The Worship Street Whistling Shop sounds like magical story business where people are whisked away to a better world, and since it’s an excellent cocktail bar that’s exactly what it is.
This is a bar you could live in. Down a flight of stairs, with two sharp corners between warmth and the outside world to make sure even light can’t get in to remind you of your worries. It’s not a basement bar but a hobbit hole, a Bag End of booze safe from any thought of the passage of time. The sun and moon are their own problem: we’ve got a liquor shelf and light low enough to let you enjoy them forever. You couldn’t be more comfortably cut off without a goose down mattress and a morphine drip.
Celebrating international Tequila day meant enjoying the Illegal Mezcal.
According to the rules mezcal isn’t truly tequila, made outside Jalisco province from different varieties of agave, but if you’re letting fussy definitions get in the way of enjoying yourself you’re getting tequila wrong. A month in sherry-washed casks matures the mezcal, an oak-panelled finishing school to elevating the much-maligned liquor from the slums of slammers. Mezcal has always been the equal of Scotch. This drink is the impassioned speech to convert the prejudiced, an olfactory oratory demonstrating the strength and intelligence of this wonderful drink.
The scent alone overpowers any naysayers. It deserves the word, no mere “aroma” of something that should only be sniffed, nor a “smell” warning you of chemical vats, this is a scent you must follow to find and consume the source. Smoked barrels of liquid beauty. So soft in the mouth, it’s silken agave, a sensation you can hold over your tongue as long as you want without a hint of burn, with warmth on the swallow.
The ginger beer and lime chaser is everything those words could and should be and it’s still only an afterthought to the mezcal. Sharp tingling clarity, this could cleanse your palate while your tongue was bleeding. The greatest taste of any liquor is the first sip, and this alternation lets you have as many first times as you want.