, alcohol laws and practice seldom coincided.23 As one explanation for such regulations, historian Juan Pedro Viqueira Alban argues that Enlightenment ideas held by colonial elites in New Spain prompted them to perceive a decline in morality and react to it with new laws aimed at controlling drinking culture (and public behavior more broadly).24 Informed by a broader discourse that blamed many social problems on alcohol, European chroniclers’ and Catholic priests’ tendency to exaggerate the damage caused by alcohol calls into question their descriptions of indigenous drinking patterns.

Among Europeans and colonists, the association of indigenous people with alcohol abuse fit into larger colonial narratives that depicted natives as savages who needed to be civilized through conversion, miscegenation, or acculturation. Some colonial officials deployed stereotypes about indigeneity, inebriation, and crime to obscure their own shortcomings. Such was the case in 1692 when instead of admitting that egregious government policies catalyzed an uprising that resulted in the conflagration of much of Mexico City, officials blamed the destruction on drunk Indians.25 The ruse’s success reveals the extent to which colonists feared that indigenous and African inebriation could spur rebellion.26 Some research suggests alcohol consumption may have loosened individuals’ inhibitions. In his analysis of a pattern of indigenous and mestizo assaults on Spaniards, Aaron Althouse posits that inebriation emboldened subordinates to act out their frustration with colonial oppression, exploitation, and disrespect.27 Suggesting a similar effect in regards to gender hierarchies, most of the women accused of murder in New Granada were allegedly drunk during the killing.28 As the Spaniards, mestizos, mulattos, indigenous people, and Africans who shared the notion that inebriation mitigated responsibility for their transgressions demonstrate, alcohol could liberate people from social norms and soften punishment.29

Flying in the face of the Spanish Crown’s efforts to maintain the separation of races, Europeans, natives, and Africans shared recipes and drinks. At times, European introductions replaced local concoctions.30 European reactions to Latin American beverages ranged from addiction to abhorrence. Firmly rooted in the latter camp, in 1552, Francisco López de Gómara claimed: “There are no dead dogs, not a bomb, tha[t] can clear a path as well as the smell of” pulque.31 Withholding his judgment in the 1630s, the English chronicler Thomas Gage described the Poqomam-Maya recipe for chicha that included tobacco leaves, roots, and a live toad!32 Many colonial elites considered indigenous drinks dangerous.33 As the Portuguese merchants who struggled to sell French wine and brandy in Rio de Janiero learned, Latin Americans did not necessarily embrace European stock either; for Brazilians, product quality drove demand.34 In turn, Brazilian wine enjoyed enough popularity in Africa that it spawned a vibrant trade based out of Luanda.35 Similarly, some Europeans embraced indigenous drinks and shared taverns with their ethnic and class inferiors. Such was the case in southern Chile where Spaniards praised indigenous chicha as “better than wine.”36 Examining the past through the lens of alcohol demonstrates that Latin Americans frequently associated with each other in ways that contravened social conventions.

Economics of Colonial Alcohol

From the beginning, the Spanish and Portuguese Crowns’ goals were to profit from and regulate the alcohol economy. To that end, they established alcohol monopolies and taxes. Such measures almost invariably led to conflict among merchants and entrepreneurs who were left out of the spoils. Insisting monopolies safeguarded public health by assuring hygienic production, colonial officials sought to soften images of government greed.

Royal authorities did not always control monopolies, however. In a move that afforded governors and municipal officials greater control and Central American merchants increased profits, in the 1750s, the Santiago de Guatemala Town Council assumed the Alcohol Monopoly for Central America. By increasing access to the sale and consumption of alcohol, the Town Council sought to portray itself as representative of broader socioeconomic groups rather than merely elites. Once granted, however, local autonomy was hard to uproot. When Spain returned the Alcohol Monopoly to royal agents in 1766, locals ran the Crown’s representative out of town.37

Although royal merchants privileged Spanish and Portuguese wines and liquor in the Atlantic trade, at times, American libations bested European stock in ways that altered the course of history. West Africans’ taste for cachaça dislodged Portuguese wine and liquor and facilitated Brazilian merchants’ dominance in Western Africa. Portuguese efforts to regain their privileged trading position by outlawing the sale of cachaça in Africa failed. Because interior markets in Africa preferred cachaça, the Portuguese Crown’s attempt to promote European wine by prohibiting the sale of cachaça in Africa was a lost cause by 1695. Ironically, missionaries aided that preference by deploying cachaça as a tool to convert Africans.38 Notwithstanding the importance of textiles and iron in the transatlantic slave trade, the direct trade between Africa and Brazil that alcohol (and tobacco) facilitated challenges traditional descriptions of a transatlantic triangle trade. Within the Americas, free trade often depended as much on local politics as demand. Some governments restricted trade from other colonies, as was the case in the 17th and 18th centuries when Guatemalan authorities periodically prohibited the trade of Peruvian alcohol.39

Throughout Latin America, contraband trade may have rivaled and even surpassed legitimate trade.40 With Maya nobility deploying their knowledge, power, and resources, a vibrant illicit trade in balché bark used to make the drink by the same name emerged in the Yucatán during the colonial period. Colombian caciques similarly facilitated the trade and consumption of ritual alcohol to reinforce their prestige and power.41 Faced with an informal economy that undercut their income, colonial officials dedicated significant resources to repressing bootlegging and moonshining. Just possessing the ingredients to make home brews could land one in jail; accusations thereof could destroy political careers.42 Generally government enforcement enjoyed limited success.43 Taylor suggests that about 250 pulquerías operated without a license in Mexico City in 1639.44 Nearly one hundred years later (1713) at a time when Mexico City only sanctioned thirty-six pulquerías, the Augustinian friar Manuel Pérez observed that “each block has a pulquería.”45 Given that moonshiners’ success depended on invisibility, accurate statistics are elusive. Vexed by the very phenomenon they study, scholars have attempted to portray the significance of bootlegging in the absence of clear quantitative data.

Seeping its way into most aspects of the colonial economy, alcohol and the tremendous wealth it produced contributed to what Eduardo Menéndez calls “alcoholization” whereby powerful individuals, groups, and entities created and maintained a historical structure that contributed to alcohol’s mass consumption.46 Even as they regulated the production and sale of aguardiente and chicha, colonial officials considered the consumption of such regional homebrewed liquors “useful and necessary for the health and life of the workers.”47 The alcohol economy frequently popped up around large economic enterprises such as landed estates and mining. In Northern Mexico and the Andes where the mining economy flourished, alcohol was a mainstay among the tertiary economies. At times the demand for alcohol fueled agriculture. Eager to enrich themselves, Spanish and Native families dedicated large landed estates and haciendas to the cultivation of maguey and the production of pulque and mezcal. In addition to replenishing municipal coffers, the pulque industry was the prime source of revenue for some of the wealthiest (and most politically powerful) families in Mexico City including the marchioness of Selva Nevada, Antonia Gómez de Bárcena, and María Micaela Romero de Terreros, the oldest daughter of the count of Regla.48 European-introduced agriculture too shaped alcohol production and consumption. By the mid-16th century, viticulture led to winemaking in Chile and Argentina.49 Similarly, as one of the cash crops that encouraged Spaniards to settle in lowland areas, sugarcane facilitated the production of aguardiente. At times, alcohol production and consumption ameliorated financial downturns. When Caribbean sugar production lowered the international price of the sweetener, Brazilian sugar mill owners produced aguardente.50 Historian Warren Dean estimates that there were hundreds if not thousands of small mills around sugar plantations that met the domestic demand for cachaça.51

Like government officials, property owners had to balance the pros and cons of alcohol production, sale, and consumption. Notwithstanding profits and alcohol’s tendency to pacify workers, some estate owners feared that intoxicants emboldened laborers and slaves to revolt, fight, and steal.

Social Relations

Positing that the type of liquor and the location of its production and consumption shaped people’s perceptions, Taylor encourages scholars to think about the social meanings of alcohol. Mesoamerican indigenous groups and Spanish colonists alike generally believed that alcohol could “maintain or alter social identities.”52 The beverages one drank helped to determine their identity.53 In Brazil where certain types of alcohol were associated with barbarism, the social and ethnic distinctions of alcohol are evident in popular poems (quadras) that reveal cachaça was shunned by educated whites but embraced by the poor, indigenous people, and African slaves.54 Despite elite assumptions concerning taste, cheap liquor fanciers also had standards. Consumers considered the cachaça distilled directly from cane juice better than that distilled from mill renderings.55 Colonial authorities sometimes used alcohol to reinforce or rearrange class and ethnic lines. In Guatemala, Spaniards, mestizos, mulattos, and Negroes, but not Indians, could consume Spanish and Peruvian alcohol.56 By enforcing the isolation of Indians and allowing the fraternization of Africans and those of African descent with Europeans, such regulations both encouraged and upset social hierarchies.

Diverse enough to serve as general stores and lodging houses, drinking establishments—taverns, cantinas, pulquerías, vinaterías (wine and liquor shops), and other (often illicit) establishments—provided venues for socializing, gossiping, and other forms of exchanging information; at times, business and labor arrangements took place in them. Taverns served important commercial functions. Entrepreneurial women sold food within them.57 Cash strapped customers could buy drink and food on credit.58 Others pawned goods for cash. In Chilean pulperías (store-taverns), merchants, muleteers, artisans, farmers, soldiers and other locals came together to celebrate and commiserate.59 Owned and operated by indigenous women, African slaves, mulattos, and even Spaniards, Bolivian chicherías (chicha taverns) were melting pots of sorts where indigenous, African, and Spanish men and women raised their glasses together.60 In addition to gambling, dancing, music, and carousing, romantic pursuits were also common.61 For 18th-century Mexico City, Michael Scardaville notes: “The drinking house functioned as a reassuring institution in a society subject to the anxieties of accelerating corn prices, periodic epidemics, and job insecurity.”62 As sites where one’s accountability, vulnerability, power, and identity, were contested, defended, and reconstituted, saloons had atmospheres that ranged from happy to hostile. At times drunken excess could turn merriment into violence, especially if one refused an invitation to drink. In colonial Mexico, such a rejection was a declaration of “superiority or hostility.”63

Even though colonial officials often attributed moral decline to drinking houses and the loose women and lusty men they attracted, the Crown was too dependent on their revenue to shut them down. It reluctance to do so can also be attributed to its sporadic presence in most of its urban let alone rural colonies. In addition to concerns about inebriation and cross gender socialization, governments feared watering holes were hotbeds of social unrest.64 Concerned about socializing among indigenous people, mulattos, and Africans, the Potosí (in modern-day Bolivia) town council sought to close chicharías.65 In the last half of the 18th century, Bourbon reformers in Mexico City similarly policed pulquerías to circumvent and ideally transform the lives of the poor who they considered dirty, criminal threats to public order and decency. To discourage congregation, reformers outlawed seats and benches in pulquerías. To discourage vice, they required lighting and mandated the removal of walls and thick curtains. That taverns, pulquerías, and other poor and working-class drinking spaces largely ignored such regulations and continued to thrive speaks not only to their popularity but also to popular resistance to Bourbon reforms. Despite the presence of armed guards around it, besotted individuals peed and defecated against the walls of the viceregal palace in Mexico City.66

Elite assumptions about poor people’s consumption habits dovetailed with the arguments of European intellectuals like Henry Fielding whose 1751 book An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase in Robbers attributed rising crime rates to alcohol abuse. Convinced alcohol “turned the hapless heads of the Indians, making them susceptible to the most serious crimes,” many colonial officials endorsed Fielding’s thesis.67 Since colonial law and courtrooms fueled perceptions of the relationship between alcohol and crime, determining the causal effect of alcohol and crime is difficult. When drunkenness became codified as an extenuating circumstance, defendants frequently deployed it to countervail their culpability and alleviate their sentences. By clouding the premeditation of a person’s transgressions, inebriation served defendants well. Even as Taylor and historian Victor Uribe-Uran noted a correlation between homicides and alcohol consumption, they concur that alcohol was not a causal factor in most serious crimes.68

Whereas colonial officials warned against alcohol’s detrimental effect on crime and public health, many Latin Americans extolled its curative powers. On many plantations, Brazilian planters were convinced regular consumption of cachaça kept slaves healthy and diligent. One Brazilian governor considered aguardente a “basic foodstuff” that helped slaves “bear with such a great labor, live healthier, and a longer time.”69 African and mulatto healers used alcohol in their curing practices. Like indigenous practitioners, they were convinced it could restore good health. It could also be used as a purgative.70 Even doctors from the Real Protomedicato de la Nueva España insisted that when used in moderation, alcohol could be healthy and medicinal.

As a social lubricant, alcohol helped rituals and celebrations to create community both within and across ethnic groups. In the Andes, alcohol imbued personal relations with notions of reciprocity, obligation, generosity, and trust.71 Long offered as a ceremonial gift, alcohol reinforced and reshaped local knowledge, culture, and tradition.72 Carefully choreographed and organized, many indigenous drinking rituals enhanced the social prestige and political power of the elites who hosted them;73 they also catalyzed communal drinking binges. Ritualized balché consumption helped Yucatec Mayas and Lacandons to maintain their social and religious autonomy, particularly because Spaniards (especially priests) considered the practice to be that of savages.74

As much as alcohol connected people, it could also divide them by catalyzing ethnic and class stratifications and poisoning social relations. Spaniards who refused to drink beer with Incas foreshadowed an ominous colonial enterprise and reflected European prejudices about indigenous consumption. Alcohol did not simply fall along a European/American divide, however. In colonial Mexico, indigenous residents of San Miguel denigrated hacienda workers there who drank regularly.75 Such observations hint at the rich potential for researchers interested in alcohol’s effect on social relations.

Gender and Women

The increasing role women played in the production and sale of alcohol was one manifestation of its intertwined social and economic contours. While a few communities prohibited women from the production process, in many societies, they were crucial to alcohol production before the European invasions. Thereafter women in the Andes, Brazil, and Mesoamerica parlayed skills gained as petty commodity producers, market vendors, and tributaries into profitable enterprises in the alcohol economy.76 Barred from selling pulque during Aztec rule, indigenous women began selling it in the new capital within a few years of the Spanish invasion. Because it offered an economic opportunity that complemented their domestic labor, women increasingly turned to alcohol production and sale to advance their interests.

Although few colonial officials publicly recognized women’s crucial role in the alcohol economy, some mandates such as the 1608 order by the Crown that “only one respectable old woman be licensed to sell pulque for every one hundred Indians,” betrayed it.77 Selling alcohol provided an avenue for female survival and sometimes success. Known as pulperías in Chile, taverns and general stores afforded some women (particularly widows) social mobility. Recognizing their struggle, at times colonial regimes allowed such women to operate taverns without paying taxes.78 Other women avoided taxes by opening pulperías illicitly in their homes. To the chagrin of licensed pulperas (female tavern owners) who complained that unregulated competition was unfair, Chilean colonial authorities responded to the growing informal alcohol economy by dramatically reducing taxes to encourage all alcohol entrepreneurs to attain official status. For women largely confined to the home and assumed by law to be incapable of making commercial decisions, the opportunity to own and run a pulpería allowed them to demonstrate their business acumen and advance their emancipation.79

Although women generally had greater freedom to drink after the Spanish invasions, restrictions on their consumption circumscribed their behavior. In colonial Mexico, for example, if a husband was drunk, his wife was expected to be sober. In turn, officials and husbands punished wives who drank without their husbands’ consent. Even absent free reign to drink, the expansion of public consumption as manifested in the florescence of taverns (the entrance to which often was separated by gender) gave women greater access to members of the community.80

Post-Independence Drinkways and National Libations

Alcohol played an integral role in forging newly independent nations.81 Many of the British, Scottish, and Irish soldiers who participated in the early 19th-century South American Independence battles were conscripted in an inebriated state. In contrast to his counterpart Simón Bolívar who only drank sparingly, the Argentine patriot who liberated Chile, José de San Martín, consumed enough brandy (and opium) to erode his mental faculties.82 Specific types of alcohol were often at the heart of national movements and identities. Like rum in Cuba, as part of elite notions about independence, cachaça became a symbol of national pride in Brazil. Formerly associated with lower class inebriation, elites, authorities, military officers and others agitating for independence in the early 19th century framed cachaça as a patriotic drink.83 In a similar trope aimed at domestic and international audiences, beginning in the 1850s, the Argentinean author and statesman Domingo Faustino Sarmiento sought to develop viticulture as an economic, political, and social symbol of the nation’s transition from colonialism to modernization. He believed vineyards run by white elite men could help shape a modern nation. By the late 1860s, Argentina was becoming internationally recognized for its wines.84 In other contexts, however, elites sought to distinguish themselves in their new nations by patronizing European beverages, including Spanish wines, German beers, and U.S. liquors.

As the case of Brazilian cachaça demonstrates, alcohol identities changed over time. Argentinean wine offers another example of this process. As European migration erupted from the second half of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century, the wine industry enjoyed a robust domestic market. Since many families considered wine a staple, like bread and meat, price and quantity were more important than taste. Appreciative of its high alcohol content, heavy color, and viscosity, most consumers diluted their wine with water to economize. Post–World War II urbanization further fueled the domestic wine market. So crucial to working-class life had cheap wine become that the populist government of Juan and Eva Perón (and some of their successors) advocated for and passed tax laws favorable to its provision. With the emphasis on mass consumption, quality never emerged as a priority. Consumers used ice and soda water to make wine more palatable. When the domestic market shifted to beer and other alcoholic drinks in the 1960s and 1970s, wine producers faced a crisis.85 Many responded by hiring foreign wine experts and investing in technology and such quality controls as oak barrels for aging. Instead of mass production, vineyards adjusted to produce diverse high quality wines. By the 1990s, Argentinean wines had gained an international reputation for excellence. Even though Argentineans consumed 80 percent of nationally produced wines, producers and consumers alike basked in the foreign affirmation of their products. Investing heavily in advertising and other media, wine producers jettisoned the working-class associations of wine to portray it as an elite beverage.86

Elsewhere in Latin America, some companies refashioned traditional drinks to embrace a European or at least Hispanic identity. Such was the case with the Sauza Tequila Import Company. Three generations of Sauza owners worked to distinguish tequila from pulque and contrast the former as a drink of upper- and middle-class Hispanics with the latter as one of poor and working-class Indians. That distinction informed their marketing strategy in the United States and Europe too.87 Claiming tequila (and by extension its consumers) best represented lo Mexicano, or being Mexican, was but one manifestation of what Tim Mitchell calls “patriotic alcoholization,” which has deep historical roots in Latin America where alcohol producers linked their products to nationalism.88

When entrepreneurs eager to follow the liberal economic model of export production began looking to foreign markets, the international component of the alcohol trade became more pronounced. In 1873, for example, the founder of the Sauza Tequila Import Company, Cenobio Sauza (1873–1909) began exporting tequila from Mexico to the United States.89 Like many of his counterparts, he considered foreign consumers crucial to expanding profits. As neoliberal economics took hold in the second half of the 20th century, international marketing campaigns eclipsed domestic advertising and put many drinks out of reach of the poor and working classes.90 Even when economic systems changed dramatically, alcohol companies continued to shape their nations. Bacardi Rum in Cuba offers one example of a company nimble enough to survive the transition from capitalism to communism (among other machinations, the company advanced legislation to cripple its main competitor Havana Club Rum and funneled CIA funds to paramilitary mercenaries intent on overthrowing Fidel Castro) and powerful enough to influence Cuban society and foreigners’ perceptions of the island nation.91 Of course, local unregulated drinks too were part of international trade as the 19th-century Guatemalan highland Mayas who transported and consumed comiteco (a type of aguardiente) from Chiapas, Mexico, demonstrate. Taken as a whole, the globalization of Latin American alcohol shaped national development and social relations.92

Government greed for alcohol revenue undermined political stability.93 As the Mexico case demonstrates, alcohol entrepreneurs were formidable protagonists. Notwithstanding the devastating economic effects of civil wars and foreign invasions, the very political instability that contributed to the Mexican government’s reliance on alcohol revenues often compelled it to repeal alcohol taxes. As influential as the Sauza family and other tequila producers had become, pulquería owners too enjoyed significant lobbying power, which they wielded to mitigate or forestall government regulations. Even against the backdrop of media campaigns aimed at discounting pulque, it remained a major player up until World War II when beer became the fermented beverage of choice.94 An attempt to counteract that preference in the 1960s by canning pulque for wide distribution failed. As pulquería owners began catering to younger clientele in the 21st century, pulque has made a comeback among educated middle- and upper-class Mexico City residents, who have reappropriated it as a symbol of their rebellion against and embracement of nationalism.95

Alcoholic Leverages

Strategies for controlling the production, distribution, and sale of alcohol varied over time and by region. Though persistent in Central America, the colonial penchant for establishing alcohol monopolies gave way to stamp taxes and tax farming in other parts of Latin America as the 19th century wore on. In Venezuela, the government sold the right to collect taxes to private individuals who could then keep the proceeds.96 A different form of indirect taxation emerged in Mexico where the government implemented a stamp tax on alcoholic beverages. Producers were taxed on an increasing scale based on the percentage of alcohol content in their libations. In many nations, fragmented geographies and heterogenous producers made collecting taxes difficult. As historian Graciela Márquez argues, Mexico’s post-revolution reforms were aimed at reducing the cost of collection by increasing tax efficiency and rationalizing the tax burden.97

In addition to generating revenue, alcohol lubricated labor systems, particularly debt servitude. In the 19th and 20th centuries, labor brokers in the Yucatán and Guatemala used alcohol to lure Mayas into signing labor contracts that entrapped them on plantations.98 One elder recalled how landowners secured laborers in early 20th-century Yucatan: “They gave kids aguardiente when they were very young; then, when they reached their tenth birthday, they wanted to drink but didn't have the money. The tatich was there to lend it, and that’s how they came by many of their servants.”99 Further facilitating debt peonage and contributing to the company store’s crucial role in controlling labor, some owners paid their laborers in alcohol.100 Alcohol was a currency of local economies throughout Latin America. Everyone from midwives to magistrates were paid with aguardiente. In some regions, defendants could pay their fines with it.101 Convinced it would suppress labor organization or rebellion, some hacendados distributed alcohol to workers.102 Labor organizers recognized that alcoholism “was an obstacle to labor organization,” as one delegate to the 1906 labor congress in Brazil noted.103

As during the colonial period, alcohol consumption continued to cut many ways. Though it could indebt workers and make them more docile, as historians Allen Wells and Gilbert Joseph point out, alcohol could also embolden the oppressed to rebel.104 For some laborers, alcohol abuse was a form of resistance. Workers’ inebriation (or feigning thereof) allowed them to slow if not altogether escape daily labors.105

Given the impoverished conditions in which many poor and working-class peoples lived, it is not surprising that they turned to alcohol as a means of amusement and escape. Brazil’s urban poor consumed enough cachaça in the late 19th century to capture the attention of foreign travelers. By the turn of the century, alcohol had become even more popular among the urban classes, some of whom believed cachaça gave them strength to finish their work. Shots of it were sold at kiosks in Rio de Janeiro.106

Moonshine and Bootlegging

As is true of most illegal activity, the informal alcohol economy was the subject of highly public, morally and financially charged policy debates. Even though government attempts to curtail clandestine production provoked unrest and at times rebellion, administrations so desperately needed the revenues generated from the alcohol economy that they refused to divest from it.107 Since moonshining cut into their profits, legal producers too had a stake in the battle against moonshiners and bootleggers. Throughout Latin America, individual functionaries and hired henchmen pursued moonshine convictions with great zeal; at times they received a percentage of the regulatory payments or fines. To buttress their private monopoly on alcohol production and sale in Chiapas, for example, the powerful Pedreros family paid 25 pesos to anyone who reported a clandestine still.108 Some producers and vendors operated in both the formal and informal economies.

Even as the historical record (particularly oral histories) offers hints as to how wily bootleggers avoided detection, the extent to which clandestine alcohol sales fed into regional economic systems led to some ambiguity in the persecution of bootleggers. To cut off the production and sale of moonshine would have eradicated an important source of revenue flow and labor recruitment in local economies. The local collaboration and complicity that ranged from corrupt authorities looking the other way to officials establishing their own illicit operations was as much driven by personal interest as this knowledge. In many areas, enforcement was spotty by design.

Whereas some communities such as the Tzoltils and Tzeltals of Chiapas (Mexico) convinced local officials to permit the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol for ritual uses, the pleas of others such as 19th-century Mayas in Western Guatemala fell on deaf ears.109 Successful petitions were generally short lived and subject to political manipulation. The Tzoltil and Tzeltal concession lasted only five years. When the state reestablished an alcohol monopoly in 1949, the uprising was so virulent, it became known as “Posh [aguardiente] War.” Stephen Lewis’s analysis of it holds true for many parts of Latin America where the culture of alcohol was so important: “that any attempt to limit its production and distribution had grave social consequences and promoted clandestine production.”110 Mayas too resisted government monopolies.111 One Guatemalan government’s attempt to regulate alcohol production and sale in the 1830s contributed to an uprising that led to its downfall. Though wars related to alcohol were the exception, the vibrant bootlegging and moonshining enterprises throughout the region stand as a testament to the many ways people resisted states’ attempts to control the alcohol economy. So interrelated were the legal and illegal alcohol economies that an increase in the price of legal alcohol could stimulate clandestine production and sale.112

Whether motivated by sympathy, corruption, or personal interest, many politicians turned a blind eye toward violations; some sold or consumed alcohol illegally. One such instance was the great still in the town of Tecpán, Guatemala, rumored to be so large that it was considered an urban legend by law enforcement, until they discovered just why it was referred to as “La Municipalidad” in May 1931. Owned and operated by Tecpán’s town council, the illegal still was discovered on the mayor’s land! Collusion between elected officials, moonshiners, and locals was not uncommon. While some politicians used alcohol to enrich themselves, others used it to buy votes. In an indication of how government officials upset the state-building process, corrupt municipal and judicial officials in 20th-century Mexico regularly flouted alcohol laws.113 Alcohol seeped into politics.

Even as their intensity and efficacy varied by time and place, campaigns against bootlegging were nearly universal in Latin America. By outlawing moonshine, the state altered definitions of crime. By maintaining that cottage industry, bootleggers challenged definitions of deviant behavior. To portray an image of efficacy, police gazettes and other official sources celebrated successful raids.

Although a few moonshiners claimed they were unaware producing and selling alcohol without a license was illegal, most defendants revealed knowledge of the law in their savvy testimonies. Once arrested, moonshiners and bootleggers tended to reference their poverty to explain if not excuse their transgression. Female defendants often deployed the gendered language of vulnerability or motherhood in their defenses. Neither destitution nor motherhood were extenuating circumstances in legal codes, but litigants were wise to cite them. Judicial officials regularly reduced penalties for women whose poverty was “noteworthy.” Widows raising children especially enjoyed success in mitigating sentences and fines.114

Temperance Movements

Unlike moonshine campaigns, temperance movements gained little traction in Latin America’s predominantly Catholic countries. Widespread lower-class consumption of distilled alcohol (particularly moonshine because of its low price and allure of illegality) sparked fledgling temperance movements. In nations with large indigenous populations, efforts to curb alcohol consumption were linked to race. When the overtly Catholic Ecuadorean administration of Gabriel García Moreno (1860–1875) discouraged excessive alcohol consumption, it subtly associated inebriation with indigeneity. By suggesting that the normally timid, cowardly indigenous people become violent savages with alcohol, authorities portrayed indigenous people as unworthy of citizenship. Framing alcohol as the root of all immoral behavior allowed García Moreno to deploy temperance policies against priests, officials, and even entire regions critical of his centralized regime. If they were known to have a penchant for inebriation, the government could purge impious priests and authorities who did not fall in line.115 Not surprisingly, temperance movements were pitted against alcohol producers. In late 19th-century Uruguay, a burgeoning wine-making industry marketed their product against the backdrop of Temperance Legions informed by a combination of medical and moralistic critiques of alcohol.116 In contrast to the fertile ground Protestantism provided for temperance in the United States (where teetotalers like Neal Dow, who was known as the Napoleon of Temperance, decried that: “Portland’s wharves groaned beneath the burden of West India rum”), Catholicism generally heralded a lenient attitude toward consumption. Of course, not all temperance zealots were Protestant. Yet even as the Catholic Church warned against the dangers of alcoholism, the religious, ritual, and cultural uses of alcohol tended to buttress its legitimacy and acceptance.117

In Mexico, early nationalist efforts to reduce alcohol consumption by prohibiting music, gambling, or other entertainment that might encourage lingering in drinking establishments mirrored those of the colonial period.118 By the turn of the century, temperance campaigns emerged in response to reformers who warned: “Alcoholism and venereal disease represented the greatest evils.”119 After the overthrow of Porfirio Díaz in 1910, Mexican revolutionaries believed they could eradicate poverty, laziness, and backwardness by controlling alcohol consumption.120 Decrying the domestic damage that alcohol caused, women were frequently on the front lines of anti-alcohol campaigns, which in Mexico was decidedly anti-clerical. Mexican anti-alcohol activists decried Catholic festivals that encouraged people to drink.121 Encouraged by paternalistic reformers who confined women’s contributions to their traditional gender roles, women pressured local leaders to shut down neighborhood cantinas and convinced their husbands to abstain from drinking. Even though their husbands and local leaders often resisted women’s mobilization and few women assumed leadership roles in anti-alcohol campaigns, many women embraced the opportunity to become public political activists.122

Warning that alcoholism was “Among the greatest enemies of the race and future of Mexico [because it] … undermines the physical and moral forces of our men, disturbs conjugal happiness, and destroys, with degenerate children, all possibility of future greatness for the fatherland,” Mexican President Emilio Portes Gil launched the National Committee for the Struggle Against Alcohol in 1929.123 Perhaps because Gil and his successors portrayed indigenous and poor men as particularly prone to alcoholism, some rural communities in Chiapas declared themselves dry; a few even posted guards to keep aguardiente out. Because they were overwhelmed with the various revolutionary programs they were charged with implementing (and more than a few of them were chronic drinkers), teachers enjoyed little success in convincing youths and other rural Mexicans to abstain from drinking. As politically astute and sophisticated as they became through the process, women in anti-alcohol committees were equally ineffective.124 Few anti-alcohol advocates sought to tackle such socioeconomic factors surrounding alcoholism as poverty, unclean drinking water, unemployment, and workplace abuse, however. More popular than government efforts, Protestant evangelical sects that preached abstinence as a path to increased wealth and improved domestic relations caught on in the second half of the 20th century, particularly in Brazil and Guatemala. Indeed, the number of converts swelled as a result of alcohol remediation programs.

Only sporadically applied, liquor laws had little effect. In most countries, states’ dependence on alcohol revenues and corrupt officials undermined legislative initiatives.125 Even when temperance measures were enforced, locals found ways to circumvent them. When Merida officials shut down cantinas, working-class homes became the destination of choice, which facilitated the participation of women. With the sale of alcohol prohibited on Sundays, San Lunes or Holy Monday became the preferred day for inebriation and disorder in the Yucatán.126 Paternalistic in the effort to free workers from alcohol’s grip, liquor laws in Mexico were part of the broader goal of establishing a capitalist ethic. Even where the goal was socialism, as historians William French and Barry Carr point out, progress required the elimination of alcoholism.127

In addition to consumers’ opposition, producers and vendors complained temperance movements threatened their livelihoods. If judicial records are any indication, many Latin Americans produced and sold alcohol to escape poverty. As Gretchen Pierce and Aurea Toxqui demonstrate, when including those who transported, sold, and served beer, tequila, pulque, and other drinks, the number of people who stood to lose their jobs was well over half a million.128 Because they were more nimble and mobile, smaller operations found it easier to continue to produce through anti-alcohol campaigns than larger operations such as the Sonora Brewery, which folded because of prohibition. The increased unemployment and other reverberations from the Sonora Brewery closing its does provided a cautionary tale about the negative intended and unintended consequences that prohibition and temperance campaigns set in motion. For the smaller illicit Mexican operations along the border, however, U.S. prohibition was a boon. For the same reason authorities pursued moonshiners, many officials refrained from enforcing temperance: the licit alcohol economy was too lucrative to allow anything to undercut it.129

Social Cohesion and Unrest

Consumption cut many ways as drinking patterns differed by region, ethnicity, culture, class, and gender. Alcohol mediated rather than dictated relationships that ranged from romance and business to family feuds and community tensions. Contemporary residents of Mexico City insisted that they enjoyed more freedom to decline a beverage than their rural counterparts for whom doing so could convey an insult.130 As indicated in the many vibrant indigenous rituals that include drinking, where alcohol consumption was part of ritual and tradition, it was hard to extirpate. Balché was such a crucial component to Lacandón and Yucatec Maya religious rituals that neither colonial nor national prohibitions succeeded in eradicating it.131 Like alcohol consumption, alcohol production brought people together. In southern Chile, communities gathered to harvest apples and produce chicha in a tradition that reinforced reciprocity among locals.132

Often grounded in European, urban elite lifestyles, cultural values informed observations about alcoholic drinkways.133 Whereas Sarmiento portrayed Argentinean gauchos or cowboys as prone to alcoholism and violence, 19th- and early-20th-century U.S. travelers attributed Mexican “laziness and stupidity” and lack of ambition to alcohol consumption.134 Foreign travelers who ventured into indigenous areas and tried local libations were often shocked and dismayed. Exploring the Guatemalan highlands in the 1830s, John L. Stephens came upon a marriage being celebrated with dancing and aguardiente that he characterized as “an exhibition of disgusting revelry.”135 Some forty years later in 1874, Gilbert Haven described pulque as “a disgustingly smelling and tasting substance … Rotten eggs are fragrant to its odor, and pigs’ swill sweet to its taste.”136

While many national and foreign elites denigrated working class drinkways, by the mid-19th century Mexican authorities and intellectuals portrayed cafes where elites enjoyed imported wines and liquors in the company of art or artists as sophisticated and civilized. Such contrasts speak to the ways morality and enlightenment were linked to class. In light of the disorder and dissipation in cafes and convivial atmosphere in pulquerías, distinctions between drinking spaces were often more imagined than real.137 Discourses about class, race, criminality and alcoholism focused elite efforts on what they perceived to be challenges to establishing order and progress. Such depictions contrast sharply with that of the prominent 19th-century Mexican writer, poet, and liberal politician Guillermo Prieto who portrayed suburban pulquerías as havens of shared sociability among different social classes.138 The persistence of some pulquerías in cities and the proliferation of others in suburban locales when urban regulations persecuted them speaks to how important they were for poor and working-class clientele who patronized them. In addition to contributing to the urbanization of rural areas, pulqeuerías provided a venue where traditional rural and often indigenous men and women experienced the modernizing influences of urban life including “capitalism, liberalism, and industrialization.”139 As the aforementioned distinct perceptions demonstrate, competing perceptions of alcohol consumption and drinking spaces figured prominently in nation building.

Like the church, governments were concerned about alcohol’s role in challenging hegemonic notions and structures. Their addiction to alcohol revenue can be discerned in the extent to which they pursued it despite the social problems associated with drinking. Alcohol frequently left a wake that undermined politicians’ efforts to portray order and progress in their nations. Scandalously drunk men and women evoked a sense of disorder. Many politicians and authorities were convinced alcohol abuse contributed to crime. In 1866, one group of Mexico City businessmen complained about pulquerías near their shops because: “premises next to the pulquería were invaded by many drunkards [who] … wanted to hide from the police.”140 Turn-of-the-century Mexican intellectuals asserted pulquerías and other lower-class drinking houses bred crime. Widely endorsed by contemporary criminologists, such claims informed authorities’ approaches to drinking and crime, which made inebriation a risky endeavor. When done publicly, drinking put consumers at risk. In nations with strict anti-alcohol laws, abuse was met with incarceration and labor or military conscription. Drunk and disorderly hacienda workers in rural Mexico frequently slept off their inebriation in a jail cell.141 Some Mexican administrations were rumored to have executed drunks.

As part of a discourse of state formation, Latin American intellectuals and authorities in countries with significant indigenous populations cultivated images of indigenous people as backward and drunk.142 The case of the Mexican temperance movement from 1910 to 1940 whereby reformers focused more on class than race notwithstanding, claims in nations like Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Guatemala that delinquents were “predominantly Indian” and that indigenous people were prone to alcohol abuse cemented connections between race, alcohol, and crime. In rural Yucatán, henequen estate owners and managers generally considered their workers “stupid, drunken Indians.”143 Associations of alcohol and ethnicity, geography, class, and gender continued to reverberate into the 20th century. Referring to a rural indigenous family living in Mexico City in the 1990s, one informant told urban anthropologist Matthew Gutmann, “The guys are a bunch of lazy bums who make their women go out and work while they stay home and get drunk.”144

As much as disparaging portrayals were related to racism, other factors also contributed to links between ethnicity, alcoholism, and crime. As was true during the colonial period, Latin American laws’ recognition of inebriation as an extenuating circumstance encouraged defendants to exaggerate its use. Even after some nations suspended that exception, defendants continued to deploy it to suggest their crime was not premeditated.145 Such testimonial deceptions aside, drinking was associated with some crimes. Although his study conducted in the late 20th century debunks many myths about Mexican men and alcohol, Gutmann found that male drinking often did indeed end in violence: domestic and otherwise.146

Alcohol became a powerful trope that cut both ways during Latin America’s civil wars during the second half of the 20th century. Even as rural indigenous peoples feigned or embraced regular inebriation as a way to avoid being conscripted into the military or recruited into insurgent groups, for example, the Guatemalan National Police used “drunkenness” as a euphemism for suspected subversive activity; many of the alleged drunks they arrested were never seen again.147

Gendered Drinking

The gendered, class, and ethnic aspects of alcohol offer windows into the social and economic history of Latin America. As historian Heidi Tinsman points out, in addition to conquering women and highlighting male camaraderie, drinking was a central component of masculinity.148 Many men bonded over beverages in ways that enhanced their trust in and intimacy with one another and opposition to their superiors. So engrained had perceptions of alcohol consumption and inebriation become as part of mine workers’ identities that social reformers in Chile considered eradicating alcoholism as crucial to establishing more “robust” and stable male-headed families. Ignoring the dry law and police vigilance, some miners consumed clandestinely. For some, drinking asserted their manliness and opposition to the company’s regulations and rules.149 Some anti-alcohol advocates sought to disassociate drinking from masculinity. In late-19th-century Ecuador, the García Moreno administration portrayed excessive alcohol consumption as a sign of men’s failings and weakness. Framed as a blow to their masculinity, men who diverted money toward booze and beat their wives and children while drunk instead of providing for and protecting them surrendered their patriarchal rights and privileges.150 Similarly, anti-alcohol activists in Mexico framed sobriety as masculine; “manly men” were sober.151

As historians and anthropologists have proven, the gendered history of alcohol consumption is varied. Matthew Gutmann’s study of machismo in Mexico City demonstrates that many men abstained from drinking and many others generally drank far more responsibly than the: “celebrated image of the Mexican proletarian male with a bottle of tequila in his hand and a silly, satisfied grin on his lips.”152 In contrast to the way that men who drank together reconstituted masculine solidarity in colonial Mexico, the increasing frequency with which men drank with women in bars and in their homes over the course of the 20th century calls into question the assumption that drinking and drunkenness are essential elements of Mexican masculinity.153 One 1923 study found that 80 percent of the girls as compared to only 70 percent of the boys between the ages of eight and fifteen consumed alcohol.154 The growing corpus of studies of alcohol in Latin America has contributed to what Gutmann calls “degendering” alcohol consumption.155

Although not necessarily to the extent of their male counterparts, women too consumed alcohol and got drunk.156 According to Mexican criminologists, women who drank became jealous, immoral, and bore illegitimate babies. For poor women the consequences were allegedly even worse: prostitution, abortion, and venereal diseases.157 Such ominous claims notwithstanding, over time women expanded the contexts in which they could drink and imbibed in ways that increased their social mobility and satisfaction.158 Widespread popular perceptions of men dominating alcohol consumption do not hold up against gendered historical and ethnographic analysis.

Women also carved out spaces for themselves within the alcohol economy. Given their demanding and place-bound labor, many poor women took to selling and producing alcohol because they could do so within the parameters of their domestic responsibilities. Although they had to be careful not to jeopardize their reputations, women could transition to the alcohol trade without dramatically disrupting their daily lives. In a fascinating study of the intersections of foodways and drinkways in 19th-century Mexico, Áurea Toxqui demonstrates women’s varied participation in the alcohol economy from the white elite women who owned agave plantations and thereby controlled the production and sale of pulque in pulquerías to the poor indigenous and mestizo women who sold food in and around taverns to makes ends meet.159 Like Bolivian chicheras (corn-beer producers and vendors), Mexican women’s positions as vendors of alcohol and other goods where alcohol was served facilitated the social mixing of poor indigenous and mestizo women with elite men. Some vendors developed connections with wealthy men that served them well.160 Throughout Latin America, women’s crucial role in the licit and illicit alcohol trade both adhered to and disrupted social conventions.

Vulnerable to the threats and insults of inebriated clients, female bartenders and their counterparts were at once marginalized and empowered. They enjoyed more physical mobility and social freedom than many of their social superiors. Assumed by many patrons to be prostitutes or thieves, chicheras used the information and gossip they heard as they served alcohol to their advantage. Among them were women who became powerful in local politics, enjoyed social mobility (moving from the lower to middle class), and ultimately helped to shape national identity.161 Their particular public presence and increased income afforded them respected positions.

Public Health and Alcohol

As science and knowledge advanced in the 19th and 20th centuries, alcohol’s relationship to public health and health care became more complicated. Two documents from the Archivo General de Guatemala demonstrate how officials recognized the public health benefits and dangers that alcohol posed. In 1923, the Guatemalan Minister of Finance circulated a memo to governors throughout the country in which he reminded them of the age-old custom of using alcohol as medicine. Four years later one of his counterparts in the capital similarly circulated a memo to governors stressing the importance of assuring distilling apparatuses were clean so as not to “jeopardize consumers’ health.”162 Although it never trumped their financial motives, governments sought to mitigate alcohol’s detrimental health effects; inspectors who examined distilling equipment and serving conditions did much to improve public health.

For teetotalers, anything short of prohibition and abstinence was futile. Late-19th century Brazilian doctors considered the “abuse of alcohol beverages … a true calamity … particularly among the lower classes.”163 Mexican health officials decried alcohol as a vice leading to cirrhosis, syphilis, tuberculosis, and other diseases.164 Deployed to help states rule, statistics demonstrated alarming associations between alcohol and public health. To cite a contemporary example, cirrhosis is one of Mexico’s top five health problems today.165 Alcohol consumption also had indirect effects on public health. Oral histories, judicial records, and ethnographic studies suggest a relationship between intoxication and domestic violence. Breadwinners who spent money on alcohol instead of the home were especially hard on families living in poverty.

Alcohol also could contribute to health care and public health. Latin American indigenous peoples routinely prescribed alcohol to cure fevers and other ills.166 Consumed as an anesthesia, alcohol also could be a potent antidote for those dealing with the stress of poverty or the trauma of war and violence. Given the reality of many rural Mexicans, tequila producers’ claims that their libation was healthy and hygienic were not necessarily hyperbolic.167 Even into the 21st century, some families depended on fermented beverages as a substitute for water (since theirs was not potable), food, and medicine.168


Alcohol and the people who produced, sold, and consumed it helped to shape communities, colonies and nations in Latin America. Early archaeological evidence suggests the intertwined nature of institutional and social structures relating to alcohol during the indigenous era were even more apparent in the colonial and national periods. Throughout those periods, the bonding agents that connected institutions and people were power and its mirror expression, autonomy. Given that neither the Aztec nor Inca empires could eradicate local consumption and production patterns, the survival of some variation of those patterns into the colonial and national periods is not surprising. As ritual consumption and production customs demonstrate, alcohol drinkways reconstituted and revived communities under indigenous, colonial, and national rule. Alcohol consumption could unite people (when, for example, different ethnicities, classes, and genders frequented the same drinking establishments) or divide them (when, for example, marketing campaigns targeted specific classes and races––and implicitly excluded others––for their products). Ranging from a social lubricant to medicine and a substitute for potable water, alcohol served many functions.

A crucial contributor to formal and informal commerce, alcohol revenue fueled national budgets and local economies. With sugarcane harvested by African slaves providing the primary ingredient for rum, alcohol flowed through many aspects of the colonial (and national in Brazil where slavery continued after independence) economy. Whether as payment or a recruitment tool, alcohol was intimately tied to other forms of labor. In addition to shedding light on the way companies such as Bacardi Rum and Sauza Tequila Import have shaped national trajectories, the study of alcohol reveals how lower-class men and women improved their lot via the alcohol economy—legal or otherwise. Historical studies of clandestine alcohol enterprises offer insight into the attenuation of state power and autonomy of marginalized people. Similarly, studying prohibition reveals the countervailing gendered interests of women who produced and sold moonshine on the one hand and those who emerged as the rank and file of prohibition movements on the other. The moonshiners who pled poverty or vulnerability as exculpatory, the perpetrators of violent acts who claimed they were drunk to mitigate their sentences, and those arrested (legitimately or otherwise) for drunk and disorderly conduct are but a few manifestations of the complex concatenations of alcohol and the law. As a commodity, currency, and cultural icon, alcohol influenced Latin America’s past and historical reconstructions. Still in its nascent stages, the historiography of alcohol is one of the most exciting fields in Latin America.

Discussion of the Literature

In a region where historians have emphasized the impact of such export and subsistence commodities as coffee, bananas, and corn, they largely have neglected the crucial role of alcohol. A few exceptions notwithstanding, until recently alcohol has seldom been the primary topic of research in Latin American historiography. Although it pales in comparison to the rich corpus of literature on Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States, the burgeoning field of the history of alcohol in Latin America is ripe with the potential of understanding Latin America’s past in innovative and original ways.

The seminal work on alcohol in Latin American history is Bill Taylor’s Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion in Colonial Mexico Villages published in 1979. A few years prior to Taylor’s book José Jesús Hernández Palomo explored how sugarcane rum shaped 18th-century Mexico in El aguardiente de caña en México, 1724–1810. His subsequent book La renta de pulque en Nueva España, 1663–1810 came out the same year as Taylor’s and focused primarily on economics, specifically the production, sale, and taxation of pulque. Among the first to study governments’ contradictory goals of controlling inebriation and profiting from the alcohol economy, Taylor demonstrated the complex roles that alcohol played in colonial Mexico. Even as indigenous consumers turned to alcohol to temporarily escape their plight and privations, they also played upon Spaniards’ assumptions about their penchant for alcoholism to mitigate their sentences in the courtroom and subvert colonial rule beyond it. As he explores indigenous people’s shift from consuming alcohol primarily in ritual contexts during the pre-Hispanic period to more widespread imbibing during the colonial period, Taylor encourages scholars to examine the social meanings of alcohol. Although Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion in Colonial Mexico Villages spawned rich historiographical veins in the areas of violence, resistance, and rebellion, few historians picked up the mantle of alcohol. Most historians who explored the role of alcohol did so as part of broader social and cultural histories. Not until the turn of the 21st century did historians begin to analyze alcohol as a primary subject of their research.

Building on Taylor’s work, Kendall Brown studied how alcohol shaped Bourbon rule in Peru. Bourbons and Brandy: Imperial Reform in Eighteenth-Century Arequipa explores how the sale and consumption of both imported and domestic alcohol influenced colonial society in Arequipa. Ultimately, like their predecessors, Bourbons depended on alcohol revenue to run the government even as they lamented and at times tried to pass legislation to mitigate alcohol’s deleterious effects. In their anthology about Bourbon rule, Jordana Dym and Christoph Belaurbe offer insight into how alcohol shaped late colonial Central America. Bourbon attempts to control alcohol monopolies and other aspects of the alcohol economy often were met with severe resistance.

In a study that offers rich descriptions of tavern life and the crucial role such watering holes played in late colonial Mexican society and economy, Michael Scardaville documented popular and proprietor resistance to Bourbon alcohol reforms in late colonial Mexico. His article encouraged others to approach taverns as more than simply social gathering places to reveal the complex social and economic relations that occurred in and reverberated beyond them. Áurea Toxqui frames taverns as incubators of popular culture. As much as governments wanted to regulate if not reform those spaces of socialization, inebriation, and vice, they also depended on them as sources of revenue.

Alcohol was a double-edged sword for Latin American governments and entrepreneurs alike. Many of Mexico’s most successful colonial entrepreneurs engaged in pulque production, trade, and sale though they refrained from running pulquerías themselves as John Kizca demonstrates. Fearing a drop in productivity and obeisance, many large businesses mirrored government regulations that sought to limit and in some cases prohibit the consumption of alcohol (among their workforce).

Spanning the colonial and modern eras, Frederick Smith demonstrates how integral rum was to economic, political, and social relations in the Caribbean. Narrowing the geographic focus, Tom Gjeltsen provides a journalistic exploration of how Bacardi Rum shaped Cuban development and nationalism.

By the mid-20th century social scientists—particularly anthropologists and sociologists—were turning their attention to alcohol. One of the first anthropologists to study alcohol consumption in Latin America was Ruth Bunzel. Her pioneering article informed such successors as Christine Eber who contrasted the social and ritual uses of rum with its ability to facilitate the economic and political exploitation of indigenous groups.169 With his research among Camba peoples in Bolivia, anthropologist Dwight Heath led the charge to dispel the myth that Amerindians were extremely susceptible to alcohol and alcoholism. By the 1960s, he and others pointed out that alcohol consumption generally accompanied local culture and custom but seldom to the point where indigenous men and women were consumed by or addicted to it. More recently, Barbara Butler explores how Quechua speakers continued to gain some satisfaction and agency even as they shifted from consuming alcohol mainly for ritual purposes to drinking it daily to escape poverty’s privations.

With the postmodern and social history turn in the last decades of the 20th century, scholars have used alcohol drinkways as a lens through which to examine gender, ethnic, class, and race relations. Since the 1970s, the field of women’s history has shed a bright light on women’s role in the production, sale, and to a lesser extent consumption of alcohol. With few other options that allowed them to stay within the confines of their gender roles, many working-class and some elite women turned to alcohol as a way to support themselves and expand their mobility. Focusing on ethnicity and race, Pablo Piccato and Virginia Garrard Burnett found that turn of the 20th-century elites in Mexico and Guatemala associated indigenous and lower-class people with alcohol consumption and crime. Such rhetoric contributed to policing practices that targeted indigenous people and the poor for alcohol and other crimes. And yet a few exceptions notwithstanding (most notably Lyman Johnson’s study of honor and violence in colonial Buenos Aires), most historians agree the evidence linking alcohol consumption to crime is tenuous at best.

More recently a few edited collections have brought together scholars to examine what alcohol tells us about subjectivity, power, hegemony, resistance, ethics, economics, politics, and culture. Some authors like Jose C. Curto, who demonstrates the critical role Brazilian wines played in Africa’s alcohol trade, explore how Latin American drinks have shaped histories abroad.

What makes studying alcohol challenging is that its social meaning (particularly in indigenous communities) and economic significance are often elusive. With moonshining, bootlegging, and corrupt officials, determining the extent to which alcohol lubricated local economies and undermined national ones is difficult. To be sure, alcohol profits contributed to national treasuries, but the extent to which it influenced state formation is hard to pinpoint.

In this burgeoning field, a number of areas are ripe for future scholars. For example, the role that local vendors and community leaders played in making alcohol readily available demands closer examination as does the study of how integral and essential alcohol was to indigenous and Afro-Latin American life. These and other topics promise to be rich lines of inquiry.

Further Reading

Brown, Kendall W. Bourbons and Brandy: Imperial Reform in Eighteenth-Century Arequipa. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986.Find this resource:

Bruman, Henry J. Alcohol in Ancient Mexico. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2000.Find this resource:

Bunzel, Ruth. “The Role of Alcoholism in Two Central American Cultures.” Psychiatry 3 (1940): 361–387.Find this resource:

Butler, Barbara. Holy Intoxication to Drunken Dissipation: Alcohol among Quichua Speakers in Otavolo, Ecuador. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006.Find this resource:

Carey, David, Jr., ed. Distilling the Influence of Alcohol: Aguardiente in Guatemalan History. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012.Find this resource:

Curto, José C. Enslaving Spirits: The Portuguese-Brazilian Alcohol Trade at Luanda and Its Hinterland, c. 1550–1830. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2004.Find this resource:

Eber, Christine. Women and Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town: Water of Hope, Water of Sorrow. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.Find this resource:

Garrard-Burnett, Virginia. “Indians Are Drunks and Drunks Are Indians: Alcohol and Indigenismo in Guatemala, 1890–1940.” Bulletin of Latin American Research 19.3 (July 2000): 341–356.Find this resource:

Gjelten, Tom. Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause. New York: Viking, 2008.Find this resource:

Hames, Gina. “Maize-Beer, Gossip, and Slander: Female Tavern Proprietors and Urban, Ethnic Cultural Elaboration in Bolivia, 1870–1930.” Journal of Social History 37.2 (2003): 351–364.Find this resource:

Heath, Dwight B. “Drinking Patterns of the Bolivian Camba.” Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 19 (1958): 491–508.Find this resource:

Heath, Dwight B. Alcohol Use in Latin America: Cultural Realities and Policy Implications. Providence, RI: Center for Latin American Studies, Brown University, 1987.Find this resource:

Heath, Dwight B. “Historical and Cultural Factors Affecting Alcohol Availability (and Consumption) in Latin America.” In Legislative Approaches to Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems: An Inter-American Workshop. Edited by Alan K. Kaplan, 127–188. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press, 1982.Find this resource:

Hernández Palomo, José Jesús. El aguardiente de caña en México, 1724–1810. Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1974.Find this resource:

Hernández Palomo, José Jesús. La renta de pulque en Nueva España, 1663–1810. Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos de Sevilla, 1979.Find this resource:

Jennings, Justin, and Brenda J. Bowser, eds. Drink, Power, and Society in the Andes. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2009.Find this resource:

Kizca, John. “The Pulque Trade in Late Colonial Mexico City.” The Americas 37.2 (1980): 193–221.Find this resource:

Lacoste, Pablo. “Wine and Women: Grape Growers and Pulperas in Mendoza, 1561–1852.” Hispanic American Historical Review 88.3 (August 2008): 361–391.Find this resource:

Mateu, Ana María, and Steve Stein, eds. El vino y sus revoluciones: Una antología histórica sobre el desarrollo de la industria vitivinícola argentina. Mendoza, Argentina: Editorial de al Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, 2008.Find this resource:

Mitchell, Tim. Intoxicated Identities: Alcohol’s Power in Mexican History and Culture. New York: Routledge, 2004.Find this resource:

Piccato, Pablo. “‘El paso de Venus por el disco del sol’: Criminality and Alcoholism in the Late Porfiriato.” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 11.2 (Summer 1995), 203–241.Find this resource:

Pierce, Gretchen, and Áurea Toxqui, eds. Alcohol in Latin America: A Social and Cultural History. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014.Find this resource:

Sánchez Santiró, Ernest, ed. Cruda realidad: Producción, consumo y fiscalidad de las bebidas alcohólicas en México y América Latina, siglos XVII–XX. Mexico City: Instituto Mora, 2007.Find this resource:

Scardaville, Michael C. “Alcohol Abuse and Tavern Reform in Late Colonial Mexico City.” Hispanic American Historical Review 60 (1980): 643–671.Find this resource:

Smith, Frederick H. Caribbean Rum: A Social and Economic History. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005.Find this resource:

Taylor, William B. Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1979.Find this resource:

Toxqui, Áurea. “Taverns and Their Influence on the Suburban Culture of Latin Nineteenth-Century Mexico City.” In The Growth of Non-Western Cities: Primary and Secondary Networking, c. 900–1900. Edited by Kenneth R. Hall, 241–269. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011.Find this resource:


(1.) A special thanks to Karen Racine for suggesting I write this piece and for her helpful feedback on it. I also want to thank Bill Taylor, Tom Pergman, and the two reviewers for Oxford University Press whose comments and critiques on early drafts of this essay greatly improved this version. While this essay focuses on consumption, alcohol was also used for fuel. See for example, Warren Dean, With Broadax and Firebrand: The Destruction of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 294, 298.

(2.) Henry J. Bruman, Alcohol in Ancient Mexico (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2000).

(3.) Anton Daughters, “Of Chicha, Majas, and Mingas: Hard Apple Cider and Local Solidarity in Twenty-First-Century Rural Southern Chile,” in Gretchen Pierce and Áurea Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America: A Social and Cultural History (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014), 243.

(4.) William Taylor, Drinking, Homicide and Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1979), 28–33; Sonia Corcuera de Mancera, Entre gula y templanza: Un aspecto de la historia Mexicana (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1990), 61.

(5.) Corcuera de Mancera, Entre gula y templanza, 62.

(6.) Taylor, Drinking, Homicide and Rebellion, 30 (quote), 33–34.

(7.) Áurea Toxqui, “‘Breadwinners or Entrepreneurs?: Women’s Involvement in the Pulquería World of Mexico City,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 106.

(8.) Tim Mitchell, Intoxicated Identities: Alcohol’s Power in Mexican History and Culture (New York: Routledge, 2004), 13; Bruman, Alcohol in Ancient Mexico; Sonia Corcuera de Mancera, “Pulque y evangelación. El caso de fray Manuel Pérez (1713),” in Janet Long, ed., Consecuencias del encuentro de dos mundos (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma de México, 1996), 413–414.

(9.) Justin Jennings, “A Glass for the Gods and a Gift to My Neighbor: The Importance of Alcohol in the Pre-Columbian Andes,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 30.

(10.) Jennings, “A Glass for the Gods,” 30.

(11.) Toxqui, “Breadwinners or Entrepreneurs?” 106

(12.) Toxqui, “Breadwinners or Entrepreneurs?” 106

(13.) John Hemming, Red Gold: The Conquest of Brazilian Indians (Chatham, Canada: Papermac, 1995); João Azevedo Fernandes, “Cauinagens e Bebedeiras: Os índios e o álcool na história do Brasil,” Revista Anthropológicas 13.2 (2002): 39–59.

(14.) João Azevedo Fernandes, “Liquid Fire: Alcohol, Identity, and Social Hierarchy in Colonial Brazil,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 55–56.

(15.) Taylor, Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion, 65, 92–95, 104–105; Sonia Corcuera de Mancera, El fraile, el indio, y el pulque: Evangelización y embriaguez en la Nueva España (1523–1548) (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1997); Corcuera de Mancera, “Pulque y evangelación.”

(16.) João Azevedo Fernandes, “Feast and Sin: Catholic Missionaries and Native Celebrations in Early Colonial Brazil,” Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 23.2 (2009), 111–127; Susana de M. Viegas, “Nojo, Prazer e Persistência: Beber fermentado entre os Tupinambá de Olivença (Bahia),” Revista de História 154 (2006), 151–188; João Azevedo Fernandes. Selvagens Bebedeiras: Álcool, embriaguez e contatos culturais no Brasil colonial (Séculos XVI-XVII) (São Paolo, Brazil: Alameda, 2011)

(17.) Corcuera de Mancera, “Pulque y evangelación.”

(18.) Frederick H. Smith, Caribbean Rum: A Social and Economic History (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2008), 6–40; David T. Courtright, Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 9–30.

(19.) José C. Curto, Álcool e Escravos: O comércio luso-brasileiro de álcool em Mpinda, Luanda e Benguela durante o tráfico atlånticode escravos (c. 1480–1830) e seu impacto nas sociedades da África Central Ocidental (Lisbon, Portugal: Vulgata, 2002); Azevedo Fernandes, “Liquid Fire,” 46; Joseph C. Miller, Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730–1830 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988); Luiz Felipe de Alencastro, O Trato dos Viventes: Formação do Brasil no Atlåntico Sul—Séculos XVI e XVII (São Paolo, Brazil: Compahnia das Letras, 2000), 307–325.

(20.) Azevedo Fernandes, “Liquid Fire,” 48–49, 52.

(21.) David Christian, “Alcohol and Primitive Accumulation in Tsarist Russia,” in Erik Aerts, Louis M. Cullen, and Richard G. Wilson, eds., Production, Marketing and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages since the Late Middle Ages (Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press, 1990), 33.

(22.) Azevedo Fernandes, “Liquid Fire,” 57.

(23.) Dean, With Broadax and Firebrand, 174.

(24.) Juan Pedro Viqueira Albán, Propriety and Permissiveness in Bourbon Mexico, trans. Sonya Lipsett-Rivera and Sergio Rivera Ayala (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1999)

(25.) William F. Connell, “‘Because I Was Drunk and the Devil Had Tricked Me’: Pulque, Pulquerías, and Violence in the Mexico City Uprising of 1692,” Colonial Latin American Historical Review 14.4 (2005), 369–401.

(26.) John Chuchiak, “‘It Is Their Drinking that Hinders Them’: Balché and the Use of Ritual Intoxicants Among the Colonial Yucatec Maya, 1550–1780,” Estudios de Cultura Maya 24 (2003), 154.

(27.) Aaron P. Althouse, “Drunkenness and Violence in Colonial Michoacán,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 82.

(28.) Victor Uribe-Uran, “Colonial Baracunatanas and Their Nasty Men: Spousal Homicides and the Law in Late Colonial New Granada,” Journal of Social History (Fall 2001), 51.

(29.) Komisaruk, Labor and Love in Guatemala: The Eve of Independence (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013), 241.

(30.) Daughters, “Of Chicha, Majas, and Mingas,” 248.

(31.) Bruman, Alcohol in Ancient Mexico, 71.

(32.) Thomas Gage, A New Survey of the West Indies, (London: A. Clark, 1677), 93.

(33.) José Orozco, “Tequila Suaza and the Redemption of Mexico’s Vital Fluids, 1873–1970,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 189.

(34.) Bill Donovan, “The Açores and Commerce to Brazil as Viewed Through the Correspondence of Francisco Pinheiro,” in Avalino de Freitas de Meneses, ed., Portos, escalas e ilhéus no relacionamento entre o ocidente e o oriente: Actas do congress internacional comemorativeo do regress de Vasco da Gama a Portugal (Ponta Delgada, Portugal: Comissão Nacional para as Comemorações dos Descobrimentos Portugueses e Universidade dos Açores, 2001), 290–292.

(35.) José C. Curto, Enslaving Spirits: The Portuguese-Brazilian Alcohol Trade at Luanda and Its Hinterland, c. 1550–1830 (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2004).

(36.) Daughters, “Of Chicha, Majas, and Mingas,” 243.

(37.) Christophe Balaubre and Jordana Dym, “Introduction,” in Jordana Dym and Christophe Balaubre, eds., Politics, Economy, and Society in Bourbon Central America, 1759—1821(Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2007), 7; Jordana Dym, “Bourbon Reforms and City Government in Central America, 1759—1808,” in ibid., 85; Miles Wortman, Government and Society in Central America 1680—1840 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 144.

(38.) Curto, Álcool e Escravos, 103–104, 123–200; Herbert S. Klein, African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 143–144.

(39.) Alvis Dunn, “‘A Sponge Soaking up all the Money’: Alcohol, Taverns, Vinaterías, and the Bourbon Reforms in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Santiago de los Caballeros, Guatemala,” in David Carey Jr., ed., Distilling the Influence of Alcohol: Aguardiente in Guatemalan History(Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012), 71–95.

(40.) Wortman, Government and Society, 21–22.

(41.) Francisco de Santiago, “Teogenía indígena mosca. Autos en razón de prohibir a los caciques de Fontibón, Ubaque y otros no hagan las fiestas, borracheras y sacrificios de su gentilidad. Año de 1563,” Revista del Archivo Nacional 6.68–69 (December 1945), 323–330; Chuchiak, “‘It Is Their Drinking that Harms Them’,” 142–143.

(42.) Chuchiak, “‘It Is Their Drinking that Harms Them’,” 139.

(43.) Taylor, Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion, 38, 53, 55, 56, 68; Michael C. Scardaville, “Alcohol Abuse and Tavern Reform in Late Colonial Mexico City,” Hispanic American Historical Review 60 (1980), 646–647, 651, 653, 654, 669; Pablo Lacoste, “Wine and Women: Grape Growers and Pulperas in Mendoza, 1561–1852,” Hispanic American Historical Review 88.3 (August 2008), 377.

(44.) Taylor, Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion, 38.

(45.) Corcuera de Mancera, “Pulque y evangelación,” 417.

(46.) Eduardo Menéndez, “Alcoholismo y proceso de alcoholización: La construcción de una propuesta antropológica,” in Eduardo Menéndez, ed., Antropología del alcoholism en México: Los límites culturales de la economía política 1930–1979 (Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 1991), 29. See also Eduardo Menéndez, Morir de alcohol: Saber y hegemonía médica (Mexico City: Alianza Editorial Mexicana, 1990).

(47.) Ana Carla Ericastilla y Liseth Jiménez, “Las clandestinistas de aguardiente en Guatemala a fines del siglo XIX,” in Eugenia Rodríguez Sáenz, ed., Mujeres, género e historia en América Central durante los siglos XVIII, XIX, XX (Burlington, VT: Plumsock Mesoamerican Studies, 2002), 14.

(48.) Toxqui, “”Breadwinners or Entrepreneurs?,” 106–109, 112.

(49.) Taylor, Drinking, Homicide and Rebellion, 68; Nancy Hanway, “Wine Country: The Vineyards as National Space in Nineteenth-Century Argentina,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 90.

(50.) Azevedo Fernandes, “Liquid Fire,” 49, 51.

(51.) Dean, With Broadax and Firebrand, 173–174.

(52.) Orozco, “Tequila Suaza and the Redemption of Mexico’s Vital Fluids, 1873–1970,” 189.

(53.) Christopher Lutz, Santiago de Guatemala, 1541–1773: City, Caste and Colonial Experience (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994).

(54.) Azevedo Fernandes, “Liquid Fire,” 46, 59.

(55.) Dean, With Broadax and Firebrand, 174.

(56.) Dunn, “‘A Sponge Soaking up all the Money’.”

(57.) Toxqui, “”Breadwinners or Entrepreneurs?” 106–109, 112.

(58.) Carlos Mayo, Pulperos y pulperías in Buenos Aires; Mangan, Trading Roles, 69.

(59.) LaCoste, “Wine and Women,” 374.

(60.) Mangan, Trading Roles, 69, 83, 90–92, 104.

(61.) Steve Stern, The Secret History of Gender: Women, Men, & Power in Late Colonial Mexico (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 267; Gina Hames, “Maize-Beer, Gossip, and Slander: Female Tavern Proprietors and Urban, Ethnic Cultural Elaboration in Bolivia, 1870–1930,” Journal of Social History 37, no.2 (2003), 357, 361; John Kizca, Colonial Entrepreneurs: Families and Business in Bourbon Mexico City (Albuquerque: University of Mexico Press, 1983), 118–120.

(62.) Scardaville, “Alcohol Abuse and Tavern Reform in Late Colonial Mexico City,” 656–657.

(63.) Stern, The Secret History of Gender, 173–174.

(64.) Kendall W. Brown, Bourbons and Brandy: Imperial Reform in Eighteenth-Century Arequipa (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986); Jorge H. González Alzate, “State Reform, Popular Resistance, and Negotiation of Rule in late Bourbon Guatemala: The Quetzaltenango Aguardiente Monopoly, 1785–1807,” in Jordana Dym and Christophe Belaubre, eds., Politics, Economy, and Society in Bourbon Central America, 1759–1821, 129–155 (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2007); Connell, “‘Because I was Drunk and the Devil Had Tricked Me’”; Lacoste, “Wine and Women.”

(65.) Mangan, Trading Roles, 104.

(66.) Pamela Voekel, “Peeing on the Palace: Bodily Resistance to Bourbon Reforms in Mexico City,” Journal of Historical Sociology 5.2 (June 1992), 183–208.

(67.) Connell, “‘Because I Was Drunk and the Devil Had Tricked Me’,” 369–401; Jeffrey M. Pilcher, !Que vivan los tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998), 83–84.

(68.) Victor M. Uribe-Uran, “Innocent Infants or Abusive Patriarchs? Spousal Homicides, the Punishment of Indians and the Law in Colonial Mexico, 1740–1820s,” Journal of Latin American Studies 38 (2006), 807, 817–818, 820; Taylor, Drinking, Homicide and Rebellion, 44–45, 65, 156.

(69.) Azevedo Fernandes, “Liquid Fire,” 52.

(70.) Chuchiak, “‘It Is Their Drinking that Harms Them’,” 148.

(71.) Carmen Salazar, et al., Borrachera y memoria: La experiencia de los sagrado en los Andes (Lima: Instituto Francés de Estuidos Andinos, 1993).

(72.) Ben Fallaw, “Dry Law, Wet Politics: Drinking and Prohibition in Post-Revolutionary Yucatán, 1915–1935,” Latin American Research Review 37.2 (2001): 37–64; Oliver La Farge and Douglas Byers, The Year-Bearer’s People (New Orleans: Tulane University, 1931); Oliver La Farge, Santa Eulalia: The Religion of a Cuchumatán Indian Town (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1947); June Nash, In the Eyes of the Ancestors: Belief and Behavior in a Mayan Community (Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1970), 186; Carlos Enrique Reiche, “Estudio sobre el patrón de embriaguez en la región rural altaverapacense,” Guatemala Indígena 5 (1970): 103–127; Ruth Bunzel, “The Role of Alcoholism in Two Central American Cultures,” Psychiatry 3 (1940), 384; Stephen Lewis, ““La guerra del posh, 1951–1954: Un conflicto decisivo entre el Instituto Nacional Indigenista, el monopolio del alcohol y el gobierno del estado de Chiapas,” Mesoamérica 46 (enero-diciembre 2004): 111–134.

(73.) Chuchiak, “‘It Is Their Drinking that Harms Them’,” 146–147.

(74.) Chuchiak, “‘It Is Their Drinking that Harms Them’,” 152, 156.

(75.) Taylor, Drinking, Homicide and Rebellion, 41.

(76.) Christine Eber, Women and Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town: Water of Hope, Water of Sorrow (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000), 22; Hames, “Maize-Beer, Gossip, and Slander,” 352, 358; Lacoste, “Wine and Women,” 361–391.

(77.) Taylor, Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion, 37–38.

(78.) Raquel Rebolledo, “Pícaras y pulperas: Las otras mujeres de la Colonia,” Cyber Humanitatis 19 (Winter 2001).

(79.) LaCoste, “Wine and Women,” 391 (quote), 364, 377, 386; Hames, “Maize-Beer, Gossip, and Slander.”

(80.) Taylor, Drinking, Homicide and Rebellion, 57–58, 62.

(81.) Tom Gjelten, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause (New York: Viking, 2008).

(82.) Karen Racine, “Rum, Recruitment, and Revolution: Alcohol and the British and Irish Legions in Colombia’s War for Independence, 1817–1823,” Irish Migration Studies in Latin America 4.2 (March 2006), 47, 49.

(83.) Azevedo Fernandes, “Liquid Fire,” 46, 60.

(84.) Hamway, “Wine Country,” 89–90; Matías Bruera, La Argentina Fermentada: vino, alimentación, y cultura (Buenos Aires: Paidós, 2006), 55–56.

(85.) Jorge Aldo Perone, Identidad o masificación: Una encrucijada en la industria vitivinícola Argentina (Mendoza, Argentina: Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, 1985); Steve Stein, “Essence and Identity: Transformations in Argentine Wine, 1880–2010,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 210–241.

(86.) Stein, “Essence and Identity.”

(87.) José Orozco, “Tequila Suaza and the Redemption of Mexico’s Vital Fluids, 1873–1970,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 185–209.

(88.) Mitchell, Intoxicated Identities, 5.

(89.) Orozco, “Tequila Suaza and the Redemption of Mexico’s Vital Fluids,” 187–188.

(90.) Orozco, “Tequila Suaza and the Redemption of Mexico’s Vital Fluids,” 187–188.

(91.) Gjelten, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba; Peter Foster, Family Spirits: The Bacardi Saga (Toronto: Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 1990); Hernando Calvo Espina, Bacardi: The Hidden War (Sterling, VA: Pluto, 2002)

(92.) Stacey Schwartzkopf, “Consumption, Custom, and Control: Aguardiente in Nineteenth-Century Maya Guatemala,” in Carey, ed., Distilling the Influence of Alcohol, 17–41.

(93.) David McCreery, Rural Guatemala 1760–1940 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994), 87–88, 176–177; René Reeves, Ladinos with Ladinos, Indians with Indians: Land, Labor, and Regional Ethnic Conflict in the Making of Guatemala (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006), 104, 116, 227n47; Jorge H. González Alzate, ““History of Los Altos, Guatemala: A Study of Regional Conflict and National Integration, 1750–1885,” (Ph.D. diss., Tulane University, 1994), 141–148; Bunzel, “The Role of Alcoholism,” 363, 386; Lowell Gudmundson, “Firewater, Desire, and the Militiamen’s Christmas Eve in San Gerónimo, Baja Verapaz, 1892,” Hispanic American Historical Review 84.2 (2004), 254–55n30; Hazel Ingersoll, “The War of the Mountain: A Study of Reactionary Peasant Insurgency in Guatemala, 1837–1873,” (Ph.D. diss., George Washington University, 1972); Stacey Schwartzkopf, “Maya Power and State Culture: Community, Indigenous Politics, and State Formation in Northern Huehuetenango, Guatemala, 1800–1871,” (Ph.D. diss., Tulane University, 2008); Magda Leticia González Sandoval, “El estanco de bebidas embriagantes en Guatemala, 1753–1860,” (MA diss., Universidad del Valle, Guatemala City, 1990).

(94.) Toxqui, “Breadwinners or Entrepreneurs?” 115–116; James Alex Garza, The Imagined Underworld: Sex, Crime, and Vice in Porfirian Mexico City (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007), 24.

(95.) Gretchen Pierce, “Holy, Hated, or Hip?: The Circuitious History of Mexico’s Pulque,” Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society (May 12, 2012),

(96.) Graciela Márquez, “The Stamp Tax on Alcoholic Beverages: Continuities and Discontinuities of Indirect Taxation in Mexico, 1875–1930,” Paper prepared for the Latin American History Workshop, DRCLAS. Harvard University, November 2005; Doug Yarrington, “Román Cárdenas, the Liquor Tax, and Fiscal Modernity, 1913–1935,” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Conference on Latin American Studies, Flagstaff, AZ, 2008.

(97.) Márquez, “The Stamp Tax on Alcoholic Beverages,” 14.

(98.) Courtwright, Forces of Habit, 146–147; Fallaw, “Dry Law, Wet Politics.”

(99.) Allen Wells and Gilbert Joseph, Summer of Discontent: Elite Politics and Rural Insurgency in Yucatán, 1876–1915 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996), 209.

(100.) Wells and Joseph, Summer of Discontent, 159.

(101.) David Carey Jr., Engendering Mayan History: Kaqchikel Women as Agents and Conduits of the Past, 1875–1970 (New York: Routledge, 2006), 39; Lewis, “La guerra del posh, 1951–1954.”

(102.) Gretchen Pierce, “Pulqueros, Cerveceros, and Mezcaleros: Small Producers and Popular Resistance to Mexico’s Anti-Alcohol Campaigns, 1910–1940,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 164.

(103.) June D. Hahner, Poverty and Politics: The Urban Poor in Brazil, 1870–1920 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986), 215.

(104.) Wells and Joseph, Summer of Discontent, 169.

(105.) Gilbert M. Joseph and Daniel Nugent, eds., Everyday Forms of State Formation: Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mexico (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994), 145.

(106.) Hahner, Poverty and Politics, 33, 214.

(107.) Justin Wolfe, The Everyday Nation State: Community & Ethnicity in Nineteenth-Century Nicaragua (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007), 45–79; Reeves, Ladinos with Ladinos, 115–135, 171–183; Lewis, “La guerra del posh, 1951–1954,” 115.

(108.) Lewis, “La Guerra del Posh, 1951–1954,” 130.

(109.) Jan Rus, “The ‘Comunidad Revolucionaria Institucional’: The Subversion of Native Government in Highland Chiapas, 1936–1968,” in Joseph and Nugent, eds., Everyday Forms of State Formation (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994), 280; Schwartzkopf, “Consumption, Custom, and Control.”

(110.) Lewis, “La Guerra del Posh, 1951–1954,” 115. Translation by the author.

(111.) Eber, Women & Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town, 31.

(112.) Lewis, “La Guerra del Posh, 1951–1954,” 128.

(113.) Fallaw, “Dry Law, Wet Politics,” 48–49; Ben Fallaw, Cárdenas Compromised: The Failure of Reform in Revolutionary Yucatán (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001), 93, 103–104; Stephen E. Lewis, The Ambivalent Revolution: Forging State and Nation in Chiapas, 1910–1945 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005), 102, 104–105, 115; Jocelyn Olcott, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 145, 154; Gretchen Kristine Pierce, “Sobering the Revolution: Mexico’s Anti-Alcohol Campaigns and the Process of State-Building, 1910–1949,” (Ph.D. diss., University of Arizona, 2008); Mitchell, “Por la liberación integral de la mujer,” 5.

(114.) Carey, I Ask for Justice, 78–85; Pierce, “Pulqueros, Cerveceros, and Mezcaleros.”

(115.) Erin O’Connor, “Helpless Children or Undeserving Patriarchs?: Gender Ideologies, the State and Indian Men in Late Nineteenth-Century Ecuador,” in Kim Clark and Marc Becker, eds., Highland Indians and the State in Modern Ecuador (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), 56–71; Derek Williams, “The Making of Ecuador’s Pueblo Católico, 1861–1875,” in Nils Jacobson and Cristóbal Alvojín de Losada, eds., Political Cultures in the Andes (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005), 218, 222–223.

(116.) Daniela Bouret, “El consumo de vinos en Uruguay del novecientos. El desarrollo de la industria vitivinícola vrs. campañas antialcohólicas,” Boletín Americanista 59 (2009): 155–176.

(117.) David Carey Jr., “Comunidad escondida: Latin American Influences in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Portland,” in Joseph Conforti, ed., Creating Portland: History and Place in Northern New England (Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2005), 93 (quote). In an important exception, when supporters linked prohibition to patriotism and morality, Puerto Ricans supported it in a 1917 referendum; enforcement, however, was less forthcoming, see Truman R. Clark, “Prohibition in Puerto Rico, 1917–1933,” Journal of Latin American Studies 27.1 (1995): 77–97; Óscar Iván Calvo Isaza and Marta Saade Granados, La ciudad en cuarentena: Chicha, patología social y profilaxis (Bogotá: Ministerio de Cultura, 2002).

(118.) Anne Staples, “Policía y Buen Gobierno,” in William H. Beezley, Cheryl English Martin, and William E. French. eds., Rituals of Rule, Rituals of Resistance: Public Celebrations and Popular Culture in Mexico (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1994), 120; Gretchen Pierce, “Fighting Bacteria, the Bible, and the Bottle,” in William H. Beezley, ed., A Companion to Mexican History and Culture, Marlton, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 508.

(119.) Wells and Joseph, Summer of Discontent, 122.

(120.) Alan Knight, “Popular Culture and the Revolutionary State in Mexico, 1910–1940,” Hispanic American Historical Review 74.3 (1994): 393–397.

(121.) Fallaw, “Dry Law, Wet Politics,” 46; Marjorie Becker, “Torching La Purísima, Dancing at the Altar: The Construction of Revolutionary Hegemony in Michoacán, 1934–1940,” in Joseph and Nugent, eds., Everyday Forms of State Formation, 247–264; Katherine Bliss, “For the Health of the Nation: Gender and the Cultural Politics of Social Hygiene in Revolutionary Mexico” in Mary Kay Vaughn and Stephen E. Lewis, eds., The Eagle and the Virgin: Nation and Cultural Revolution in Mexico, 1920–1949 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 202–203; Pierce, “Fighting Bacteria, the Bible, and the Bottle,” 506; Olcott, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico 75.

(122.) Pierce, “Sobering the Revolution”; Stephanie Mitchell, “Por la liberación de la mujer: Women and the Anti-Alcohol Campaign,” in Stephanie Mitchell and Patience Schell, eds., The Women’s Revolution in Mexico, 1910–1953 (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), 151–185; Pierce, “Fighting Bacteria, the Bible, and the Bottle,” 505, 511; Olcott, Revolutionary Women in Post-Revolutionary Mexico; Gretchen Pierce, “Parades, Epistles, and Prohibitive Legislation: Mexico’s National Anti-Alcohol Campaign and the Process of State-Building, 1934–1940,” Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 23.2 (2009).

(123.) Lewis, The Ambivalent Revolution, 100–101.

(124.) Lewis, The Ambivalent Revolution, 38, 86, 89, 101–109, 115; Mitchell, “Por la liberación de la mujer.” Pierce, “Fighting Bacteria, the Bible, and the Bottle,” 510; Robert Buffington, “Prohibition in the Borderlands: National Government-Border Community Relations,” Pacific Historical Review 63.1 (1994): 19–38; Bliss, “For the Health of the Nation,” 209–210; Olcott, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico, 38–39, 74–75.

(125.) Buffington, “Prohibition in the Borderlands,” 25, 26, 28; Wells and Joseph, Summer of Discontent, 125; David Carey Jr., “Drunks and Dictators: Inebriation’s Gendered, Ethnic, and Class Components in Guatemala, 1898–1944,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America; Pierce, “Parades, Epistles, and Prohibitive Legislation,” 158.

(126.) Wells and Joseph, Summer of Discontent, 138.

(127.) William E. French, “Prostitutes and Guardian Angels: Women, Work and the Family in Porfirian Mexico,” Hispanic American Historical Review 72.4 (November 1992), 541; Barry Carr, “The Fate of the Vanguard under a Revolutionary State: Marxism’s Contribution to the Construction of the Great Arch,” in Joseph and Nugent, eds., Everyday Forms of State Formation, 336; Thomas Miller Klubock, “Working-Class Masculinity, Middle-Class Morality, and Labor Politics in the Chilean Mines,” Journal of Social History 30.2 (1996); Klubock, Contested Communities; Marcos Fernández Labbé, “Las comunidades de la sobriedad: La instalación de zonas secas como método de control de beber inmoderado en Chile, 1910-1930,” Scripta Nova 9, 194 (August 2005); Michael Snodgrass, “We Are all Mexicans Here,” in Mary Kay Vaughan and Stephen Lewis, eds., The Eagle and the Virgin: Nation and Cultural Revolution in Mexico, 1920–1940 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 314–334.

(128.) Gretchen Pierce and Áurea Toxqui, “Introduction,” in Pierce and Toxqui, eds., Alcohol in Latin America, 3–20.

(129.) Pierce, “Pulqueros, Cerveceros, and Mezcaleros”; David Carey Jr., “Distilling Perceptions of Crime: Maya Moonshiners and the Guatemalan State, 1898–1944,” in Carey, ed., Distilling the Influence of Alcohol; Erin O’Connor, “Helpless Children or Undeserving Patriarchs?” ; Óscar Iván Calvo Isaza and Marta Saade Granados, La ciudad en cuarentena: Chicha, patología social y profilazis (Bogotá: Ministerio de Cultura, 2002); Buffington, “Prohibition in the Borderlands”; Staples, “Policía y Buen Gobierno,” 124; Lewis, The Ambivalent Revolution; Bliss, “For the Health of the Nation,” 212–213; Derek Williams, “The Making of Ecuador’s Pueblo Católico,” in Nils Jacobson and Cristóbal Alvojín de Losada, eds., Political Culture in the Andes, 1750–1950 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005); Bouret, “El consumo de vinos en Uruguay del novecientos”; Pierce, “Parades, Epistles, and Prohibitive Legislation”; Clark, “Prohibition in Puerto Rico, 1917–1933.”

(130.) Matthew Gutmann, The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 184–187.

(131.) Chuchiak, “‘It Is Their Drinking that Hinders Them’,” 138.

(132.) Daughters, “Of Chicha, Majas, and Mingas.”

(133.) Pablo Piccato, “‘El paso de Venus por el disco del sol’: Criminality and Alcoholism in the Late Porfiriato,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 11.2 (Summer 1995), 235.

(134.) W. E. Carson, Mexico: The Wonderland of the South (New York: Macmillan, 1909), 104.

(135.) John L. Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan, Vols. 1–2 (New York: Dover, 1969), 145.

(136.) Gilbert Haven, Our Next Door Neighbor: A Winter in Mexico (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1875), 81–82.

(137.) Piccato, “El Paso de Venus por el Disco del sol,” 211–212, 218–220; Deborah Toner, “Everything in its Right Place,” Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 25 (2011), 241, 243.

(138.) Guillermo Prieto, Memorias de mis tiempos (Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1985), 48.

(139.) Áurea Toxqui, “Taverns and Their Influence on the Suburban Culture of Late Nineteenth-Century Mexico City,” in Kenneth R. Hall, ed., The Growth of Non-Western Cities: Primary and Secondary Urban Networking, c. 900–1900 (Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2011), 243 (quote), 260–261

(140.) Toxqui, “Taverns and Their Influence on the Suburban Culture of Late Nineteenth-Century Mexico City,” 257.

(141.) Wells and Joseph, Summer of Discontent, 157.

(142.) Virginia Garrard-Burnett, “Indians Are Drunks and Drunks Are Indians,” Bulletin of Latin American Research 19.3 (July 2000), 341–356; Robert Burkitt, “Explorations in the Highlands of Western Guatemala,” The Museum Journal 21.1 (1930), 5–40; Connell, “‘Because I Was Drunk and the Devil Had Tricked Me’”; Lacoste, “Wine and Women”; Piccato, “‘El paso de Venus por el disco del sol,’” 203–241.

(143.) Wells and Joseph, Summer of Discontent, 153.

(144.) Gutmann, The Meanings of Macho, 39.

(145.) Wells and Joseph, Summer of Discontent, 170; O’Connor, “Helpless Children or Undeserving Patriarchs?” 68; Carey, I Ask for Justice, 125, 127, 151.

(146.) Gutmann, The Meanings of Macho, 193–195.

(147.) Kirsten Weld, Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014), 169.

(148.) Heidi Tinsman, Partners in Conflict: The Politics of Gender, Sexuality, and Labor in the Chilean Agrarian Reform, 1950–1973 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002), 66.

(149.) Klubock, “Working-Class Masculinity, Middle-Class Morality, and Labor Politics in the Chilean Mines,”437–438, 448–449, 451, 456 (quote 438); Thomas Miller Klubock, Contested Communities, 11, 45–47, 60, 122, 155–159, 207.

(150.) O’Connor, “Helpless Children or Undeserving Patriarchs?”

(151.) Pierce, “Fighting Bacteria, the Bible, and the Bottle,” 505, 511–512.

(152.) Gutmann, The Meanings of Macho, 174.

(153.) Stern, The Secret History of Gender, 173.

(154.) Pierce, “Parades, Epistles, and Prohibitive Legislation,” 153.

(155.) Gutmann, The Meanings of Macho, 17, 177–178, 190–193, 245–246.

(156.) Gutmann, The Meanings of Macho, 174, 177–178, 190–193.

(157.) Piccato, “El Paso de Venus por el disco del sol,” 228.

(158.) Gutmann, The Meanings of Macho, 174, 177–178, 190–193.

(159.) Toxqui, “‘Breadwinners or Entrepreneurs?”

(160.) Hames, “Maize-Beer, Gossip, and Slander,” 357.

(161.) Hames, “Maize-Beer, Gossip, and Slander,” 357

(162.) Archivo General de Centro América, Jefetura Politíca de Sacatepéquez, Administración de Rentas a Jefe Politíco, January 3, 1923.

(163.) Hahner, Poverty and Politics, 33.

(164.) Pierce, “Pulqueros, Cerveceros, and Mezcaleros,” 164.

(165.) Mitchell, Intoxicated Identities, 3.

(166.) Carey, “Drunks and Dictators”; Pierce, “Parades, Epistles, and Prohibitive Legislation,” 154.

(167.) Orozco, “Tequila Suaza and the Redemption of Mexico’s Vital Fluids,” 195; Mitchell, Intoxicated Identities, 6.

(168.) Pierce, “Pulqueros, Cerveceros, and Mezcaleros,” 166.

(169.) Eber, Women and Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town, 244, 246.