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Introducing the Mezcal and Tonic

We’ve got something oh-so-special for anyone looking for a new tipple to sip this summer.

Now pouring at all our restaurants is a range of 4 mezcales  (that’s tequila’s smoky cousin in case you missed it) served with a choice of premium Fever-Tree tonic waters, a pairing that’s ripping it’s way through New York’s finest bars, and that we’ve found to be the kickstarter to many a good night.

With its complex aromatics, mezcal, the most discerning of agave spirits, is the perfect accompaniment for these light and sparkling tonic waters (and is much less ruinous than its spiritual forerunner).

Mezcal, Tonic, Del Maguay, Fever-Tree
The Mexican Duke of Great vibes

To check out our full drinks list, along with our newly spruced up tequila and mescal lists, head here.

 

Wahaca Cardiff presents: What is mezcal? A Masterclass in Tequila’s divine cousin

On the 19th of April and as part of Cardiff Cocktail Week, our stunning Rojito Bar, which serves the best Mexican inspired cocktails in town on the top floor of our Cardiff restaurant, will host a very special masterclass with agave expert Jon Anders.

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You’ll learn first hand the history of Mezcal, how it differs from it’s cousin tequila, and why it’s lately become the sophisticated drink of choice for people like Mick Jagger, who at The Rolling Stones’ recent Mexico shows stated: ‘we used to drink tequila, now we drink mezcal’.

At this ticketed event, you’ll get to sample mezcales from different regions of Mexico and learn more about their artisan production and the traditions of making this incredible spirit in Mexican communities.

A once in a lifetime chance to learn about the drink of the Mexican gods.

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Fancy coming along? We are giving 15 people the chance to join us, have a welcome drink and taste a selection of Mezcales courtesy of Amathus Drinks.

To win a pair of tickets, simply drop us an email to locals@wahaca.co.uk to register. It’s first come, first served!

 

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Meet Jon Anders, mezcal & tequila prophet

Meet Jon, originally from Norway, and working for Amathus, one of our great suppliers, he is probably one of the world’s most passionate tequila and mezcal prophets. And if you have been lucky enough to see him give a masterclass (at the Amathus stores, at Wahaca bars, or as part of bar training) you will know exactly what we mean, We caught up with him to ask how can a Norwegian guy be so Mexican?

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How did your passion for mezcal begin?

I guess it started when I first lived with Mexicans, they had a flair for living and for parties, and with parities came drinks, and part of that was drinking Tequila. I guess you can say it all started with drinking Tequila.

There was mezcal back then but mostly industrial mezcal with worms, I did not know it as industrial mezcal then, it was just mezcal but I did not like it, sure it was a little exiting with the gusano (caterpillar) in the bottle but the taste was like industrial tequila on steroids, pure petrol and even with the added caramel and sweetness it was still not pleasant.

Now mezcal seems to be so much in fashion, even Mick Jagger told the crowd in Mexico City recently that he now drinks mezcal, how did things change?

When looking back I can’t imagine the mezcal category would have been where it is now, if this had been only type of mezcal on the market, it all changed with Ron Coopers Del Maguey and his work with the village palenqueros (producers, distillers and farmers).

What they together produced was revolutionary, the palenqueros Faustino, Don Lencho, Paciano, Espiridion and El Rey made the juice, Ron the bottles and the labels and what a winning combination, here was this product, this mezcal that was high in abv (alcohol by volume) that was unadulterated, free from chemicals, free from additional sweetener, that was pre-organic, pre-biodynamic, made in a way that was unchanged for generations, in small villages by one family, that was in essence just the pure juice from the agave. How can you not love this.

For me defining moment was going to Oaxaca, I had been to Jalisco on numerous occasions, visiting tequila distilleries in both Tequila and Arandas, but seeing the first palenque was like going to another planet, sure I had seen photos and heard the stories but to see one up close was insane.

What was the distillery like?

There is a big hole in the ground where the agaves are earth roasted and a round stone basin, where a round millstone is standing, it has a horse harness attached, so the millstone can be pulled around by a horse or a mule, crushing the halved cut cooked agaves into fibres, no modern equipment, no electricity, they use wood to heat the still up and for heating up the stones in the bottom of the cooking pit.

In the tick of the action there is one guy and his family, they run the whole operation, they do everything, plant and harvest the agave. They cook, crush, ferment and distil them self, with very little outside help. For this family to make one batch of mezcal can take them anywhere from a month to two months depended if you harvest wild or planted agaves.

It’s all hand made in it truest form.

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How was your interaction with the mezcal makers?

You are then invited for lunch, expertly cooked by the women, cooking downwards by hand over open fire, in some cases the day before you arrive. You sit on the best table, surrounded by the family and eating some of the best food you will ever eat, drinking mezcal straight from the still, feeling close to nirvana, wishing they could serve something else than coca cola…..

You leaving with a family richer, wishing to come back soon, you sit in the car thinking to yourself how unique this experience was, almost like traveling back in time, thinking this must be a special one and the only one left, but as you travel around and visiting other palenques you start realise they all are like this, the country side is littered with small palenques like that, sure not all of them are like this, some will have concrete floor, a corrugated metal roof and a few wall, but they all have the same layout, using the same process. Some of this mezcal producing families are indigenous to the region, they are either Zapotec, Mixtec or Mixe (and others, 30% of all the indigenous people in México lives in the state of Oaxaca)

And last but not least as it’s the Year of the Taco, what is your favourite taco ever?

There used to be this taco stand next to the big square in Arandas, called Tacos Machete which did this amazing tacos al carbon (grilled), bistek, pollo and so on…. they also did the fresh nopal pads with melted cheese that was delicious.

 

You can catch Jon at a Wahaca Bar near you very soon for some very special masterclasses, keep an eye on our blog for more info.

 

 

Funk it up Latin style every Saturday night at Wahaca Liverpool

Funk it up Latin style every Saturday night at Wahaca Liverpool

Canción, our DJ night at Wahaca in Liverpool’s Cocktail Bar  is happening this and EVERY SATURDAY from 7pm onwards.

Expect an incredible mix of Global Disco, Afro-Beat, Chicano Rock & Latin Funk with DJ’s Lee Janda and guests.

Wahaca Liverpool’s Bar serves the finest Mexico City inspired cocktails in town freshly shaken for your enjoyment as well as the finest tequilas and mezcales, in beautiful surroundings.

On warmer evenings, step out and relax on our roof terrace, Liverpool’s hidden gem.

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Come and salsa with us at Wahaca Brixton’s birthday fiesta

Our funky Brixton restaurant is UNO this Friday, one year old that’s right… So put on your dancing shoes, and join us this Friday 16th of October.

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Come grab some food and stay to enjoy DJ Marcello aka Salsa Fresca, who from 8pm until 2am, will be keeping the party going with the best Latin and party tunes this side of the river. #WahacaMusic

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The Tequila & Mezcal Festival is coming to Spitafields

Can you think of anything better than a day of tequila and mezcal?

A day of meeting the producers of the finest mezcales and tequilas from across Mexico, masterclasses by some the UK’s most renowned bar-tenders, Mexican music, and delicious market food including a pop up by our very own DF/Mexico Diner serving delicious New York tortas to stop you from getting silly borracho.

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2015 is the year of Mexico in the UK and the UK in Mexico, and to celebrate Tequila and Mezcal aficionados can sip their way through an exclusive collection of these two traditional Mexican beverages. Born with one objective, Tequila and Mezcal Fest on the 19th and 20th of September, aims to educate consumers on how to drink and enjoy Mexico’s greatest export – salt and lime will be banned at the door along with novelty sombreros: this is a sipping only zone.

To buy tickets for just £15 in advance click here.

Brixton Brewery & Wahaca tasting evening

Did you ever wonder what beers go best with our tacos? Mexico is not only the land of tequila and mezcal but it’s also big on artisan beers. Dark, blonde and ales, vary from region to region and more and more small breweries are opening up across the country.

Last year we teamed up with Brixton Brewery to produce the perfect beer to go with our fresh and vibrant dishes, called Lupulo, a beer exclusive to DF/Mexico and Wahaca Brixton. Take a look at this to find out more:

So since we are very lucky to be almost next door neighbours here in Brixton, we decided to come up with an evening of beer & tacos. Oh yes, cerveza y tacos por favor…

The lucky few will have the opportunity to sample 5 of Brixton Brewery’s finest beers such as Electric IPA and Effra Ale, and have them paired with Wahaca’s most delish nibbles, tacos and churros. While Master Brewer Jez and Wahaca’s very own Anna, talk you through what inspires their beers and Mexican street food respectively.

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When: Tuesday 21st of July at 6pm, Wahaca Brixton, Atlantic Road SW9 8JA

Tickets cost £12.50 and can be booked by emailing locals@wahaca.co.uk

Waterloo Food Festival is here…

Every year, Waterloo comes together for a celebration of local food, drink and businesses which make Waterloo such a vibrant area to live and work in.

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This year, Wahaca Waterloo will be taking part in the Emma Cons Food Fair on the 2nd of July, the Sustainabiluty Challenge on the 9th and very excited to announce we will be hosting some very special masterclasses at Wahaca Waterloo.

Tequila Masterclass: 7th of July 7pm £25
Join Wahaca’s tequila expert Matthias Lataille as he takes you on a journey of exploration of a drink you  may be surprised of. A selection of Olmeca tequilas, sangrita and a special surprise will make you love this delicious spirit.

Mezcal Masterclass: 21st of July 7pm £25
Passionate Mezcal expert Jon Anders will talk to you about the origins of this ancient drink, and explain what makes it different to tequila. A slection of mezcales will be served as well as a treasure from Jon’s selection  Del Maguey Crema, Alipus San Andres and Del Maguey Minero,

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Places are limited and can be booked emailing waterloo@wahaca.co.uk

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Tequila Fest lands in London

If you’re a fan of all things agave, then here’s an event not to miss. On 22nd and 23rd November, The Tequila & Mezcal Fest will be bringing the finest Mexican agave spirits to the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel.

The Tequila & Mezcal Fest has been created by our friend and agave spirit aficionado, Eduardo Gomez, to educate you in the customs of production and consumption and engulf you in the taste, smells, sounds and sights of true Mexico.

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Expect cocktail master classes, with the tequila world’s most knowledgeable, who will be exchanging their wealth of knowledge in the heart of the festival.  Learn how to differentiate between the Blanco, Reposado and Anejo categories sipping your way through blind tastings. Salt and lime will be banned at the door along with novelty sombreros; this will be a sipping only zone.

Tequila & Mezcal Fest is the UK’s first ever and only festival dedicated exclusively to showcasing the best of the agave spirits, so don’t miss it. You can grab tickets at www.tequilafest.co.uk

Wahaca presents… The best Mexican documentaries, short films and culture

Our monthly short film evening at Charlotte Street’s Mezcaleria just got bigger and better. We have not only teamed up with the Oaxaca Film Festival and their cutting edge independent short films, but we have also got together with the UCL Mexican Society to bring you award winning Mexican documentaries.

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After the recent visit of Mexican film maker Francesco Taboada Tabone to Wahaca, we are very excited to have his award winning documentary: Tin Tan. That tells the story of the charismatic legend German Valdes, an actor, singer, dancer and comedian, one of the biggest stars of The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema with over 100 films and 11 albums released between the forties and seventies.

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To compliment your Mexican evening, a soundtrack of beautiful tunes of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema will be played in the background while your favourite Wahaca cocktails are served.

Tuesday 2nd of September

Oaxaca Short films and Tin Tan from 6:30pm

Wahaca Charlotte Street’s Mezcaleria Bar

Free entry: simply register here for your free tickets.