Pulque is definitely a pre-Hispanic beverage, it’s use and abuse is well documented. The myth of Mayahuel speaks to the creation of pulque. There were very specific laws regarding who could and could not drink pulque and when. In addition to it’s use for ritual purposes, because of it’s nutritional value (and, yes, it does posses a surprising level of nutrition) pregnant women were routinely allowed to imbibe, and, of course, the warrior class was allowed.
During fiestas or rituals everyone was allowed to drink and more or less drink as much as they liked. Drunkenness was not frowned upon during those events. BUT…god forbid you drank and were publicly intoxicated any other time. Retribution was swift. If you were in the non-elite class (i.e. rulers, warriors, priests and their families) you were given a warning the first time. The second time you were killed. It was worse for the elites. First time public drunkenness resulted in death!
There is no particularly compelling evidence that the pre-Hispanic cultures and civilizations had developed any form of distillation. A lot of mescal today is still distilled using the alembic (I think I spelled that right) method which, if I’m not mistaken, the Spanish learned from the Moorish occupation of Spain. A lot of mescal is double distilled and some is even triple distilled.
I’ve seen (and tasted) mescal production many times in various venues, including a family compound. About 6 months ago I had the opportunity to visit a family in Tlaxcala producing pulque. It’s an interesting but still pretty primitive process.