Tentacion Mezcalothek is a Journey into Deep Oaxaca
By Andrew Cottrill . September 13, 2017
Tentacion Mezcalothek, Oaxaca’s Embassy in Berlin, has a magical mysticism about it. Especially after a few mezcals.
Tentacion Mezcalothek sits a side-street or two away from Boxhagener Platz. The usual Friedrichshain foot-fall doesn’t make it to Tentacion’s door, only people in the know – who’re drawn to Berlin’s most authentic mezcaleria.
Tentacion is run by Fernando and Fernanda, who come from Oaxaca, Mexico’s most mysterious and tradition-steeped state. The bar offers up to 80 real mezcals at any one time, plus house-brewed craft beers made using ancient Mexican ingredients and methods (made by Fernanda) and traditional Mexican small-plate meals and bar snacks (made by Fernando). The charm and authenticity of the couple and their Mezcalothek puts Tentacion on the list of must-visit places in Berlin.
Tentacion plays host to intimate and limited-seat events.
Their events range from tap takeovers to celebrations of Mexican cuisine and customs, or just parties. This Friday 15th September they’re celebrating Mexican independence day with an authentic Mexican buffet. Go along and experience some unadulterated Mexican culture.
I recently attended a mezcal/food pairing menu – four courses accompanied by four mezcals. If you haven’t experienced mezcal yet, check out this article.
Fernando designed the menu, cooking his signature type of food – course after course of homely and unpretentious food served with just the right amount of flair. Aguachile, Tostada de quesillo, pork and chorizo served with refried beans, and Tejate, a pre-hispanic drink-turned-ice lolly for dessert.
The mezcal pairings were provided by mezcal expert, distributor and our host for the evening, Christian Schrader. Christian’s business Agavera brings products of Mexican cultural heritage to Berlin, and you can often find him selling mezcal from the back of his Agavera bicycle. His mezcal choices for the night were Sombra, Enmascarado 45, Enmascarado 54 and Clan 55 – a specialist mezcal that produces only 3000 litres a year.
But sitting there with an almost ceremonial clay mezcal cup in your hand as the flavours swirl like smoke in your mouth, listening to stories of a Mexico steeped in history and tradition, so foreign it almost becomes familiar, the night takes on a shamanic quality. You find a connection between yourself and this mystical place you’ve never been, its tastes and sensations, and you come away different.
Visit Tentacion’s Facebook events page to find out when their upcoming events are. I highly recommend going to one!