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Meet the Bartender: Licorería Limantour's Jose Luis León

The Mexico City barman is in town for a couple of mezcal-focused guest gigs


Licoreria Limantour's Jose Luis Leon

Last year was a big year for Mexico City’s cocktail scene. It was the location for Tales of the Cocktail’s annual “on tour” series, and a feature in the New York Times travel section highlighted the city’s best cocktail bars. Among them was Licorería Limantour, which NYT described as “leading the local craft cocktail movement.”

Next week, starting Monday, August 7, Limantour bartender Jose Luis León will be in town for two gigs: on Monday, he’ll be joining George’s / Level 2 barman Stephen Kurpinksy from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. On Tuesday, León will be at Galaxy Taco, showcasing special mezcal cocktails. He’ll be at Tijuana speakeasy Nortico on Wednesday, and The Normandie Club in L.A. on Thursday.

I did a quick email Q&A with León to find out more about Limantour and what he has planned for his SoCal and Baja visits.

Describe Limantour and what kind of cocktails folks might find there.

This season, we are super focused on interesting and new Mexican products. Our goal is to highlight all the Mexican culture, in this case representing liquors and spirits. That’s in the seasonal menu. The other part of the menu is a collection of our signature drinks (we have been open six years).

Mexico City's cocktail scene has been getting a lot of attention in the last couple of years. When did things start taking off?

Tales of the Cocktail on Tour was definitely, in my opinion, the official international kick-off for the Mexican scene.

What's your favorite spirit to work with?

Now, tequila. The last year, I’ve been working with different brands and trying to spread the tequila gospel around. But now I have a love affair with the Pierde Almas whiskey, a fabulous kind of moonshine made with native corn from Oaxaca.

Tell me about the cocktails you'll be serving this week. Will it be a different menu for each location?

Yes, some items are different, but a couple of brands are with us all week. All of the cocktails are with Ilegal Mezcal. They’re pretty easy recipes, but with a lot of Mexican flavor and personality, and of course with a lot of love behind it. 

Here are all the details for León’s appearance and, as always, email me with suggestions for future blog posts.

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