Ever since Hanky Panky opened, and with an evergrowing night scene, the Juárez neighborhood has become an indisputable landmark for craft cocktail lovers. From Prohibition-inspired speakeasies with reinterpreted classics to clubs reminiscent of the neo-shamanic Tulum vibes with mystical concoctions, the neighborhood’s bars cater to a wide variety of audiences, all with one thing in common: the thirst for a perfectly crafted cocktail with innovative homemade ingredients, high-quality spirits, and first-class hospitality.
This bar stands out as one of Mexico City’s best-known secrets: everybody has heard of it, everybody wants to go, but only a few know its exact location. Impeccably hidden behind a beverage machine, Hanky Panky offers three main menus: one that features new versions of the classics we all know and love, an international menu featuring creations from bartenders such as Aldo Pescatore (Canada), Liz Furlong (Costa Rica), and Antonio Naranjo (Spain), and a third menu offering creations from award-winning national bartenders, like David Paz (formerly Xaman’s head bartender), Oscar Olvera (owner of Galileo, in Ciudad Juárez), and Pablo Pasti (from Licorería Limantour, Mexico’s number one bar).
To really dive into the essence of Hanky Panky, order a classic cocktail (their mustard honey-enhanced Moscow Mule is a must-try), followed by a drink from any of the remaining menus.
Address: Somewhere in Mexico City
Four Seasons Hotels as a brand has always been a synonym of luxury, quality, and hospitality, and Fifty Mils, Four Season Mexico City’s bar, located at the ground floor, is no exception. This award-winning bar is an ideal spot to get started in the craft cocktail scene in general. This is because most of the menu leans toward easy-drinking, fruity and fresh drinks, always with an unexpected, almost magical twist. From carrot juice and gin mixtures that make you feel like you’re actually drinking an after-workout juice to beverages with a witty yet confusing dose of goldenrod root, every drink represents an exciting challenge to the palate.
If you’re in for a little bit of fun, order the Inside Manhattan, presented in an ice sphere that the bartender cracks open with a spoon before your eyes.
Address: Paseo de la Reforma 500, Juárez
This is where things really start to get loud and interesting, especially for those night creatures who love to see and be seen. Set in a mysterious basement adorned with plants, barely-there illumination, ancestral-sounding electronic music, and a notable smell of copal, entering Xaman feels like discovering the hideout of a secret cult (although it’s not a speakeasy) where the hip and beautiful are the worshippers and the cocktails are the gods. With prehispanic inspiration, here you will find a wide range of drinks named after elements of Mexico’s many ancient cultures, featuring ancestral ingredients, such as cacao, pistachio, xoconostle, and cempasúchil.
You can also order GROUP DRINKS, served in vessels that hang from the ceiling, or if you want to take things easy, a drink from their mocktail menu.
Address: Copenhague 6, Juárez
The Back Room
If Hanky Panky is Mexico City’s greatest known secret, The Back Room has to be the neighborhood’s real best-kept secret. Hidden behind a pizzeria, this spot pays tribute to the Prohibition with a mainly classic menu. It also has a much lower profile compared to almost every other cocktail bar in the city. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s not worth a visit; on the contrary, the staff is well-versed in cocktail history, so it’s a delightful visit for bartending nerds.
For those that do not like overcrowded places and are looking for a place to try a new twist on the regular negroni, or an obscure pre-Prohibition recipe, along with some Mediterranean food, this is, without a doubt, the place to be.
Address: Somewhere along Liverpool street, Juárez
Other articles that may interest you:
The Guide to Rooftops in Mexico City
The 5 Best Cocktail Bars in Mexico City
The Guide to Cantinas in Centro Histórico, Mexico City