It’s high time tequila grew out of its rowdy student reputation. National Tequila Day is around the corner, and it’s just the thing for showing you that there’s more to the spirit than late-night, later-regretted tequila slammers. From bespoke cocktails and tasting flights, to a dedicated pairing menu, here’s how to get involved at the best places to drink tequila in London.
Drink the UK’s best tequila cocktail at Hacha
Head down to Hatcha, the Mexican kitchen and agaveria (basically, a bar dedicated to all things agave), this Wednesday to taste the best tequila cocktail in the UK. The bar has been running a competition to find the country’s master tequila bartender, and the final three contenders will be appearing before a panel of expert judges on National Tequila Day itself. Wash it down with Hacha’s menu of tostadas, ceviche and tacos.
From 7pm, Wednesday 24 July, 378 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8 4AA, hachabar.com
Sample a champagne Paloma at Homeboy
Apparently the Paloma, not the Margarita, is Mexico’s best-loved cocktail. Islington cocktail bar Homeboy is marking National Tequila Day by serving up twists on the classic serve, with Patrón Silver Tequila souped up with a splash of champagne.
108 Essex Road, N1 8LX, homeboybar.com
Try Maestro Dobel Diamante
Do not knock this one back under any circumstances. Maestro Dobel Diamante is the equivalent of a peated single malt Scotch in tequila terms, and so needs to be savoured and sipped. For those of you who really know your tequila, this is made in the Cristalino style – an añejo tequila that is filtered to extract the colour. Diamante is a careful blend of several aged tequilas, matured in Balkan wood, where the filtration takes away some of the overbearing wood notes, making it complex blend of sweet and caramel notes – a smooth drink for long summer nights.
And here’s one to make at home…
Ingredients: 35ml Maestro Dobel Diamante, 10ml grapefruit juice, 3 dashes orange bitters, 5ml agave nectar, champagne, grapefruit peel.
Method: Shake & double-strain into a long flute glass. Top-up with champagne and garnish with a coin-sized grapefruit peel.
Become a tequila expert at Pacifico
Head down to London’s oldest Mexican bar, Pacifico, to taste some of its 150 varieties of tequila this National Tequila Day (we don’t recommend trying for a clean sweep). Not only is it the only bar in London to have a gold accreditation from the Regulatory Tequila Council, but it’s also won the award for the Best Margarita in London for two years in a row. Its food menu of classic Mexican comfort food is well worth trying, too.
5 Langley Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JA, cafe-pacifico.com
Drink and dine at Ella Canta
Mayfair’s finest modern Mexican, Ella Canta, is partnering up with George Clooney’s very own Casamigos tequila to offer margarita masterclasses, followed by a three-course tequila pairing menu. Octopus will be served with a Casamigos Spritz, followed by pork carnitas with a Casamigos Old Fashioned, and finished with churros and Casamigos Mezcal.
£59 per person, 6pm, 7pm and 8pm on 24 July, One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London W1J 7QY, ellacanta.com