Cocktails for Two : part 1, Colonia Roma
Note: The following two part article was compiled by guest author Gastronauta while I go on extended happy hour. NG
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. Maison Artemisia - This cozy upstairs lounge is like a Toulouse-Lautrec painting: French, bohemian, and sexy. Artemisia makes brilliantly detailed cocktails, but absinthe is the lady of the house. Served with full regalia, you can order a variety of absinthes in many combinations. Customers return as well for the remarkable gin and tonics. The bar is originator of the salmoncito, a grapefruit/campari gin & tonic drink that suddenly is found everywhere in town. The pezoncito - little nipple - is a flirtatious raspberry, gin, egg white and lime cocktail, while the nahual is a daring mixture of herbaceous hoja santa, mezcal and chili liqueur.
Tonalá 23, Roma.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Drinks: $130- $200
4. Lilit - The giant faux rhino head on the wall embodies the spirit of this place: artsy, relaxed, and eclectic. Legend has it that Quentin Tarantino was once here and loved one of their signature drinks, the San Francisco homeless which is a vodka, beer, orange and cranberry libation bottled and served inside a brown paper bag. It’s precisely the touch of whimsy that gives their drinks an extra kick. Like the London tea, which features gin and ginger and is served in a dainty teacup with a touch of lemon. This is not a place that is about precision or perfection, but rather an experimental mishmash of coolness. The double Bellini, for example, is a molecular drink featuring champagne with peach liqueur, lavender caviar, and a side of peach foam. One of my favorites is called the southern, which is a surprisingly effective mixture of mulled kiwi, fruit and bourbon.
Chihuahua 118, Roma.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Drinks: $80 - $150
5. Patio Aurora. “Upscale comfort” is how Aurora looks at their cocktails. Their approach is to make drinks that feel friendly and familiar, but with a sophisticated edge. Gin and tonics are the staple, and they add a touch of flavor with perfumed syrups and infusions made in-house. If you are having dinner in the patio, the bartender will roll out a cart and prepare your G&T table side. But my stand-out cocktail is called simply Fresh, a combination of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, dark rum, and fresh ginger.
Alvaro Obregón 126, Roma
Hours: Tuesday 1 – 11:30 p.m.
Wednesday -Saturday 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday 1 - 7 p.m.
Drinks: $110 -$140
Next week, we toast other D.F. neighborhoods; stay tuned for Part 2
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 22, between Medellín & Monterrey, open 9-7 daily.
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 - but noise can be a problem. Tel. 5207 1813; you'll need a reservation.
☻ Asian Food in el D.F.
☻ Shopping Gourmet
☻ Rosetta - Nearly Perfect
☻ Máximo Bistro
See: POSTS, above for 2008-2012
☻ 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