In honour of the agave spirit mezcal, the second annual London Mezcal Week 2018 (10th – 16th September) will see a series of events take place across the capital, including tastings, dinners, talks and parties, plus a host of bars serving special mezcal cocktails. There will also be several pop-up mezcalerias appearing throughout the week to give you a taste of Mexico, whether you’re new to the spirit or a mezcal aficionado. ¡Salud!

Mezcal is the lesser-known cousin of tequila and is made in Mexico from the agave plant, the heart (or piña) of which is roasted underground before being distilled. This roasting process provides a unique, striking flavour with the fresh, vegetal nature of an agave spirit but with more depth. It’s this complexity that has led to its rise in popularity amongst the bartending community and leading cocktail bars.

London Mezcal Week 2018: Event Highlights

Mezcal Tasting Festival

The Run-Down: Providing a full-scale agave takeover at TT Liquor in Shoreditch, for £25 per person agave lovers can book a 2-hour session which gives them access to one of the UK’s largest selections of mezcals to date, and some producers which have never been available in the UK before. From 4pm, guests will be able to sip on some extra-special cocktails by Ojo Rojo at the downstairs bar. TT Liquor’s DJs will be providing the soundtrack for the evening with a series of special guests to be announced.

When: Friday 14th – Saturday 15th September

Where: TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Road, London, E2 8AA

Price: £25 per person to access the Mezcal Tasting Festival (a 2 hour session can then be booked from 1-3pm, 3-5pm, 5-7pm both days)

Mexican Feast with Santiago Lastra

The Run-Down: Those who are after a more foodie experience will be able to attend a Mexican Feast with Santiago Lastra, a one-off dinner with the renowned Mexican chef, on Tuesday 11th September at TT Liquor. Working with local producers in the UK to create Mexican-style food, guests can enjoy a four course feast paired with mezcal cocktails. With a background working at renowned venues including NOMA Mexico with René Redzepi – texture, colour and soul are at the heart of Santiago’s cooking.

When: Tuesday 11th September, 7pm-late

Where: TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Road, London, E2 8AA

Price: £37 per person, option to have mezcal pairing throughout or order drinks as you go.

Cub x Illegal Mezcal Dinner

The Run-Down: On Wednesday 12th September the foodie fun continues with a Cub x Illegal Mezcal Dinner. Cub is Mr Lyan and Doug McMaster’s Hoxton venue, with a strong focus on sustainability and bringing food and drink closer together. They’ll be creating a 10-course set menu of food and cocktails that showcases the Illegal Mezcal portfolio and brings the story of the brand and spirit of Mexico to life.

When: Wednesday 12th September, 7pm-11pm

Where: Cub, 153 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6PJ

Price: £60 per person, includes all food and cocktails

Oaxacan Art Show with Anna Bruce and Dangerous Don Mezcal

The Run-Down: Also taking place on Wednesday 12th September is the Oaxacan Art Show with Anna Bruce and Dangerous Don Mezcal. The show will explore the relationship between art and mezcal in Oaxacan culture at Juju’s in Shoreditch. Anna Bruce is a photographer, mezcal expert and brainchild of First Food Residency and has curated an exhibition which will launch on the evening. The event will host a special cocktail menu designed and made by Oaxacan-based bartender Brooks Bailey on his debut bartending visit to London. Special guest Samuel Bautista Lazo from Dixza is also flying over from Mexico to talk about Zapotec traditional weaving techniques.

When: Wednesday 12th September, 7pm-11pm

Where: Juju’s Shoreditch, Hanbury St, London E1 6QR

Price: £5 entry

Mezcal Crusin’ on the Alfred Le Roy

The Run-Down: London Mezcal Week takes to the water! Celebrating everything agave with mezcal cocktails on a canal boat cruise. There are windows throughout the entire cabin, so everyone gets a view, and they’ll be playing an up-beat mix of party tracks. All tickets include one cocktail per person.

When: Friday 14th September, 7pm – 9pm

Where: Canalside Mooring 7 Queens Yard, White Post Ln, Hackney Wick E9 5EN

Price: From £15 per person

For more information and to book each event, see here

Alicia Grimshaw

Alicia is Deputy Editor at About Time. A Northerner with a passion for eggs, brunch & HIIT, she can usually be found wearing matching prints and battling press releases. Don’t ever tell her your brand is ‘guilt-free’. Say hi: aliciag@abouttimemagazine.co.uk.