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Feb 19, 2007 05:32 PM

Tequila Flights/Tasting in Mexico City?

We'll be staying in Colonia Roma for a few days, looking for a really great tequila selection (we'll go out of our way for a bar or restaurant with a large, interesting tequila list). Do any places offer tequila flights/tastings? We'd like to avoid hotel establishments if possible, but we'll do what we have to do.


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  1. Why avoid hotels? Hotel dining in Mexico is not the same as the U.S., some of the best restaurants - and bars - are in hotels. Don't underestimate them.

    1. Okay, do you have any recommendations for this query in hotels, then? I assume this means there are no places like this NOT in hotels?


      1. I forgot to mention (if someone didn't see if from my prior posts) that we'll be staying in Colonia Roma, but we'll travel wherever we need to. Are there any places that do this at all?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Maya

          I'm following your posts since I am also from SF and will be in Mexico City in May. I recall a mention in Saveur magazine of a bar in Mexico City with an extensive selection of tequilas. I'll need to look through my magazines to find the place.
          An on-line search came up with this:

          Don't know if it's any good, but it might be worth a try.

          1. re: Mari

            El Estribo is the bar that was mentioned in Saveur's 100 Best Of list published back in 2003/2004.

        2. There are not really bars that specialize in different and small-batch tequilas, like in the US. Tequila isn't trendy here, it's just part of the culture. Most people have their favorite old standby - you won't see them drinking Patrón or Cabo Wabo. I've actually never seen these brands, even in expensive bars in Mexico City.

          In almost every bar that is somewhat nice you will find high-end tequila - most Mexicans like reposado or añejo Don Julio and Herradura as good standbys. In the Condesa DF, there are a few fancy kinds of tequilas by the glass, but they have a very very small selection in general. La Valentina, an upscale traditional Mexican food place in Polanco has a nice bar area and a large selection of tequilas. With the wandering trios, it's a nice place to sit and sip with some friends.

          For some cantina ambiance, try el Centenario on Atlixo and Michoacán in la Condesa - nothing fancy on the tequila side, but the traditional way that they drink it here. :-) There's some other interesting old cantinas in the Centro - Cantina Modelo comes to mind.

          Your best chance at finding some more high-end ($15 a glass and up) tequila will be at the fancy Mexican restaurants - Aguila y Sol, Izote, Pujol, Fonda el Refugio. You'll have to check with them to see if there's a bar area you can sit at, though.

          Also, if you want something new - try La Bótica on Alfonso Reyes in la Condesa. It's a mezcal bar, all pretty economical. It's quite hip right now, so go early to grab a table or be prepared to wait a bit if you arrive between 8 and 12.

          11 Replies
          1. re: gueraaven

            How about the legendary cantinas in Centro Historico? El Nivel & La Opera for example.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              Could you describe La Opera? Is there food or is it just a cantina?

              1. re: Mari


                This is a traditional Mexican cantina... that is you buy your drinks... while the kitchen prepares complimentary botanas to be passed around... including thinks like Ceviche Tostadas, Oysters on the Half Shell etc.,

                You can also pay for various seafood stews on the specials menu.

                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                  How about El Tenampa? Is it super naco or is it super touristy?

                  1. re: Mari

                    Well.... I haven't been to Garibaldi in a while... last I heard it was a disaster... very deteriorated, trashed up & widely abandoned. What I don't know is if the Lopez Obrador-Carlos Slim Centro Historico revitalization project also reached Garibaldi.

                    Back in the day... it was just like Chava Flores' "Sabado D.F.".... everybody ended up in Garibaldi... rich or poor, Mexican or foreign, naco or fresa... everybody ended up drunk, listening to Mariachi music in Garibaldi... El Tenampa in particular.

                    1. re: Mari

                      Tenampa these can be quite festive, but the atmosphere is hit or miss - Garibaldi can be full of folks, but it can also be fairly empty. The neighborhood is not great, so always advisable to take precautions if you look like and obvious tourist.

              2. re: gueraaven

                I don't know anything about Mexico City but I know tequila. Don Julio is a very nice tequila that is average priced. If you can afford it, ask for the top end Jose Cuervo, the stuff goes for around $90.00 a bottle and I'm yet to really see it being sold much in the US, from what I've had it's the best of tequila, the stuff practically drinks like scotch.

                Things to remember:
                -If it doesn't say "100% Agave" it's not worth it.
                -If it has a worm, snake, scorpion, or bug in it, it's not authentic tequila.

                1. re: hungry_fox

                  There are literally hundreds of brands of tequila available, many in the US and many more South of the Border. Here in Mexico, José Cuervo (even the most expensive of the line) is considered to be the dregs, the bottom of the barrel of tequilas.

                  Two which are particularly excellent for sipping are Don Julio reposado and Don Eduardo reposado. These tequilas are not for margarita-making. Try them straight up for an incredible treat. Once you've tasted *really* fine tequilas--tequilas so smooth and flavorful that you'll think you've never truly tasted the drink before--you won't go back to Cuervo.


                2. re: gueraaven

                  You won't see Patron and Cabo Wabo in Mexico because those are US companies marketed to US, and may even be bottled in US; tequilla just comes up in the barrels. However, there are still 1000+artisinal tequillas that don't travel far from thier production point.....half a decade late...oops!

                  1. re: Sbyre888

                    I won't touch Cabo Wabo or Jose Cuervo with a 10 foot pole when I visit Mexico - There are too many smoother brands that are 10 times better.

                3. Was at the Four Seasons for an event and noticed that their hotel bar has a tequila flight. It's heavily a hotel bar - one that doesn't get much local traffic - but I would imagine they serve quite nice stuff.