“Blame it on the Mezcal” was the tongue-in-cheek introduction by Regina Bueno Ros, aka Mrs Moustache, at the launch of the new cocktail menu by Mike Tomasic. “We don’t judge here.”
Since Mr Moustache opened in late 2013 in Bondi , the bar and cantina with dual French and Mexican personality has wooed Sydney-siders with its fine and fun approach to drinking and dining while spreading the love of the smoky agave spirit. Australia’s first Mezcal bar now boasts a solid range of 75 mezcals with another 70 to 80 arriving in the next few weeks.
Bar Manager, Mike Tomasic, formerly of Zeta Bar and The Wild Rover and recent winner of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge has devised a new cocktail list in collaboration with Phil Ward of Mayahuel, New York. The list consists of 12 Mezcal cocktails and other non-agave drinks that will change with the seasons.
Redolent with fresh citrus flavours, the Tohoku Shrub is made with Nuestra Soledad Mezcal, the house pour, with tequila reposado, agave surup and house-made Fuji apple shrub which gives it its name. Refreshing and easy drinking, it is perfectly balanced with a medium amount of smoke on the finish making it a great starter and a good introduction of the spirit to a novice palate.
D’Vine is an adaptation of the winning cocktail Mike Tomasic created for the G’Vine cocktail completion in 2013. The drink is based on a gin fizz or the bramble and is made with egg white, peach bitters, cane sugar, fresh lemon juice, apricot brandy liqueur and gin-infused apricots. The cocktail is dry shaken and garnished with a star anise.
Fruity and easy sipping, the cocktail is a crowd pleaser with the star anise imparting an aromatic character. For a non-mezcal alternative, it is a delicious aperitif style with which to start the evening.
The 21st Century is a take on the 20th Century cocktail and goes back to classics with only four ingredients: Mezcal, Cocchi Americano, an Italian aperitif, Creme de Cacao and citrus. The cocktail is another testament to the perfect balance of citrus and smoke with a hint of cacao on the finish. Delicious.
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina appeals to the serious booze hounds who enjoy the flavour of spirits. The drink combines Mezcal with Reposado Tequila, half and half quantities of Punt e Mes and Antica Formula, Averna, Creme de Pamplemousse, and mole biters.
Strait of Messina Ingredients
Strong, boozy and perfectly balanced, it has a long and lingering flavour of mezcal and good smoke until the end. This is the drink of choice with which to end the night.
Regina Bueno Ros, aka Mrs Moustache
With over 70 mezcals on the back bar, it is difficult to resist the temptation of tasting the spirit neat. Mr Moustache offers mezcal flights with a choice that showcase the various characteristics of the agave spirit.
Nuestra Soledad San Baltazar is the house pour, and for a novice palate, it makes a good introduction to mezcal. The spirit has 48% ABV and goes well in cocktails.
Tepeztate refers to the type of agave, one that is 25 years old when harvested. El Jolgorio Tepeztate is a rare spirit with only 330 bottles made. At 47% ABV, it’s sweet, smoky and ever so smooth which makes it one to savour till the last drop.
If you like your spirits on the sweeter side, Agave de Cortes Extra Añejo is aged for three years and eight months. On the nose, it has some characteristics of a single malt along with treacle and banana. On the plate, it is syrupy with very little smoke and it loses the essence of what defines mezcal. However, it makes a good match with dark and cinnamon chocolate.
L-R from Top: Salad Sticks with Chamoy, Watermelon and Prosciutto, Tuna Tostada, Scallop Aguachille, Mini Chorizo Quesadilla, Duck Tostada, Mini Beef Burrito, Chocolate Brownie with Caeita, Dried mango with Chilli, Esquites, Guacamole with Beetroot Chips
While cocktails and Mezcal take centre stage, the cantina’s kitchen dishes out tasty bites with favourites including the irresistible Guacamole with Beetroot Chips, Esquites (a warm Mexican corn salad served in a verrine), a zingy Tuna Tostada, Scallop Aguachille (ceviche) and spicy Mini Chorizo Quesadilla.
A visit to Mr Moustache is not complete unless you experience the “Shock Machine” at the hands of owners Bildo Saravia and Regina Bueno Ros – the 60 year old contraption belonged to Bildo’s father. We won’t spoil the surprise with a narrative or a photograph, instead, we present the talented team behind Australia’s first Mezcal Bar.
Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.
See our previous review of Mr Moustache here.
69-71 Hall Street
Bondi Beach, NSW
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