Kol Mezcaleria in Marylebone: Refined cocktails in a one-of-a-kind Mexican speakeasy
Ready to open in November, Kol’s Mezcaleria had to wait a little longer before officially joining London’s bar scene. The venue, located on the lower ground floor of Santiago Lastra’s restaurant in Marylebone, offers an explorative drinking and dining experience focusing on agave spirits and Mexican bar culture. Managed by Maxim Schulte – formerly head bartender at the Savoy’s American Bar – the mezcaleria seats 26 and houses one of Europe’s most extensive selections of Mexican and agave spirits, offering more than 80 varieties of tequila and mezcal sourced from small-scale and independent distillers, hailing from the Yucatan to Jalisco and everywhere in between.
The menu is centred around a list of ingredients, which guests can decide to experience in two forms: either as a Mexican liquor-based cocktail or a more classic concoction. Snacks, curated by the restaurant’s kitchen, serve as the perfect pairing.
Of Sea Buckthorn & Corn, we sample both the mezcal French 75 version and the classic old fashioned. It’s interesting to see how the basic flavour and concept behind a cocktail can go in two different directions.
Kol’s delicious mole – made with pistachio rather than avocados (Lastra explained how, once dehydrated, an avocado is very similar to a pistachio) – is obligatory. The crunchy, toasted totopos are just perfect to enjoy alsongside the more alcohol-charged cocktails such as the Cucumber & Pine Martini. We also have an Octopus Tiradito Tostada and a glass of mezcal negroni.
The bar’s interiors and speakeasy atmosphere transport guests far away from London’s busy streets. Dark wooden furniture and rattan lamps draw influence from Kol’s connection with the natural environment; it feels like being in a barely lit mezcaleria in Oaxaca, Guadalajara or Mexico City. Adorning the walls, there are also traditional artifacts sourced from indigenous Mexican communities. Bespoke ceramic vessels, used to serve all agave spirits, have been created hand-crafted for the restaurant by independent craftspeople across the UK.
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Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Kol Mexcaleria, 9 Seymour Street Marylebone London W1H 7BA, call 020 3829 6888 or visit their website here.