Cacao pods on top of cacao seeds
The Alcoholic Cacao Drink That Predates Chocolate As We Know It
Research suggests that around 1,300 B.C., Mesoamericans like the Olmecs were using a part of cacao pods (not the part that produces chocolate) to make a sort of chocolate wine.
The sweet pulp surrounding the cacao seeds (also known as cocoa beans) was used as the base for fermentation, reaching a maximum of 5% alcohol by volume.
What this civilization used the drink for is unclear, as they didn't keep written records, but it may have been used in religious rituals or as a symbol of social status.