If you like Whisky & Tequila, you'll LOVE Mezcal
Mezcaleria Qui Qui Ri Qui, E2
This venue is now closed
“Mezcaleria Qui Qui Ri Qui is the first genuine mezcal bar to open in London, selling some of the finest hand crafted mezcals currently coming out of Mexico. The mezcals we have selected are from a new wave of young producers who have gone to great lengths to perfect a modern day drink using the traditional techniques that have defined mezcal production for centuries.”
It’s Saturday. It’s Ross’s birthday and no one knows where we’re going. Not even Ross. Eventually he sends a message round to meet for dinner at Chico Bandito, then head to Mezcaleria Qui Qui Ri Qui, a secret Mezcal bar underneath The Golden Grill kebab shop in Hoxton. Sounds awesome!
There were few clues that the bar existed as we approached the address. We got to the kebab shop, went round the corner and saw a man, who looked like a bouncer, standing by an unmarked doorway with a tacky, corner shop style flashing ‘open’ sign. After getting frisked we stumbled down a dodgy, dirty staircase, through an equally dodgy door and in to a basement. There was a DJ to the right, who played a great range of music throughout the evening, some seating where our friends were, a cool jukebox and then a small bar at the back.
Most people were drinking one of the two mezcal iced cocktails (made in slush puppy machines) from the bar for £8 a glass. Beers, including Modelo were £4 each (which were a bit warm) and measures of mezcal started at £5. You can find out more about Mezcal and how it’s made on the Qui Qui Ri Qui site here.
Ross, Mark, James and I tried one of the mezcals on offer with a traditional slide of salted orange. It had a smooth tequila flavour with a lovely, warm smokiness. It was a cross between a good quality tequila, like Agavero and a smoky whisky. Delicious.
Once you can get past the fact you’re in a basement, which has had little to no money spent on it you’ll like this place. The mezcal is expensive, but it’s imported in small quantities by small producers so of course it is. The basement was a bit too derelict for my liking, but if they can get the funds together to open above ground in a nicer venue and start offering some mexican snacks, then I think they’re on to a winner.
They offer private tastings and you can hire the place out as well. It’s cash only, but there’s a free ATM just around the corner.
The Golden Grill,
184 Hackney Road,
London E2 7QL
Cash onlyView on map