Everything You Need To Know About The New Mezcal Bar Opening In Sydney Soon

By Tim Piccione

A smokey cocktail
A smokey cocktail

Right now, there's nothing we love more than bringing you news of new venues to get excited about for life after lockdown. The latest is not one—but three new venues from Milpa Collective, the crew behind some of Sydney's best Mexican-inspired restaurants (and some of Sydney's best margaritas, naturally). 

The Sydney group, responsible for venues like Carbon, Taqiza, Sonora, and Calita, has revealed details about a new high-energy restaurant inspired by Frida Kahlo's parties, a cocktail bar where we'll be able to expand on our love of the humble margarita, and an all-in mezcal bar where you can go deep on the smokey sibling to tequila. Keen? Yeah, us too. 

Since bursting onto the scene in 2017, Milpa Collective's vision has been to bring authentic and contemporary Mexican and Latin American cuisines to Sydney. Thankfully, we can expect more of the good stuff, and more exploration of Mexican regions with the restaurant group's newest venues: Santa Catarina in the CBD, Casa Merida in Potts Point, and Londres 126 in Sydney’s new Quay Quarter.

If you’re a fan of all things mezcal (who isn't in Sydney these days), keep your eye out for Santa Catarina. The Clarence Street bar will be paying homage to the Mexican city of Oaxaca, where the majority of the world’s mezcal is sourced. You can expect a showcase of rare and authentic varieties, showing off Milpa’s connection to Oaxacan producers, some of which still use ancestral techniques like distilling in clay pots.

“We have a great respect for the indigenous producers of Oaxaca and are committed to representing fair trade, sustainably sourced products through all of our venues, and our beverage offering is a huge part of that,” said Milpa Collective co-owner Liber Osorio. The 100-seat venue will also put a modern touch on traditional Mexican dishes like mole madre and tetelas using house-made maize.

Over in a renovated terrace house in Potts Point will be Casa Merida. The 70-seat cocktail bar will showcase traditional Mayan cuisine from the Yucatan Peninsula, oozing with historical vibes and time-worn interior highlights like chandeliers and luxe gold detailing. For food, expect classic Mayan dishes like infladitas, ceviche, and cochinita pibil.

And for drinks, you’ll be able to select from Mexican spirits, rare mezcals, and cocktails inspired by the Merida region—including an extensive list of margaritas and Latin American classic cocktails. If you’re really into the finer things, top-tier selections of tequila will be on offer for $300 - $400 a nip.

Milpa’s final opening, Londres 126, is named after the Mexico City home of the legendary Frida Kahlo. With Kahlo’s home famously known for parties in the 1940s, you can expect the restaurant opening in Sydney’s new Quay Quarter to be an absolute vibe. Flexible set menus inspired by Mexico City’s dynamic food scene will use seasonal Aussie products, served alongside rare wild agave mezcals, boutique tequilas, and Mexican spins on classic cocktails.

Keep your ear to the ground for these opening dates, as extended lockdowns might slow things up a little. But at this stage, we can expect Casa Merida to open on September 8, Santa Catarina to open in late September, and Londres 126 to open in October.

While you wait, check out Sydney's best doughnuts (and which doughnuts you can get delivered). 

Image credit: Trent van der Jagt

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