El Mayor and World Cocktail Day


In early May, have you noticed things often take a Mexican turn? Cinco de Mayo may be a date bandied about, but do we know what for? To anyone outside of Mexico, the country’s victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 may seem a tenuous cause for celebration, but we’ve never needed an excuse to grab a margarita and a pulled pork taco any day of the year.

And 5th May this year also marked another Mexican milestone. It’s the first Cinco de Mayo that we could celebrate with the smooth, clean taste of El Mayor tequila, with the brand having just landed in the UK.

Gin, whisky, rum are all spirits going through a boon in artisanal production, with craft distilleries popping up like pound shops, but tequila, arguably, has always been an industry made by the small producer – it’s just that the conglomerates and celebrities are the only ones who’ve managed to get it across the pond.

It’s also quite hard to produce. It’s almost impossible to industrialise; agave takes years to grow to maturity, it grows wild, needs to be hand cut, and you can only produce a limited amount from your crop. That’s also why the requirement to call it tequila only requires 51% blue agave.

El Mayor is different. Every bottle of El Mayor is made with 100% estate-grown, Weber Blue Agave, then yeast and water. Yes, that’s right, it uses just three ingredients. There’s no added sugar, adulterates or other additives. It’s no wonder El Mayor has taken off in the US, tequila’s biggest consumer outside Mexico, proving popular with those looking for a lighter, purer, smoother sip.

It’s a labour of love and source of pride for the Gonzalez family, Mexico’s most reputable distillers, born from age-old processes and delivered by fourth generation Grace Gonzalez, now Master Distiller at the helm of El Mayor.

Grace has made it her mission to teach people about the history and complexity of the spirit. “Premium tequila,” Grace says, “is experiencing a surge in popularity as people’s thirst for understanding a spirit’s provenance and unique qualities increasingly influences their drink of choice.  The idea that tequila is a ‘slammer’ drink couldn’t be further from how it is intended to be enjoyed authentically – sipped and savoured during social occasions and celebrations.”

Landing on these shores, El Mayor has released the three classic tequila types; El Mayor Blanco, an unaged, 100% blue agave tequila delivering a light body, with a hint of pepper. It’s the best there is, with a host of accolades to its name. El Mayor Reposado, aged for up to six months, boasts tropical notes, vanilla, spice, and caramel flavours – and it provides the perfect base for a Negroni.  Finally, the increased aging of El Mayor Añejo matured in white oak barrels rivals a fine single malt, providing a subtle sweetness and depth of character designed for contemplative sipping.

May also has another date to raise a glass, the 13th also marks World Cocktail Day, and El Mayor has teamed up with three of London’s leading Mexican bars and taquerias for month-long celebration through May, each of which has created signature cocktails using the spirit.

London’s only Agaveria, Hacha is a celebration of Tequila & Mezcal and home of both the Mirror Margarita – voted Time Out’s 7th Best Cocktail in the World – and The World’s Best Paloma, crowned at the Top 500 Bars Awards in Paris in 2023. Emma Murphy and partner Deano Moncrieffe co-founded Hacha, opening its first site in Dalston in 2019, followed by a second site in 2021 in Brixton Village. Hacha has become a go-to destination for agave lovers, leading the London agave boom and having been named Specialist Bar of the Year 2022 & 2023 in the CLASS Bar Awards.

Spirit-focused, the team at Naked & Famous is constantly searching for new mezcal and tequila for guests to discover, and pride themselves on having their finger on the pulse with the latest agave trends. The bar stocks close to 40 different expressions of tequila and mezcal and guests can choose to enjoy chic cocktails or trays of agave shots, depending on how hedonistic their feeling. A sophisticated, softly illuminated retro hideaway reminiscent of a 70s-inspired lounge awaits.

Zapote is a contemporary Mexican restaurant and bar, serving authentic and vibrant dishes courtesy of Chef Yahir Gonzalez, who hails from Mexico. Located in the popular cult foodie hub of East London’s Shoreditch, Zapote serves as the ultimate drinking and dining spot for date nights, power lunches with colleagues and get-togethers with family and friends. A highly cotemporary space, an open charcoal grill acts as a dramatic focal point, offering a sense of theatre with every dish, and the beautifully set 12-seater horseshoe bar serves expertly made cocktails with a focus on tequila and mezcal.

Beautifully presented in bottles filled, labelled, and packaged by hand to ensure the ultimate quality and flavour, discover El Mayor Tequila (40% ABV) now at Master of Malt – El Mayor Blanco, £46.95 (70cl), El Mayor Reposado, £47.45 (70cl), El Mayor Añejo, £49.90 (70cl). For more information, including recipes for some spectacular cocktails, please visit www.elmayor.com.

Throughout the month of May, keep an eye on @elmayortequila and @barrel_strength on Instagram, for more news, tequila serves and other exciting promotions.