Celebrate the start of summer with Casamigos cocktails and Mexican-inspired sharing plates
South of Hyde Park Corner, down Knightsbridge way, Harvey Nichols has opened up its Fifth Floor Terrace to create a pop-up beach bar, the House of Friends. This is a food and drinks partnership with Casamigos, the premium, award-winning tequila and mezcal brand.
But you need to be a Speedy Gonzalez, the pop up pops down on 26 May, so get there soon.
The lovely sunny days we enjoyed last week are a reminder that summer isn’t far off and to celebrate the start of the outdoor season, Casamigos has brought a Mexican beach vibe to the middle of London.
So pull up a seat alongside the lifeguard tower (no Baywatch lifeguards, sadly) to enjoy a range of tequila and mezcal-based cocktails and a menu of Mexican-inspired sharing plates to perfectly match the drinks list.
The Casamigos Blanco Tequila is a young drink, only resting for two months in the barrel, crisp and clean with a smooth finish. The other tequilas in the Casamigos hacienda are the middle-aged Reposado, seven months in the barrel, soft and slightly oaky with a silky texture. And the Añejo, aged for 14 months, with soft caramel and vanilla notes.
How do I know Casamigos is George Clooney’s favourite tequila? Easy – he produced it. Casamigos was founded by George and some good friends who’d spend long holidays in Mexico, taking it easy and drinking tequila.
Unable to find a brand they really liked, they decided to create one that was perfect for them, the best-tasting, smoothest tequila whose taste didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime.
George and his friends wanted something that could be drunk straight or on the rocks but Casamigos tequilas also make great cocktails and at the House of Friends there’s a great range of classics with a twist to choose from.
The popular Casa Spritz mixes the Blanco with fresh lemon juice, vermouth, champagne and vanilla syrup, the Spicy Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita comes as spicy as you like while the smooth Casa Old Fashioned successfully swaps the Añejo for whisky.
The makers say that Casamigos is a tequila which they can drink all day long and not be hungover in the morning. Give it a go, if you want, but testing this assertion is not to be recommended, and just to be on the safe side it’s a good idea to consume something more substantial than the garnish on the cocktails.
Luckily, the House of Friends Terrace offers a short but enticing menu of sharing plates including Slow-cooked pork tacos, Pan-fried prawns with guacamole for omnivores, Mixed bean tacos and a generous plate of nachos with mixed beans and guacamole for vegans.
Tequilas are generally lower in calories than, say, vodka and Casamigos one of the lowest, so you can kid yourself you haven’t ruined your diet and freely tuck into the dessert, a deliciously rich Ancho chilli and date chocolate tart and avocado ice-cream.
If you fancy something a little more formal than a beach bar pop up, Casamigos is hosting one-off House of Friends Dinners at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge (Thursday 23rd May) (more Speedy G needed – tickets are going fast!). These events aren’t just for Londoners and dinners are also being held at Harvey Nichols Bristol (Wednesday 22nd May) and Leeds (Thursday 30th May).
At each venue, guests can enjoy a different three-course meal, flavour-matched with cocktails for £ 50 per head. A Casamigos brand ambassador will be on hand to talk through the tequila range, provide samples and help guests to mix up their own Casa Spritz cocktail.
This sounds like a fun night out and who knows? Maybe George Clooney will turn up – with the coffees.
Hasta la vista!
109 – 125 Knightsbridge
For more Mexican magic, we recommend the following
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