Friday, 16 November 2012

Mezcaleria Quiquiriqui

Mezcaleria Quiquiriqui ticks all the right boxes for impressing people with your years-old, innate and complex relationship with ‘the Big Smoke’. Whereas really we both know that it’s more a symbol of your innate relationship with lazily trawling the internet in the middle of the night and bleak 4am wanks.

The entrance to this place is harder to find than a shiny Charizard, and we all know what a nightmare that is. The actual address is 184 Hackney Road because it technically sits directly beneath a kebab shop (gritty, huh?). However, the entrance is down an alley next to it called Hassard Street. 

Hassard Street looks like the kind of alley that you can easily imagine smothered in POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS tape with ashen-faced pathologists staggering out of it.

This all adds to your image as not only a suave, sophisticated character but also as some sort of earthy, street-smart urban cowboy. At the end of Hassard Street is a door with a bouncer standing outside what looks like a corridor from a Stanley Kubrick film. Go down there and through the misshapen, warped, peeling doors and you’ll find a lowly-ceilinged, dark, cramped little cellar: perfect. 

There’s usually a DJ playing live music that sounds quite interesting. Then again, that really doesn’t matter because if you had reasonable taste in music you’d know actual interesting places and wouldn’t be needing tips from an internet blog to impress women. 

When you get to the bar, there’s a flipbook of individual cards with a description of each of the shots on it. They’re all exactly the same. They all taste like a mixture of Windolene and whooping cough.

Also, be aware that you’re not meant to shot them, even though you’ll want to. Apparently the proper way to drink mezcal is make absolutely sure that it completely destroys your entire throat and sits heavily in your stomach like over-aggressively siphoned petrol.

Quite a good thing about this place as well is the level of ceremony that comes with the mezcal. As if to apologise to you that they’re charging you £4.50 per shot for the kind of thing that would level even the hardiest of tramps, you also get (for some reason) a slice of orange sprinkled with chili powder. Now admittedly, that sounds fucking mental, and it sort of is, but it also sort of works, plus it adds to the whole ‘new experience’ vibe that’s going on here, plus you can pretend you totally know what’s going on.

So there you have it; Quiquiriqui is actually – on top of being a secret kerosene dungeon – is actually a really good bar with great staff. However, its primary usage is, obviously, to try and show off how cool you are. If you’re trying to convince people you’re cool, then meeting them here will make you skyrocket in their estimations. However, six mezcal in, when you’re trying to fight a window and speaking in tongues then you’re pretty much beyond redemption. It’s just a venue mate.

James Clee

184 Hackney Road,
E2 7QL

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