An insider’s guide to Mexico’s craft cocktail revolution

Viva la revolution — the cocktail revolution that is!

“Culturally, Mexicans don’t drink cocktails. That trend only began a few years ago,” said award-winning mixologist Georgina Barbachano of Hanky Panky, which is regularly ranked in the top 20 bars in the Americas. “We drink straight spirits, or just a few simple drinks like a paloma, batanga and charro negro. But now, cocktail culture is growing.”

And how!

Here’s the low down on Mexico’s best cocktail counters.

Named for its location in Mexico City’s historic La Casa de Las Brujas — The House of the Witches — apartment building — this all-female-led cocktail bar mixes brews rooted in Mexican herbalism. 

“The girls make you feel at home,” Barbachano said. “It’s an intimate experience; small, cozy.”  

Taste the brews at Bar Brujas and you'll believe in witchcraft.
Taste the brews at Bar Brujas and you’ll believe in witchcraft.
Martin Lopez

Specialty: Verónica (Mezcal Creyente Espadín, oleo saccharum, lemon, lavender syrup and rice milk).

This one-year-old, sleek, multi-level indoor-outdoor bar is located in Mexico City’s artsy Roma Norte.

Specialty: Mazapán Old Fashioned (fat washed Mexican whiskey, fat washed Glenlivet Founders, Amaro Averna, Drambuie, bitters).

A cocktail at Hanky Pannky
Stop by Hanky Panky for a taste of what is often called one of the world’s best bars.
Martin Lopez

Situated in the hip La Juarez neighborhood, Mexico City’s first speakeasy bar, Hanky Panky, is named after a cocktail created at London’s Savoy Hotel. “Before I worked here I used to come in because the drinks are amazing,” said Barbachano. “I love the speakeasy vibe.”

Specialty: Casa Batlló (Tequila Curado, Mezcal Macurichos Tepeztate, caprese cordial).

The bar Itzam
Fancy Itzam serves up chickpea water cocktails at this Auberge resort.
Auberge Resorts Collection

Among the resort scene, Itzam’s bar stands out for its chickpea water cocktails (a popular vegan substitute for egg white) developed by Jeff Bell, owner of New York City’s speakeasy Please Don’t Tell. Being part of the chic Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection, Riviera Maya doesn’t hurt either.

Specialty: Piña Negra (Mezcal, rosemary syrup, lime juice, activated charcoal, chickpea water, roasted pineapple).

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