Mezcal, the smokier and cooler younger brother of tequila, has been enjoying a boom for quite some time now, so as you can imagine there are plenty of places to get your mezcal fix in the Mexican capital. From dedicated mezcalerías serving it neat to hip bars that offer some top-notch mezcal cocktail concoctions, here are the best places to try mezcal in Mexico City.
This stalwart mezcalería has a grand total of six locations across the capital which makes it both convenient and reliable. However, we recommend heading to one of the two Condesa branches as you can enjoy your tipple in some suitably hipster yet upscale surroundings, with minimal interior décor but a pleasingly extensive mezcal menu. With around 50 mezcals on offer (including an exquisite flagship brand), no matter which La Botica you visit you will not be disappointed.
Moving from one swanky neighbourhood to another, Polanco’s Los Amantes rivals La Botica’s many mezcal varieties with its almost overwhelming selection of over 200 varieties for you to try. In addition to the breathtaking range of mezcals on offer, the vibrantly coloured, yet soothingly lit Los Amantes also offers up some delicious Oaxacan influenced cuisine too.
Alipús Endémico are both a mezcal producer and provider, serving up their own brand bottles in one of their several Mexico City mezcalerías. As such we highly recommend giving their eponymous brand a go when you’re there. We also recommend heading to the best known of their locations though – situated in Condesa – as here you’ll find yourself in a quieter part of the popular neighbourhood where you can enjoy your mezcal in peace, accompanied by some traditional Oaxacan food.
A little off the beaten mezcal path in the Mexican capital is Mano Santa, which started from humble beginnings before moving to its Insurgentes location so well known and loved by locals today. At Mano Santa, you’ll find all manner of mezcals from those which they produce themselves using wild Oaxacan agave, to more varied brand names and flavours that have been distilled in unique ways. Get there early if you want a seat, as it’s a small spot and the crowds are thick.
More a restaurant than a bar, Corazón Oaxaqueño is still an excellent bet if you want an all-inclusive Oaxacan experience while you’re in Mexico City. The mezcal brand they particularly champion is known as Mezcal Ocho Coyote, the purchase of which actually goes to support various communities in Oaxaca, so we recommend you give it a try. This would be the perfect spot for those looking for a more laid-back mezcal-cum-dining experience, as it has a tranquil, cozier atmosphere than some of the other places in this guide.
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Next we move away from the ever-popular central zones of Mexico City and into the coolest of the southern neighbourhoods, Coyoacán, home to the excellent Mezcalero. Situated right in the heart of this artistic zone, this is one of Coyoacán’s best known watering holes, so if you’ve been hunting for somewhere to try an exquisite mezcal cocktail, this is surely the place. They have a menu replete with ingenious concoctions and combinations and judging by their candlelit tables, this would make a great spot for a date.
Tucked away in the streets of Mexico City, the appropriately named La Clandestina is a small but frankly perfect spot offering a menu made up of around 40 different mezcals. What it may lack in choice compared with other mezcalerías, it more than makes up for in the sheer quality of its products, many of which are artisanal. We wholeheartedly recommend La Clandestina for those new to the mezcal drinking world, as the staff are incredibly knowledgeable about their offerings and the menu is also packed with information.
One of the biggest and most recommended names on the Mexico City mezcal drinking circuit, Bósforo is a long-standing mezcalería in the capital with a reputation to match. Perfectly located in the historic centre of the city, it’s easy to see why it has developed such a loyal following of patrons, despite its petite size and simple décor. While there, you must try out some mezcal from states beyond Oaxaca, or simply stick to the classic Oaxacan tipples – Bósforo has a little bit of everything.
Finally, we round off our guide with a slightly different spot – a museum. You might be wondering what museum on earth makes for a great place to try mezcal and the answer would be none other than Mexico City’s Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal (MUTEM), of course. Take a tour of the place and learn about the process of mezcal production and distribution before popping to the adjoining cantina, known as La Cantina del Museo, to try out some exquisite mezcals and even tequila, if you fancy it.