Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in London

With Cinco De Mayo coming up this Friday (May 5th) there really is no better time to indulge in a delicious Mexican inspired cocktail or two than right now. And as this year’s celebration falls on a Friday there’s no excuse not to celebrate  at one of the many Mexican-inspired venues across the capital. With everything from smoked Tequila and sea salt to Mezcal and Grapefruit concoctions on offer, there’s something to suit everyone. Olé !

The recently launched urban eatery, Mercer & Co in Islington’s Chapel Market offers a fantastic range of handmade cocktails. The Smokey Senorita is a bold mix of smoked tequila, triple sec, ginger syrup, lime juice, smoked Sea Salt, seaweed and lapsang souchon, a perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and kick off the weekend.

El Bandito can’t be beaten for Mexican cocktails

For the full Mexican experience and a choice of 50 different tequilas and 25 mezcals, El Bandito, a recently opened pop-up in Shoreditch, is the place to go for a cocktail you won’t find elsewhere. Its menu features the Dia De La Muertos, a combination of Ocho Blanco and reposado tequila, Vida mezcal, pamplemouse punte mes, grapefruit bitters, jalapenos, orange juice and pineapple juice. Conveniently found right under the Drunken Monkey on Shoreditch High Street, this is the ideal spot for those who love an afternoon tasting the true flavours of Mexico.

But if you’re looking more central, head straight to the Mezcaleria bar in Wahaca, Charlotte Street. The bustling bar in the heart of Fitzrovia serves a range of the world’s finest mezcals (Mezcal is the mother to all tequilas – smoky, vibrant and full of numerous little characters) and offers a huge menu of tequila cocktails and shorts as well as other Mexican inspired drinks. It has a great atmosphere and downstairs the restaurant serves up authentic Mexican street food, tapas style.
Offering an extensive array of rums, the seventies venue Bobby Fitzpatrick creates cocktails with a history like that of Cinco de Mayo. Enrique the 5th combines egg white and pineapple with Absin the, Mezcal and Aperol – paying tribute to Bobby’s mother’s fifth husband and those celebrating in sunnier Mexican climates.
Loved by London and sought after by musicians, Soho’s much-loved venue The Borderline offers a wide range of cocktails with names as punchy as their contents. Mexican Penicillan, a combination of Anejo Tequila, lemon, honey, ginger, egg whites and a dash of Mezcal, will undoubtedly set guests up for a night they won’t forget.
But if you’re not planning on a night out this Friday, it doesn’t mean that Cinco de Mayo has to go unmarked. Why not create your own Mexican feast using the one of the great Gordon Rhodes spice packs. Perfect for the lazy cook you can season meat and veg with Mexican spices then leave to simmer while you whip up a round of margaritas. Or wow your mates with the best Mexican-inspired nachos this side of Cancun, made with Manomasa corn tortillas. With a variety of flavours that pack a real punch, such as Serrano Chilli & Yucatan Honey, Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn and Manchego & Green Olive, these are chips that were made to be dipped. See left – the tomatillo salsa with prawn and avocado recipe we found on their website. Salud!

 

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!

 

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