When in Mexico, it’s pretty much obligatory to try some tequila and mezcal and I think we started in the best way possible by visiting the Museo del Tequila and Mezcal. Here, we toured the museum with a guide and ended the tour with two tastings; one tequila and the other mezcal. We learned a lot about the two liquors which made us much more informed when ordering later at bars.
Afterwards, we decided to do more tastings at Bósforo Mezcaleria a dark unassuming mezcal dive bar where the staff was happy to make recommendations and pass out oranges if the mezcal was too much. Having quite a bit of straight tequila and mezcal, my friends and I moved on to #14 of 2017’s World’s 50 Best Bars list, Licoreria Limantour. However, my favorite bar and the one we actually went to twice since we were rushed the first time around is Fifty Mils in the Four Seasons Mexico City.
MUSEO DEL TEQUILA AND MEZCAL
Location: Centro Historico
Address: Plaza Garibaldi s/n, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, 06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX
Obviously, this is a museum but it is a museum about alcohol and actually does have a bar and sell bottles of tequila and mezcal so I figure it qualifies under bars. The actual museum isn’t very large. It’s two stories with the “museum” portion on the second floor and the welcome desk, store and bar on the first floor.
When visiting, you have the option of going through the museum yourself or getting a guide. If you do get a guide, it also includes tequila and mezcal tastings. If I remember correctly the option is for 2 or 4 tastings. My friends and I opted for 2 tastings since we still had plans to hit up other bars later in the day.
I highly suggest you get a guide otherwise going through the museum isn’t going to mean much to you. In terms of things to see, there wasn’t a whole lot. A lot of different bottles of tequila and mezcal and reproductions of the distilling process but without someone to explain it, it probably wouldn’t mean as much.
I don’t want to say to much about the stories and explanations the guide gave because I encourage you to visit yourself but it gave me a much better understanding of the differences and similarities between tequila and mezcal, the processes and the histories. The tasting portion was also educational as the guide explained how you should actually drink the alcohol and appreciate it. Just beware of all the mariachi (music) groups wandering around looking to play some music for you. If you’re not interested, you have to be fairly firm with them as they will keep asking.
After your tour and tasting, the museum is a great place to buy bottles of tequila or mezcal because they have an infinite amount of options. I’m not too sure how their pricing is but they definitely have options. We decided against it because none of us planned to check a bag in on our flight home.
Location: Centro Historico
Address: Luis Moya 31, Colonia Centro, Centro, 06000 Centro, CDMX
I will admit mezcal is not a favorite of mine so my opinions are definitely biased. This is a small dive bar that was completely packed when we went. It was mostly standing room by the time we got there but staff comes around very regularly to take orders and pass around oranges or small snacks so it’s very easy to get an order in. Finding the bar isn’t too difficult but it’s not very obvious and we entered through a heavy curtain. While we were here we tried two or three mezcals. Some were smokier and others more citrusy because we requested such.
Service was great, the drinks were as advertised and it’s a good place to stop by if you want to try different mezcals. Also, it’s dark and even with all the people can feel kind of intimate so it may be a good place to bring a date.
Location: Colonia Roma
Address: Av. Francisco I. Madero 106, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX
As I mentioned above, Licoreria Limantour was name #14 on 2017’s list of the World’s 50 Best Bars. And while the cocktails here were pretty good, I have to say, of the bars I’ve been to on the list, this is my least favorite. It also wasn’t my favorite bar on this trip. That’s not to say the drinks weren’t great. The drinks were actually very good but I just wasn’t quite as impressed as I was by other top bars and Fifty Mils in the Four Seasons.
When we got here, we were seated immediately and handed menus. They have seasonal drinks in the front and then the cocktails are listed by the base liquor. All the drinks we had here were very good but I think once you know it’s a Top 50 Bar, the expectations are even higher. Part of this may be the service. While the service was very good, at other Top 50 bars I’ve been to, each drink usually comes with more of a dialogue, either an explanation or a story or something to accompany the drink.
We ordered a mix of their seasonal drinks and their “regular” cocktails and they were all good and a few quite interesting. Prices are a relative thing, expensive for Mexico City but not in comparison to bars in the United States, especially for such interesting cocktails.
FIFTY MILS @ FOUR SEASONS MEXICO CITY
Address: Paseo de la Reforma 500, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX
Now this was my absolute favorite bar on this trip. And don’t let the fact that it’s in the Four Seasons scare you away. I think on average the cocktails were about USD $13 each and the bartenders and staff are very nice. Jimmy was our bartender on Sunday and when he saw we were a bit on the quiet side, he even gave us a tasting of some mezcal on the house and recommended a few bottles to us.
The reason I love this bar is the uniqueness of the cocktails and how each cocktail has a little bit of Mexico in it and the staff and bartenders do tell you about the cocktails and how they gave it a Mexican twist. But this is easier to show in pictures than in words.
These were two of the most interesting cocktails. And no, the ant cocktail was not mine. I’m not quite that brave but the friend that ordered it really did eat the insect garnish.
If you’re in town, and you love unique cocktails, I highly suggest you stop by Fifty Mils. You won’t regret it. There’s a cocktail there for everyone. My personal favorite was the Bugs Bunny. It was made with carrot juice so I barely tasted and alcohol and the fried carrot garnish was very tasty.