Decree forbidding the Chiringuito

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Author: Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa (sometimes spelled Bucareli y Urzúa) (1717-1779

Year: 1772


Place: Mexico City


1 sheet, folio. (16 ¾” x 12 ½”) No institutional copies located (worldcat, 2021)

Recently instructed by the Spaniards in the distillation processes, indigenous and mestizos of the New Spain created mezcal, tequila and the chiringuito, which quickly positioned themselves, along with pulque, as the preferred beverages of colonial and independent Mexico; who reserved wine, Jerez and oporto for the more affluent classes. 

Francisco Leandro de Vianda, Count of Tepa, wrote in 1781 while he was back in Spain, a Memoire on the drinks of New Spain, their effects and their excessive charges. In this document, Viana refers in a very pejorative way to the chiringuito, instead, he praises pulque as a healthy drink. The author gives us a description of the chiringuito, although as it was forbidden there is no record of its elaboration: the chiringuito is a poisonous drink, deadly and destructive of the health of the Indians, and allowing it would be the cause of the extinction of those useful vassals. The chiringuito is a cane liquor, of as much or greater strength than that of wine, it is made by distilling honey and water in stills. 

Among the Indians themselves, who abused the drink, they considered the chiringuito as the source of all kinds of ills: sudden deaths and "matlazahuatl" (a terrible disease, particularly for the indigenous people, a mixture of endemic hepatitis with typhoid). 

Despite the virreinal authorities had always forbid the Chiringuito stopping its production was like putting doors to the field: as the equipment for its distillation was small and simple, producing it on clandestine factories located on the outskirts of the city was rather easy, where thousands of liters could be manufactured in a few days. Despite the havoc it produced on the local population, the Chiringuito prevailed during the colonial era.  


Staining. Some reinforcements and repairs on the back with archival tape. else a good copy of a scarce historical item. 



























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