When in Mexico City whether it be for business or pleasure and if you happen to be attending this years Tales of the Cocktail On Tour you may fall into both of those categories though while in town you cannot help but take a few hours to enjoy a stroll through the beautiful historical buildings on display everywhere you go or the social spaces found around every corner within this bustling city. Once the dark of night falls in this metropolis the bright colors give way to neon signs and Edison lights of craft cocktail bars and hotel bars alike. This is a sight in Mexico City that has only existed since 2011 when the craft cocktail scene really started to take hold. The scene here has not been around as long as most big cities however once it arrived they really took hold and this city bartenders have made themselves heard. Mexico certainly offers some unique flavors in their traditional drinks as well as in their culinary history and with the boom of the craft cocktail scene these flavors are being presented in more inventive ways every day.
- The evening before Tales of the Cocktail kicked off officially Angostura took the opportunity to take over the upstairs bar in Limantour Roma to display the best use of their product range with guest bartenders including our favorite chief mixologist, Raymond Edwards. The Angostura House put on a display of their most popular swizzles & sours for all to enjoy. To begin day one The House of Angostura team, with little rest, continued to impress the Tales of the Cocktail attendees with a tasting of the classic Queen Park Swizzle which was handed out to whoever wasn’t suffering too much from the previous night during registration.
- Next on the agenda was The Agave Happy Hour where mezcal and tequila brands showcased their products in cocktails they created to enhance the flavors or if you preferred they were always happy to allow a taste of the neat spirit. Though there were many to choose from; for me the brand that excelled in this forum was the Montelobos Mezcal stand, where Iván Saldaña, the brand founder and managing director personally took us through an interactive tasting incorporating different Mexican flavors inherently dissecting the various elements of their espadín mezcal and providing the attendee a truly insightful experience. Of course loving mezcal as we do, we also made sure to visit Jorge García from Convite Mezcal who was displaying his range, which luckily included my favorite agave variety, Jabali along with numerous others in the Convite line up.
- After a short intermission it was back to the Hilton Reforma Hotel terrace bar for Patron Tequila cocktails along with some tasters of their extra premium range. While Beautiful Booze always says that a cocktail should have the ability to transport your mind to some place special, Patron took it to the next level and used a VR (Virtual Reality) headset to take you over 370miles (600km) on a 360° discovery tour of their Hacienda in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. Virtual Hacienda Tour.
- In the early evening we made our way from the Hilton Reforma Hotel to Foro Normandie; a concert hall in downtown Mexico City where William Grant & Sons showcased some of their favorite brands including Hendricks Gin and of course, as we are in Mexico the first brand showcased as you entered the venue was Milagro Tequila; incorporating flavors such as smoke and chocolate into their cocktails surely got our attention. All the brands put on a great show and their exhibited cocktails displayed their individual products in the best possible amalgamations for all to enjoy.
- To conclude the evening Tales of the Cocktail on Tour sent us over to the neighborhood of Roma where we entered Bang Bang cocktail bar. This site was the where Maison Ferrand put on a great display of tropical cocktails incorporating spirits such as Plantation Rum and Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao. This was a great setting with a beautiful bar spanning half the length of the venue along the wall as you first enter which also exuded a lot of character. The bar also featured a brightly lit, distinctive glass walled room with a bed in the back of the venue, which put the smokers on display. The live DJ and great cocktails were perfect to complete day one of this great event.
Day 1 of Tales of the Cocktail on Tour in Mexico City spanned from 9am to 1am and as this night was finishing up we made for the exit and called ourselves an Uber to take us back to the hotel looking to get some rest. Throughout the short journey back we could do nothing more than reminisce on the events of the day and look forward to the rest of the festivities to come.