Cocktail List of the Year

Cocktail List of the Year

As one would expect, progressive Mexican restaurant Kol mixes a mean margarita. What might be less expected is that it does not contain one of the classic cocktail’s key ingredients - lime. Yes, chef-patron Santiago Lastra’s policy of only importing a handful of ingredients - including corn, dried chillies and chocolate - applies to the bar too. 

Having no access to many of the things other bartenders take for granted is quite a task, but one its team have mastered. Kol’s superb margarita is made with UK-produced verjus and smoky mezcal making for a drink that’s world’s away from what is served at most Mexican restaurants in the UK.

At the Marylebone restaurant - which launched in 2020 - there are two separate cocktail offers. For the upstairs restaurant, Matthias Ingelmann has created a tight selection of cocktails that are designed to match the flavours of Lastra’s food (many are riffs on classics to keep things straightforward and accessible). 

As the name suggests, the subterranean Kol Mezcaleria offers a huge list of agave-based spirits as well as Mexican-made rums, gins, and whiskies. The menu is concise down here too, with a handful of drinks available that showcase different flavour profiles. Unusually, each one is available as a non-alcoholic option and the bar team will craft anything a customer wants, too.