Mezcal, it might not have the same profile as Tequila, but boy should it have! The Mexican drink, a smokier version of its more glamorous sister, is also agave based and it’s nevertheless taking London by storm. So much so that they’ve now dedicated an entire week to the drink. So grab a sombrero, we’re off to celebrate.
Leicester Square Kitchen have outed themselves as Mezcal lovers by throwing together a limited edition cocktail menu specially for the week. So head down to the bar and restaurant (no prizes for guessing the address) to try out their Mezcal cocktails this week, including their Manzana & Mint Sour (Mezcal Burrito, apple, rosemary, mint, lime and egg white), Mezcal Julep (Del Maguey Vida mezcal, lime and ginger beer), Parada en Mexico (Ilegal Joven mezcal, chilli liqueur, passionfruit and Modelo) and, finally, a Margarita Ahumada (Ilegal Reposado mezcal, plum, raspberry and lime).
Where: 31-36 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LH
The very epicentre of nearly any largescale Mexican event in London has, in just a year or so since it opened, shifted undeniably to Ella Canta. The restaurant, London’s smartest Mexican, has (of course) a bar overflowing with rare and carefully sourced mezcals, which form the basis of some innovative signature cocktails in a list entitled Mexico’s Gifts to the World. Go and try them, you can’t be disappointed!
Where: 1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair, W1J 7QY
The Lost Alpaca can, it turns out, be found by heading to Covent Garden. The new bar at FLORAL by Lima is embracing London Mezcal Week by serving its signature Lima Negroni. The Latin American bar will celebrate Mexican spirit with their cocktail made with bozal mezcal, campari, cynar and dolin sweet vermouth. Enjoy with some Peruvian bar snacks and Latin American vibes.
Where: 14 Garrick Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9BJ
The American Bar at The Stafford London, St James’s may be called ‘American’ but rather than building a wall they’re embracing Mexican culture in their new cocktail menu in the form of The Moriarty. The cocktail, celebrating Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis who first tried to kill Holmes in the heart of St James’s clubland – which is exactly where The Stafford is. The cocktail includes Vida mezcal with Don Julio tequila, Solerno blood orange, grapefruit, agave and lime.
Where: 16-18 St James's Place, Mayfair, London, SW1A 1NJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Green Park (0.2 miles)
If there’s one place that’s going to be partying big time this London Mezcal Week it’s got to be Sin Gusano. Not least because it’s London’s only dedicated mezcaleria. Over the week they’ll be arranging a range of events, including a 400 Rabbits takeover tomorrow (Tuesday 11th September), their monthly Mezcal Appreciation Society tasting on Wednesday 12th September (special guest: Global Mezcal Ambassador, Phil Bayly hosting). Come Thursday 13th September it’s getting academic with a talk on the ancient Zapotec culture native to Oaxaca in ‘Agave: Food, drink and fibres for the body, mind and spirit’. Friday 14th sees Victor Perez of Alipus hosting a masterclass and on Saturday 15th September Oaxacan music collective Teatro Magico will be putting on a hell of a party to celebrate 208 years of Mexico’s independence.
Where: 258 Kingsland Road, Dalston, E8 4DG
For a full list of what’s going down this Mezcal Week check out:www.londonmezcalweek.com.