Mexico City’s unassuming Licorería Limantour has come in at No. 10 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list.
“The space is always full, always vibrant and, most importantly, always fun — without the gimmicks,” said the judges of the list, prepared annually since 2009.
“We have a good time and we transmit that to people,” said head bartender Pablo Pasti. “There is good chemistry between the drinks and the atmosphere.”
However, Limantour’s charm ultimately lies in the creativity of its drinks menu. Pasti’s team of cocktail creators is constantly thinking up new ways for their beverages to represent the art, music, culture and history of Mexico to its international clientele.
“I’m Argentinian, but I make many cocktails with Mexican flavors,” Pasti said, “and I’m not just talking about chiles or things like that. I look for other aspects to give Limantour identity and in this way ensure that people that visit us from abroad come back here when they return to Mexico.”
The link to Mexican identity goes further than the flavors in the drinks. Pasti and his fellow barkeeps create thematic menus that they seasonally change.
One such menu was their “Feel the Latin Blend: Mexican Episode,” which was based on Mexican novelists. A big hit on the menu was the Comala, a drink inspired by the iconic novel Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo, made with traditional coffee, whiskey, mole bitters and a liqueur made with smoky chile ancho.
Limantour’s current menu takes inspiration from Mexico City’s vibrant and unique markets, from the bustling, verdant Xochimilco market to the maze of folk art at La Ciudadela to Mercado San Juan, known for its exotic products like scorpions, escamole (ant larvae) and lion’s meat.
Next season’s menu will be based on cacao and its relationship with pre-Hispanic Mexican cultures. But Pasti says the menu will stand out precisely because none of the drinks on it will taste like chocolate.
“We will use the shells, or we’ll toast it, there will even be drinks with fermented cacao. The interesting thing will be tasting the drinks and not detecting the common flavor of chocolate,” he said.
Limantour’s history of innovation has put the Roma Norte bar on the World’s 50 Best Bars list since 2013, when it debuted at No. 47. It has been rising in the ranks ever since to finally break the top 10 this year.
The list is compiled with votes from more than 500 drinks experts, including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists from around the world. Each voter casts seven votes, based on his or her best bar experiences of the previous 18 months.
The other top-10 bars, beginning with No. 1, are Dante, New York; Connaught Bar, London; Florereia Atlántico, Buenos Aires; The Nomad, New York; American Bar, London; The Clumsies, Athens; Attaboy, New York; Atlas, Singapore; and The Old Man, Hong Kong.
Sources: Infobae (sp)