Bar Tab: Hanky Panky, Mexico City

Somewhere in Mexico City there’s a hidden bar that brings the glamour of low light and luxurious banquette seating to the back room of a brightly coloured, brightly lit taqueria. You’ll probably think you’re in the wrong place – does any millennial have the necessary confidence for speakeasies in 2023? – you’ll definitely check with the server, just in case. Assuming you are in the right place, you’ll weave down a dog-legged corridor and through a curtain that does nothing to keep out the draught. On a recent Thursday night you would have had to shuffle past denim-jacketed Americans poring over the modern technology of a Canon AE-1 and wondering whether it could possibly cope with the peachy glow from the lamps that look like pencils in need of sharpening – spoiler alert, it won’t.  Somewhere in Mexico City there’s a cocktail menu which celebrates the bright lights of the post-COIVD world with a list entitled Passport and a selection of drinks from startenders from around the world. Travel to India via the delicately balanced Tiger Punch with Dominican rum, amaretto, siracha, black tea, spice and citrus, or to Greece via the hot pink Malaka where gin, cider and white wine meet capers and shiso. You can relax into your padded leather seat that is so luxurious and throne-like that it really needs more of an honorific than just bar stool, and wonder what the story behind the two foot brass goose on the bar is. Instead of asking (that millennial timidity again), take a short trip down the road to Oaxaca (without leaving your cathedra) with the Guelaguetza. Sip on Mezcal Creyente Espadín and red pepper through the lightest, sweetest fine mole foam. Imagine you’re walking through the Mercado 20 de Noviembre without the eye-grating grill smoke. Somewhere in Mexico City you’ll find the real Hanky Panky, but they won’t tell you where. (#SomewhereinMexicoCity @hankypankydf). Read more Bar Tabs here.