Cocktails for Two : Condesa, Polanco & Way Down South
Note: The following is the second of a two part article compiled by guest author Gastronauta while I go on extended happy hour. See part 1
I’ve often heard from tourists who visit Mexico that a fine cocktail is hard to come by. It was less than 10 years ago, when traveling through the country, that I couldn’t find a decent screwdriver to save my life. Nowadays frothy fruity margaritas and candy-colored martinis are available in most cities, but the Mexican capital has a newfound appreciation for the art of mixing drinks. Whether upscale designer mixology, or pre-prohibition classics, this trend is beaming with creativity and personality, adding a new layer of excitement to the Mexican flavor landscape. Bartenders are also adding a local twist by bringing forward national spirits like mezcal and tequila, and local flavors like fresh chilies, cilantro, and unusual botanicals. Here is a list of the outstanding cocktail bars to visit in Mexico City.
3. Felina- This bar, tucked away in the south section of Condesa is a little gem. The cocktails here are imaginative and feature audacious Mexican ingredients. The Under the Volcano is made with black zapote, - an ebony-colored creamy fruit - tangerine, mezcal and a touch of chocolate. The taste combines muted ashen notes with bright citrus, and the mezcal perks it all up. Other drinks also star exotic ingredients such as hoja santa, a large leaf reminiscent of spearmint, and another features rhubarb which is little known in Mexico. Felina’s strength lays in its cat-like boldness.
Ometusco 87, Condesa.
Hours: Tuesday - Wednesday 6 p.m. -1:30 a.m.
Thursday - Saturday 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Cocktails from $80- $115
4. Jules Basement: If you are dining in the blaring, gaudy Polanco restaurant La Surtidora, the last thing you’d imagine is that somewhere within hides one of the chicest spots in town. You need to ask a staff member for “the refrigerator door” to be guided speakeasy-style to the secret stairs heading down. This is Jules Basement, a space enveloped in black and simply but exquisitely decorated . The barmen have created a repertoire that pays homage to classic cocktails, but with contemporary twists. This is where you can find barrel-aged cocktails, such as a 3-month negroni, which achieves oaky perfection. And almost like mad scientists, these guys bring out gadgets intended to create unexpected drink profiles. The elegante del Caribe, mixes dry spirits into a bottle that is filled with cherrywood smoke, which creates an esoteric blend of flavors.
Julio Verne 93, Polanco.
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
5. San Angel Inn- If what you're yearning for is the quintessential Mexican experience, then your best bet will be the legendary San Angel Inn. This gorgeous hacienda sits next door to the Casa Estudio Diego Rivera. A drink and nosh here is just the thing after a day in the southern part of the city The San Angel Inn is famous for one cocktail alone: the margarita. Each one rests in a silver carafe atop crushed ice, while the frozen version arrives in a simple martini glass. While there are better margaritas elsewhere, these include a unique ingredient and that is the hacienda itself. The charming gardens, decent if unexceptional food, soft music and impeccable service are a priceless part of this cocktail experience. And should you want to try something unique, ask for the mint julep Veracruz, which replaces bourbon with rum and port.
San Angel Inn
Diego Rivera 50, Colonia San Angel Inn.
Hours: Monday - Saturday 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday 1 - 9:30 p.m.
Drinks around $100
Follow Gastronauta at www.gastronautadf.com and on Twitter: @GastronautaDF
Nomino a Anatol para la 2da parte. El mejor Old Fashioned que he probado, y todos sus cocteles son excelentes.
- JC Alvarado
Mercado Roma is open. The beautifully designed space features upscale but accessible dining and shopping. A welcome addition to the constantly morphing Colonia Roma. Querétaro 225, between Medellín & Monterrey, open 10-7 daily.
Guzina Oaxaca, at Mazaryk 513 (tel. 5282 1820) in Polanco is chef Alejandro Ruiz' venue for great Oaxacan cooking. It's worth a visit.
Casa Virginia is chef Mónica Patiño's latest venture, located above Delirio at the corner of Alvaro Obregón & Monterrey, the Porfiriana house is beautifully restored and home-style food is delicious Tel. 5207 1813
Sesame at Colima 183, Roma, is chef Josefina Santacruz' venue for authenically prepared Asian street snacks. Try the pho, it's divine.
☻ Asian Food in el D.F.
☻ Shopping Gourmet
☻ Rosetta - Nearly Perfect
☻ Máximo Bistro
See: POSTS, above for 2008-2012
☻Best Cocktails part 1
☻Chowzter's London awards
☻ Lusitano - Portuguese
☻Dominique is now a bistro
☻ Estiatorio Mythos
☻ Taco Hopping: el Centro
☻The Best of 2013
☻De Mar a Mar
☻Yuban great Oaxacan Cooking
☻ Acapulco puts on a party
☻Rokai brings a little bit of Tokyo...
☻Angelopolitano: poblano Condesa
☻Mushroom season in Mexico
☻Touring the world's best barbacoa
☻World view: Anatol takes the cake
☻Dim Sum at Jing Teng
☻ Food trucks in Mexico City, ...
☻Celebrating July 4th in Mexico
☻Lincoln stays mid-century
☻ “Best taco in Mexico"
☻Close to home: Maximo Bistrot
☻On the Town: Tapeando
☻Q&A With Máximo's Chef
☻The Best Thing I Ate This Week:
☻Tacos de Pescado
☻And the Angels Sing: Turtux
☻The Women of Mexican Cuisine
☻The Feria de Tamales -Coyoacán