The ritual of salt lick and tequila slurp, followed by a bite of lime could be a thing of past. Put down the “mixto” tequilas that burn your throat on the way down and try the smooth offerings made entirely from Weber blue agave, along with its sophisticated and smoky cousin mezcal. Good liquors should be sipped and savoured, so whether you’re an uninitiated drinker, or an agave spirit aficionado, check out the bars in the city that know what’s good for our palate and are serving up the best tequila and mezcal in Hong Kong.
Found in the heart of LKF, Los Sotano is a Mexican secret hideout that serves an experimental selection of agave-based drinks. Taking its stylistic cue from Oaxaca, the bar’s walls are embellished with eerie gold skulls as a tribute to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Concocted by top mixologist Rob Kariakin from LA, Los Sotano serves some of the most innovative cocktails in the city. The Carlos Slim is made with tequila from the Cuervo family’s private selection, and is hand shaken at your table in a gold shaker, while the Slow Burn is made with Szechuen Chili, Casamigos Anejo Tequila and Montelobos Mezcal and is sure to rock your palate.
Los Sotano, Basement, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/LosSotano
Tucked away in a narrow alleyway in LKF and just a stone’s throw from Los Sotano, Brickhouse’s funky and artsy décor is not the only wow-factor that’s drawing us in. As tequila and mezcal are made from Mexican agave plants, it doesn’t come as a surprise that this Mexican speakeasy is stocked with the finest selection of both spirits. We recommend going for the Mole Old Fashioned, which is made with mole washed extra Añejo tequila, maple syrup and bitters. Expect flavours of vanilla, oak and spice, with a sweet and peppery finish which compliments the flavour profile of the tequila. Other signature cocktails like the Flor Vieja (with pisco, mezcal, chamomile, lime, pineapple and bitters) and the Cubana (with wood-chipped smoke, reposado, mezcal, vanilla brandy, lemon, pineapple and a salt rim) are also worth trying.
Brickhouse, 20 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.brickhouse.com.hk
Helmed by the acclaimed mixologist Jay Khan, who set out to spread agave culture in the 852, COA is one of the very few bars in the city with an agave-dedicated concept. Boasting a 17 page menu devoted to mezcal, followed by a large list of tequila cocktails, it’s the perfect place for those with a comprehensive knowledge of the spirits. COA’s decor is simple, yet sophisticated, with dark concrete walls, wooden stools and subdued lighting, which are in striking contrast to the intricacies of the meticulously handcrafted drinks. Try the Bloom & Blossom (made with a a kind of hibiscus tea), or go for the pretty Horchata de Pistacho (made with tequila, pistachios and sweet potato powder).
COA, Shop A, LG/F Wah Shin House, 6-10 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.coa.com.hk
It goes without saying that Mezcalito is a mezcal-only watering hole, but don’t fret just because you’re not a connoisseur, as there are plenty of delectable cocktails for beginners to ease themselves in. Not sure where to start? We love the Paloma, which mellows out the smoky flavour of mezcal with grapefruit and agave nectar. Located smack dab in the heart of LKF, the bar’s open layout and cheery ambience, coupled with DJs spinning rap and hip-hop tunes make it a perfect spot for weekend revelry. Even better, be sure to check out its happy hour, which runs Monday to Saturday (6pm to 9pm) and offers $50 house drinks and daily cocktails.
Mezcalito, 27/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.mezcalito.com.hk
Did you know that Kennedy Town’s Chino is not just for crispy tacos and late-night munchies, but is also home to some of the finest agave-based drinks? Apart from the delicious Mexican and Japanese fusion food, Chino offers unique drinks curated by Sunday’s Grocery. Try the Añejo tequila and mezcal cocktails like the Mezcal Old Fashioned and Los Danzantes Highball, which both play with simple ingredients with the aim to enhance the distinct flavours of agave and mezcal. If you’re a true mescal and tequila fan, Chino also offers a Mexican Spirits flight, with the choice to try a selection of tequilas, mezcal or both.
Chino, 1B New Praya Kennedy Town, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, www.chinohk.com
Recently opened on Hollywood Road, Agave is the latest notable addition to the mezcal craze in town. You can take your pick from an eclectic range of Margaritas infused with agave spirits, from the Serrano al Melon Margarita (made from Blanco Tequila infused with serrano chillies, Midori and lime juice), to the Sangrita Margarita, a unique concoction of Reposado tequila, Cointreau, house special Sangrita, and fresh lime juice. Be sure to also chow down on the tasty nacho gringos, tortilla chips and other Mexican delights when munchies strike.
Agave, 26 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/agavecentralhk
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash. Image #1 courtesy of Brickhouse via Facebook, image #2 courtesy of COA via Facebook, image #3 courtesy of Los Sotano via Facebook, image #4 courtesy of Mezcalito via Facebook, image #5 courtesy of Chino via Facebook, image #6 courtesy of Agave Central via Facebook