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 by 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 ($500) is made with tequila from the Cuervo family’s private selection, and is hand shaken at your table in a gold shaker, while the Too Much Sauce ($140) is made with Casamigos Blanco Tequila, Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur, fresh jalapeño, pineapple, agave and house hot sauce, and is sure to rock your palate. The restaurant and bar also serves up a range of tequila and mezcal tasting flights, priced between $290 and $940.
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 late-night Mexican speakeasy is stocked with the finest selection of both spirits. We love the range of cocktails on offer, with many classics being given a “Brickhouse twist”, including the Brickhouse Margaritas, Brickhouse Paloma, and the Brickhouse Old Fashioned. For something unique, opt for one of the bar’s inventive specialty cocktails. We love the sound of Carlito’s Mezcal, with Montelobos Mezcal, passionfruit, lime and smoked grapefruit punch – sure to be the perfect accompaniment to all those tacos.
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 pretty Horchata de Pistacho ($100, made with Tequila blanco, pistachios and sweet potato dust, and comes served with a homemade pistachio biscuit), or opt for the Caffeinated Negroni ($100, made with clay pot distilled mezcal, gin, Burundi coffee infused Mancino rosso vermouth and Campari).
COA, Shop A, LG/F Wah Shin House, 6-10 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.coa.com.hk
Did you know that Kennedy Town’s Chino is not just for crispy tacos and a late-night bite, 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. Try the Añejo tequila and mezcal cocktails like the Mezcal Old Fashioned ($158), and Los Danzantes Highball ($150), which both play with simple ingredients with the aim to enhance the distinct flavours of agave and mezcal. If you’re a true mezcal 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
Loved by many as the best spot in Hong Kong for tacos, 11 Westside also stays true to form with a long list of tequilas and mezcals on offer. Alongside straight spirits, the restaurant serves up a range of cocktails, including the bitter yet refreshing 212 ($120), made with Tequila, Aperol and fresh grapefruit, or the signature La “OG” Paloma ($100), with tequila, grapefruit soda, lime and salt.
Sassy Tip: Classic cocktail lovers be sure to head to The Wilshire, 11 Westside’s own hidden speakeasy bar.
11 Westside, 1/F The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, www.11westside.com
Found on Hollywood Road, Agave is a notable addition to the mezcal scene 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 hunger strikes.
Agave, 26 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/agavecentralhk
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written by Angel Law and published on 4 May, 2018 and updated by Annie Simpson on 3 May, 2019.