Since we arrived in Mexico City we’ve been searching for the best tequila selection in town, so when we heard about La Casa de las Sirenas’ 146 bottles we had to give it a try. This restaurant/bar in the Centro Historico is a classic old-school establishment, situated right behind the city’s famous Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María, with views of the bell tower.
As you approach from the street, you see a charming cantina atmosphere in the bottom floor with an extensive tequila menu painted on the wall. Many of the brands listed there are hard to find here so we began to get excited about their collection. A 100-year-old waiter in a white shirt and black bowtie handed us the menu, which was somewhat paired down from the wall menu, but still much longer than the four brands normally offered in these parts.
Grover asked for a Chinaco but the waiter replied that they didn’t have it on hand. Maybe in the restaurant upstairs, he said, but we’d have to buy a meal to drink there.
We’d already eaten dinner so we asked them what they did have in the downstairs bar. Turns out it was a paltry selection of six or seven common brands. Although the bar shelves were filled with tequila bottles we soon realized that most of them were empty or contained only dredges.
“Where are the 146 bottles of tequila you advertise?” we asked the waiter.
“Most of the good tequilas are upstairs in the restaurant,” he replied.
We resigned ourselves to a shot of Correlejo and Tres Generaciones with only a cheesy ’70s Mexican movie on the TV to accompany us.
The waiter, although very kind and attentive, moved at the speed of a fat drop of agave syrup on a cold day and it seemed unlikely that we would get a second drink anytime soon.
We decided to go upstairs and use our charm and business cards to try to persuade them to let us sample their more expensive tequila collection without eating.
After we climbed three sets of stairs to the upper balcony where the other bar resided disappointment started to set in again. There was a small bar with a variety of empty bottles and a few high-priced brands, but nothing to boast about. We estimated that although La Casa de las Sirenas might have 146 bottles only 20 of them (at the most!) contained tequila you could order.
However the atmosphere of the place and the view were quite charming, so if you fancy a Correlejo, a Cazadores or a Tres Generaciones, you might want to give it a try.
As for us, the search continues.