Richard Lopes, bar manager at the Mezcaleria at Wahaca, Charlotte Street, makes a Blood & Sand using mezcal instead of Scotch.
The bar carries 26 mezcals and 12 tequilas and Richard says the bar, which opened in September 2012, is already being successful in teaching a new generation of mezcal drinkers exactly what the spirit is, how to drink it and how it can be mixed.
"I think being one of the only Mezcal bars in London people do come with the curiosity of mezcal and most want to at least give it a try," he says. "You would be surprised about the amount of people who are willing to take a few minutes to understand the mystery that surrounds mezcal, those that like it love it and many even inquire about where to buy it."
Richard, who also works as a bar trainer for Shaker & Company and whose past jobs include The Engineer in Primrose Hill, Malmaison hotels and The Great Eastern Hotel, learned most of what he knows about mezcal from former bar manager Jon Fjeldsrud, but is hoping to travel to Oaxaca itself soon.
He says drinkers need to learn about mezcal on its own terms and should try it on its own "for the true experience", but it is also an under-utilised ingredient in mixed drinks - hence this simple substitution in a twisted Blood & Sand.
Blood & Sand
Garnish: Orange zest
Method: SHAKE all ingredients then single strain over cubed ice
40ml Pre-mix of Mezcal, Cherry Heering, Sweet vermouth
50ml Blood Orange puree
10ml Cherry puree