In Oaxaca, Mexico they drink their mezcal as a shot, with a plate of ground up, fried larvae, chilli peppers and limes. We personally prefer it as a smoky cocktail ingredient. Lucky for us, it's getting more and more popular in bars (people have caught on just how epic this spirit is) and you'll find it chilling on plenty of menus.
London's first dedicated Agaveria, this is the place to come if you're looking for a world-class Mezcal. They have a rotating "Agave List" of 25 bottles (from tequilas to raicilla and of course, mezcal) which sits on one long shelf behind the bar; industry faves, a few newcomers and a couple of rare bottles that even the most seasoned agave drinker might not recognise. They weave their way in and out of the cocktail menu or are paired with flavour enhancers to compliment the notes of the spirits. Just ask Deano for his mezcal recommendations, but def make sure you try out their Mezcal Mirror Margarita for a smokey taste of the UK's best cocktail.
378 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AA
This basement bar is pinker than a blushing flamingo at a Pride parade. Expect the vibrancy of Mexico and the sexiness of a 1920s Harlem jazz club, in a scarlet basement bar in Stokey that specialises in Mezcal. You've found our happy place. This place is headed up by Lucie Massey (the brains behind Cuppa Gumbo & Slap Ya Papa) and agave enthusiast Thea Cumming, the mega babe founder of Dangerous Don, a wicked mezcal which mixes two of Mexico's most beloved treasures (and BarChick's fave things): mezcal & coffee.
92 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 7NY
Gimmicky sombreros and cartoonish sugar skulls this place is not. When it comes to capturing the vibe of Mexico, the KOL team have taken the sophisticated approach. Think washed terracotta walls, hand made clay crockery and rustic raffia touches all illuminated by a copper-hued backlit bar. This is Mexico if it didn't have tourism. Being a Mezcaleria, the agave spirit is obviously the soup du jour. Maxim and Matthias behind the bar have populated the menu with a selection of some of the best bottles to come out of Mexico, and used them to create a sick menu of cocktails and tasting flights that'll help take you on a legit mezcal journey.
9 Seymour St, London W1H 7BA
Think all chain restaurants are the same? Wrong. Upstairs in the Fitzrovia outpost of this colourful Mexican restaurant chain is where you'll find the Mezcaleria. Craving tacos with your mezcal? This is where it's at. Here you can order a shot of Pechuga, a mezcal that has been redistilled with wild fruits, grains and, of all things... a raw chicken carcass! It's a carnivorous ancient process - apparently the fats from the chicken balance out the drink's fiery intensity. Hey it's mezcal, the other white meat!
19-23 Charlotte St, London W1T 1RL
This is the first solo project from Adriana Cavita, a bad-ass babe who has previously worked in the kitchens of some of the worlds best restaurants (including El Bulli, which is def a pretty big deal) It'll be opening this November with a wholesome and authentic menu of street food dishes inspired by the antojitos her grandmother used to cook roadside, but it's the hidden mezcal bar beneath this Marylebone Village joint that we're counting the days down for. Mayahuel is gonna have a kick-ass menu of sipping mezcals available to kick back with, showcasing the best of what Mexico's agave has to offer, as well as killer list of signature cocktails including a Cavita Margarita made with a trio of agave; tequila blanco & reposado and mezcal. That's our kinda threesome.
56 Wigmore St, Marylebone, London
Neil Rankin is the BBQ king. His restaurants all feature some of the best flame cooking London has to offer, with open fires, sizzling grills and smoking ovens that turn a slab of raw meat into one of the most tender cuts you've ever tried. But we don't just hit up his Soho restaurant for a protein hit. He's got a sick menu of mezcals and they compliment the smokiness of his food like nobodies business. Descend into the dark basement with its centre-stage firepit and try their smokey Mezcal Negroni for a punchier twist on the gin-based original.
25 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DF
Remember the cool, dimly lit Mark's Bar found in the basement of HIX in Soho? Well, that's gone (sad times) but now in its place is the basement bar belonging to the new El Pastor, and it's rocking some sick Mexican nightclub vibes, complete with DJ decks and a killer menu of mezcals that are bringing the fire back to Soho. Looks like post-lockdown life is gonna contain a lotta tacos, mezcal and dancing, amigos. Bring it on!
66-70 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9UP
This roaming mezcaleria has spent the last few years popping up in some of London's coolest bars, bringing mezcal education and good vibes to anyone wanting to deep dive into the world of this complex Mexican spirit. This Summer it's Hackney's turn to host the Sin Gusano crew who are bringing an epic collection of mezcals to Caldera on Mare Street, including some which can't usually be found outside of Mexico. Talk about exclusivity, amigo. Expect a bad-ass welcome cocktail, Mexican nibbles and an education you won't forget... unless you go ham on the tasting top-ups. Grab your tickets here for the tasting event on the 9th August, and keep your eyes out for their next pop-up mezcaleria location here. Oh and if you can't make it to a pop-up, their Mezcal Appreciation Society subscription is definitely the next best thing.
Caldera, 143, Mare St, London, E8 3FW