Acan – Mayan God of Drink

Acan – Mayan God of Drink


Acan is the Mayan God of Wine, Alcohol, and intoxication.  I think its safe to simply call him the God of Spirits.  The Mayan culture revolved around growing seasons and set their calendars by it.  Acan himself was said to be represented by fermented honey and also included ingredients like bark from the Balché tree. Some say his name means “belch” but I think it was just lost in translation.  Fermented honey with bark sounds like bitters to me, which means the Mayans produced the first cocktail thousands of years ago.

Further description from:

The Maya had many more than a hundred Gods. Acan is one of the names given for the God of Intoxication. Acan is often mistakenly called the God of wine. However, the Maya had no wine grapes until after the Spaniards arrived with a taste for wine and brought those plants to Central America. Ethnobotony focuses on the indiginous plants and how the people used them.

All cultures seem to figure out how to make elixers and foods from the plants that will alter the consciousness. The Maya made an elixir using their available ingredients called balche.’ It was fermented, but it sure didn’t taste like beer.

Balche’ was more than simply alcoholic; it had other “medicinal” properties. The honey that was used was unique to the bees in that area, producing a hallucinogenic kick. Was that their goal when they first combined ingredients in a canoe and found it bubbled and later made them feel very odd?

The Maya were serious beekeepers. Ah-Muzen-Cab was the bee god:


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