The Pinnacle Guide

KOL MEZCALERIA

London, UK

This London mezcaleria is simultaneously an homage to Mexico’s diverse spirits and to wild British produce, which it marries seamlessly in its earth-toned basement bar.

Reservations recommended
Limited walk-ins available
Accessible venue

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

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ENVIRONMENTAL ENDEAVOURS

KOL works with small-scale producers across Mexico, who have an inherent focus on sustainable and minimal-impact techniques. They partner with ecoSPIRITS, who provide spirits in bulk in refillable totes, and with FirstMile, who specialise in reducing the environmental impact of restaurants. Food waste is minimised through an innovative R&D process between the kitchen and Mezcaleria teams.

DETAILS OF NOTE

Many of KOL’s soft-touch decorations and drinking vessels are handmade by small-scale, sustainable Mexican or British producers, including a number of alebrijes, papier mache masks, and hanging textiles. This even extends to the reusable cotton hand towels and fragranced hand wash in the bathroom.

The Pinnacle Guide

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KOL Mezcaleria is the bar extension of Marylebone’s KOL restaurant, and offers guests a unique homage to Mexico’s mezcal bars, celebrating the diverse world of agave spirits and wild British seasonal produce. The venue’s focus on sustainability and seasonality is evident in both its physical design and the way the team approaches every aspect of their offerings.

With interiors designed to transport guests to the high-end and hazily-lit cosmopolitan mezcalerias of Mexico, the space is rustic yet elegant. Dark wooden furniture and rattan elements keep the connection to the natural environment while traditional, brightly coloured masks and the Mexican folk art ‘Alebrijes’ sculptures dotted around the room tie in with its cultural theme. 

If guests chose to sit up at the bar itself, they will notice its back-shelving has been built to accommodate large glass demijohns of KOL’s own mezcals and current infusions. As the bar focuses on wild British produce, including lesser-known ingredients such as pineappleweed, meadowsweet, and magnolia flower (while avoiding non-British ingredients such as citrus fruits), the use of preserves and infusions allows the team to conserve and intensify the unique flavours they work with. 

The cocktail menu at KOL still manages to feature a mix of recognised classics within the seasonality constraint, alongside its more innovative-style drinks that are developed by the team here to be approachable, light and modern in their flavours and techniques. Many drinks are derived from restaurant produce that would otherwise go to waste and are often served in hand-crafted vessels over daily hand-cut ice. There are also off-menu ‘house specials’ guests can order, such as the KOL Michelada and the Cucumber & Pine Martini.

The style of hospitality at KOL Mezcaleria is warm, inviting, and unpretentious. Despite residing below a Michelin-starred restaurant, the staff’s approach is mindful and engaging rather than overly-formal. Whether guests are newcomers to the world of agave or seasoned enthusiasts, the team is dedicated to providing an educational experience while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere.

The bar’s agave offering is extensive, exploring the breadth of Mexico’s nationally sacred spirits. From Tequila and Mezcal to lesser-known varieties like Bacanora and Pox, KOL Mezcaleria offers guests the opportunity to experience these diverse flavours. Those not drinking alcohol will find classic Mexican options such as the in-house Horchata and Agua Fresca has been agonised over with as much passion as the alcoholic options.

In addition to its impressive cocktail selection, KOL Mezcaleria offers an Antojitos menu, showcasing Chef Patron Santiago Lastra’s interpretation of traditional Mexican street foods. This culinary offering complements the drinks menu and provides guests with a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine.

They proudly ensure an inclusive workspace for their international team with active career progression paths for all members of staff. Individual talents are openly celebrated – the labels for their latest mezcal range for example were hand drawn by a member of the floor staff. The whole team are trained specifically in diversity and inclusion and have access to support and resources such as Kelly’s Cause for mental health first aid and Me Myself in Mind for coaching. Before service each day there is a detailed briefing session so everyone feels confident for the evening ahead, but not before a nutritious staff meal, which is eaten together. 

“The whole venue has a lovely ambience, which is very different from the Mayfair streets above. It felt like a very genuine representation of a Mexican bar and I liked the fact that they didn't use citrus and they've chosen to create twists on classics using agave spirits instead.”

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