It’s National Tequila Day on 24 July, which has got me thinking about my favourite places for a cocktail along the King’s Road. From Authentic Mexican bars to mixology experts, drop in to these spots for a taste of Mexico that’s sure to lift your spirits.
For the real deal, only a Mexican bar or restaurant will do. Tequila is commonly served neat in Mexico and as a shot with salt and lime across the rest of the world. You can have it both ways (and plenty more) at Azteca.
The Mexican bar and canteen, who recently celebrated its 23rdbirthday on the King’s Road, offers an extensive cocktail menu, plentiful Mexican cuisine and a huge variety of over 35 tequilas – so you can really go all out. My choice on a hot day is always the frozen La Cantina – a blend of Maestro Dobel tequila with lime juice, cucumber, avocado and agave syrup – served with some mouth-watering fresh ceviche.
For a taste of terrific tapas to go with your tequila, head to Tonteria. The club has a lively atmosphere that reflects the Mexican culture of great music, friendliness and vibrancy. The staff will know just the tequila to pair with your dishes, with a wide variety of tequilas, famous frozen margaritas and sharing cocktails on offer.
The Botanist’s extensive cocktail menu can always be relied upon to deliver just what you fancy. Where tequila is concerned, try their ‘Don’t Go There’ cocktail, which mixes Don Julio Blanco tequila with a sharp and citrusy mix of bitters, lemon and crème de cassis. Alternatively, ‘Relax You’re In Mexico’ helps you do just what it’s name suggests – a zesty little number with Don Julio Reposado, agave, orange and plum bitters, which will transport you to North America with a single sip.
Get a group of friends together for a night at The Bluebird, where you can all sample something different from the contemporary cocktail menu. Try the cleverly named ‘Maid in Chelsea’ tequila-based cocktail, or choose a shot of neat tequila from the ten types on offer.
A little further afield, but definitely worth a mention, this quirky late-night speakeasy bar has an extensive prohibition cocktail list. If you know the password (or find the right bell to ring) the door is open from 6pm ’til late every day. The comic-book menu has loads of interesting cocktails to work your way through – just be aware that’s this is Chelsea’s worst-kept-secret clandestine bar, so it’s always packed: booking is essential at Barts.