It’s safe to say mezcal is having a bit of a moment. The smoky and complex alcohol, a close cousin of Mexico’s other famous alcoholic export, tequila, is slowly becoming the drink du jour in Paris – helped in no small part by La Mezcaleria, a clandestine bar hidden behind the kitchen of Hotel 1K’s Peruvian restaurant. Sneak your way inside and you’ll find a bright, buzzing space with a glass ceiling and Mexican-inspired décor featuring colourful papier mache skeletons, a large statue of Santa Muerte adorned in outlandish festival attire, and cosy armchairs covered in Aztec prints.
The drinks menu offers an assortment of heady mezcal shots (€5-€20 for 30ml), with highlights including Leyenda Guerrero’s various fruit-flavoured varieties and the smokier Durango with its aroma of leather (each is elegantly served with salt and slices of orange). For something less intense, the bartenders also whip up fresh and zingy mezcal cocktails (€12), like a spicy Hot Mexican (mezcal infused with tarragon, spicy Suze, Spanish Bitter and lemon) or a negroni made with mezcal instead of gin. We say soak it all up with a moreish side of the home made guacamole and chips.
TRANSLATION: MARIA THOMAS