Eat + Drink

Mexico City’s Craft Cocktail Scene is Hot (and Don’t Even Think About Ordering a Marg)

For a country that’s world-famous for its margaritas, it may come as a surprise to some that the craft cocktail scene in Mexico City has only really seen its boom in the last few years. Mexican mixologists have taken the trend that arrived from abroad and made it very much their own.

Mexican spirits and locally-grown herbs are infused with pre-Hispanic influences, resulting in very delicious and very Mexican cocktails. Cocktail bars ranging from the classic to the extraordinary are popping up all around the city. Here are just some of our favorites.

Jules Basement

Billing themselves as the antithesis to the cantina, Jules Basement is a classy speakeasy. An infusion of modern Mexican design—think glass tables supported by designer skulls and layered walls with mood lighting—combined with blues and jazz and finished with a sprig of great service, this cocktail bar in the upper-class Polanco neighborhood is a delicious choice.

Limantour

Chic and classy, Limantour is a classic cocktail bar in the heart of the trendy Roma neighborhood. One of the first craft cocktail bars to open in Mexico City, it is a leader in the scene and is still looked to by other bars for its influence.

European and Latin American inspirations are shaken together by some of the most influential mixologists in town. In fact, Limantour clinched the #17 spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list.

Cotidiana

mexico city bars
The atmosphere makes for a memorable evening at Cotidiana. (Photo: Courtesy of Mario Shami)

Cotidiana, newer on the scene, is a cocktail bar located right in Mexico City’s historical center. Its industrial style set against early colonial church-like architecture calls upon Mexico’s past for inspiration.

This bar looks to the city’s pre-Hispanic forefathers as well as old home remedies of Mexican grandmothers to inspire cocktails that could cure you of any ill. Located close to the Palacio de Bellas Artes, it is the perfect option for a post-show tipple.

Baltra

This bar takes its inspiration from Charles Darwin and the Galápagos Islands. Cozy yet elegant, botanical drawings line the walls and artifacts that every explorer would love to bring home can be found perched on shelves.

In a nod to early seafarers and traders, they even have a line of cocktails infused with Twinings tea. Low lighting mixed with ambient sounds make this a laid-back but trendy place for sophisticated cocktails and catch-ups with friends.

Xaman

Head to this clandestine basement bar and enter a world that plays with sound, space, taste, and smell to create a full sensory experience. Cocktail creations celebrate Mexico’s Mesoamerican heritage and call on a little modern-day shamanism to mix up some flavor sensations. We recommend the Calabassito, a mezcal-based cocktail served in bamboo and topped with burning rosemary.