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Santa Maria Eastside for Berlin’s Best Mexican Cocktails

By Andrew Cottrill . December 10, 2015

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If I were to ask you: what are the two best things to come out of Mexico? It’d be natural to answer a) cocaine and b) Antonio Banderas. But those answers are wrong (and slightly racist). I’ve come to learn that the correct answers are Tequila and Mezcal, and Friedrichshain’s Santa Maria Eastside is the best place in Berlin to get both.

Now, there are some of you who still have those “One time I got so drunk on tequila and I was so sick I’ll never do it again” stories. And, for those of you, I must inform you that you’re wrong. Like a man on death row who suddenly sees the light of God, my first time tasting real Tequila reformed me as a human being. And tasting Mezcal for the first time brought me one step closer to enlightenment. The reality is that a good Tequila is in the same league as a fine whisky, and Mezcal rivals any high-grade crack available.

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So, when I heard Mexican restaurant Santa Maria Eastside were launching a new Mexican cocktail menu, I considered it my duty to make a spiritual pilgrimage there.

Serving eight cocktails in total, four Tequila and four Mezcal, and using ingredients such as agave syrup and the Mexican herb epazote, Santa Maria Eastside’s new cocktail menu rivals the authenticity of the Mexican streetfood they serve.

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Here’s their new cocktail menu:

Tequila

Eastside Margarita: Sierra Silver, Triple Sec and their house sour mix. €6

Eastside Hibiscus Margarita: Sierra Silver meets hibiscus and mint for this sweeter version of their house margarita. €7

Tommy’s Margarita: The King of the Margaritas. Sierra Antiguo Blanco, agave syrup and lime juice served straight up or on the rocks. €8

Strong Arm: A bittersweet mix of Sierra Antiguo Blanco, Aperol, agave syrup and lemon juice. €8

Mezcal

Mezcal Old Fashioned: Los Danzantes Reposado, agave syrup and grapefruit bitters. €8

Últimas Palabras: Alipús San Luis, Maraschino, Green Chartreuse, lime juice, equal parts. €8

Negrete: Campari and sweet Vermouth have found a new best friend: Mezcal. €8.50

Tonantzin’s Gift: Herbal and dry. Mezcal, Chartreuse, lemon, egg-white and their home made epazote syrup, served straight up. €8

I was invited along to the launch party, where I was offered carte blanche of their menu (for those uninitiated, that means you order off the carte until you turn blanc).

Their head bartender has created a list of drinks that range from sweet to savoury but (and this is what impressed me the most), they’re all perfectly balanced in that even the sweet ones aren’t too sweet, and the savoury ones offer a unique experience to those who’ve never tried a cocktail that doesn’t verge on saccharine.

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My two top recommendations that you must try are Tommy’s signature margarita from the Tequila menu (their rightly-called King of Margaritas), and the super-savoury Tonantzin’s Gift from the Mezcal menu, whose egg-white offers a luxurious texture and the epazote herbs (which I’d never previously heard of) offer a curious taste reminiscent of creosote which perfectly counters the Mezcal’s old-leather harshness.

Stop in to Santa Maria Eastside for a cocktail one day. If you can still walk afterwards, you’ll have a skip in your step.

Santa Maria Eastside
Krossener Str. 18,
Friedrichshain,
Berlin.
030 29360555
www.santaberlin.com

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