Some drinks, like beer and pulque, seem of the people, while others, like champagne and scotch, jut seem more elegant. One of the things I love about tequila is that it can be both a casual and formal drink.

That means I can enjoy a tequila in a rough and dirty cantina in a not-so-nice area of town, or I can enjoy a fine tequila at a posh bar.

We had the opportunity to sample some tequila in very elegant setting when we recently went to meet up with some friends at the St. Regis hotel’s King Cole Bar here in Mexico City. If you’re local and you haven’t been, go. The bar is well-appointed and comfortable, with an ample balcony that overlooks the Diana fountain, boasting impressive city views.

St. Regis hotel - King Cole Bar

A trolley full of tequilas at the King Cole Bar, inside the St. Regis Hotel in Mexico City.

While the St. Regis does not have a large tequila selection, they have more bottles than most. The first thing that caught our eye was a trolley full of tequilas, including Siete Leguas’ D’Antaño extra añejo, which is excellent. We nearly fell over each other reaching for the bottle since we have never seen D’Antaño in the DF before. Unfortunately, on closer inspection we realized the bottle was old and had been open for some time so most if the alcohol had evaporated. (To our amusement, we also noticed that the lower-end tequilas, like Jose Cuervo Traditional, were thoughtfully placed in an ice bucket at the top of the trolley, to cut the flavor.)

King Cole Bar menu

The tequila menu at the King Cole Bar, in Mexico City. (Prices are in pesos.)

We looked around to see what other treasures the St. Regis might be hiding. While they did have some higher-end tequilas, such as Don Julio 1942 and Herradura Selección Suprema, much of the selection was the usual suspects from the big brands. However, they did have the Reserva de los Gonzalez line, and we both ordered a reposado. Our drinks came in Reidel glasses with tasty little shots of sangrita. As we waited for our friends, we perused the rest of the tequila menu. I noticed there were a couple of mezcals inserted in the tequila list, like little trapdoors into smokiness.

Once our friends arrived, we moved to the impressive balcony, where our Reidels of Tequlia Gonzalez seemed like the perfect drink to enjoy dusk fading over Mexico City.

We we knew we might be drinking shots in a rowdy cantina much later in the evening, but we also knew that tequila’s versatility would allow us to stick with the same tasty drink all evening—formal or not.

– Scarlet