Cinco de Mayo Tequila and Mezcal

with Speciality Brands's Declan McGurk at Vinopolis, London.


  1. It's only 3 days late...
  2. Declan is a Business Development Manager for Speciality Brands. He's also their inhouse agave spirit fanatic.
  3. La Capilla is run by Don Javier, still bartending in his 80s. It's probably the destination bar for tequila lovers visiting Tequila and Don Javier is more than happy to tell you tales of his invention of the original Batanga - a simple mix of Tequila, Coke, Lime and Salt.
  4. The other big difference, which I forgot to tweet, is the cooking method. For both tequila and mezcal the agave need to be cooked to start the sugar breakdown process (so that you can turn the sugars into alcohol) - tequila generally uses ovens while mezcal uses smoky pits of burning material, meaning that the latter is usually smoky while the former isn't.
  5. This was a bit hotter than the last verdita of Declan's that we tried - he upped the bird's eye chilli count a notch...
  6. Declan's sangrita mix is secret, but has in the past contained clamato, pomegranate syrup and ridiculous hot sauce...
  7. A bit of honeydew melon was a great palate cleanser after this.
  8. My favourite tasting note of the night, constructed around the table, was for this:

    "Like licking a mossy, damp rock while being beaten over the head with a burning branch."

    It's quite strange...
  9. This was by far and away the room's top choice of the evening. We hope to be getting it in the shop and online in Summer...
  10. Still one of the finest, if not the finest, extra anejo tequila you will find. This latest batch is not quite so floral as previous ones, but makes up for it with perfumed wood and some excellent spice.