The conquistadors weren’t exactly kindly or benevolent Hesuses when they took to the Americas, but one of the positives to come out of the whole sorry affair is the adaptation of the native fermented maguey plant to create the distilled fermented mash that is mezcal. Mezcalarias (mezcal bars) have seen a boom in recent years in their native Oaxaca and Mexico City and now they’re on their way to the UK with Quiquiriqui’s opening on Hackney Road in London’s East End.
With the success of mezcal bars in Paris, New York, LA and Berlin, Quiquiriqui – which means cock-a-doodle-doo in Spanish (side note: Huey, Dewey and Louie are Qui Qua Quo!) – brings the smokey butterscotch tasting liquor to the UK. Opening earlier this month (November 2012) it combines crazy Mexican drinks with a mix of old school rock and electro music.
The bar has got a ramshackle style, bringing together a rough hewn South American feel with London bar lighting and design. The logo and signage for Quiquiriqu takes a lot from Día de los Muertos, the Mexican day of the dead, and the luchadores (Mexican wrestlers) which looks pretty cool.
Quiquiriqu will be serving traditional vintage mezcal that they’ve had imported from family growers back in Oaxaca. However, it won’t be just the traditional neat tipple that’ll be on the menu, it’ll also be serving mezcal fuelled cocktails to give the old drink a modern shake up.
It’s open from 6pm to 2.30am Tuesday to Sunday. If you want to hunt it down, the address is 184, Hackney Road, E2 7QL, London, but there’s a map below to find it too.