Move aside tequila, there’s a smoky new shot taking over every bar and taqueria joint in the capital. Whether it’s mixed, muddled, neat or with a slice of orange, mezcal is fast becoming the drink of choice on the London bar scene…
With a new wave of upmarket Mexican eateries and street food stalls taking over London’s cobbled street corners, the demand for Mexican drinks has never been higher. But rather than knocking back tequila with a side of salt and lime, discerning drinkers are dedicating entire nights to sampling the delights of mezcal instead.
Mezcal is made from the heart of the agave plant – tequila is in fact a type of mezcal – but unlike tequila, which is made from the single blue agave plant, mezcal is produced mainly in southern Mexico using any one of 30 different varieties of agave. Considered an ‘authentic artisan distillate’, the agave plants are pit-roasted, ground, mixed with water and fermented in open vats to create a unique smoky taste and distinctly smooth finish. Kind of like craft beer compared to normal lager, you get a much more superior flavour.
That’s why city dwellers are going nuts for the stuff, and from Wahaca and MNKY LNGE to Café Pacifico and La Bodegra Negra, there are plenty of places to try it. Whether you want to sink a few with dinner – savour the smoky aromas with a serving of ceviche and braised beef tacos – or as a mezcal margarita at the bar, this is the drink to sip on.
Top tip: Apparently you can swerve your hangover if you drink it pure with a dash of water. We know what we’ll be ordering at the bar next…
Want to try at home? Brimming with flavour, BRUXO Mezcal is a full-bodied, sweet and spicy mezcal blend with floral notes and a subtle chocolatey finish. A unique saltiness cuts through the smoky aromas to create the ultimate margarita. Mix it with grapefruit, green tomato, lemon, basil and syrup to make BRUXO's signature 'CONJURO' cocktail – the perfect pre-dinner aperitif.