Thursday, 22 July 2010

La Perla (Again)

11 Charlotte Street

Having already enjoyed La Perla in Covent Garden (best happy hour ever) it was only a matter of time and tequila cravings before I sampled their sister bar in Charlotte Street.

Visiting late at night on a quiet Monday - when the staff in the basement bar had nothing better to do than give us their undistracted attention - we got through three delightful drinks.

First up, in an attempt to convert a previously sceptical friend to the joys of proper tequila, I ordered a round of Don Julio Reposado, which I recalled from a trip to Texas as offering a lovely, and unexpected, milk chocolatey flavour.

Afterwards, feeling a little more adventurous, I decided to give mezcal another shot. The rather harsh record of my first taste of this non-tequila agave-based beverage, from the Lajita distillery, read: "Unrefined, with strong smoke followed by a petrol-flavoured finish and a hint of soap".

This time, the barman was kind enough to let me try a couple before buying a round, and I settled on a substance called Ultramarine mezcal (right), which was altogether more satisfying to sip: agave and smoke, without the dirt.

To finish, we switched to an older tequila, the Centenario Anejo, 100% agave (of course), and aged in oak for over 12 months (pictured top). Sadly, my tasting notes did not survive the experience, but I vaguely recall a successful marriage of vanilla-wood and smooth agave spirit.

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