Blue, Silver and Gold

By Jo Phillips

When you think of sipping a refined drink what comes to mind? Perhaps an aged malt whiskey all deep and peaty or even a fresh young Beaujolais but tequila or mescal are not necessarily drinks you may think of. Well, maybe you should…

Gold Step wants to change that. They want us to enjoy it in the same way we savour a great wine or champagne even. This new venture opened its door underneath Dream bags and Jaguar shoes in Hoxton for really quite the unique experience. Like a small hideaway, cosy and comforting, it envelopes itself around you with its walls painted with sun-rays, providing the perfect scene for a journey with tequila and mescal.

Gold step at Dream Bags and Jaguar Shoes bar and cocktails.

The first thing to understand is that there are distinct types of tequila, each with its own flavour profile. Enjoying tequila in a cocktail depends on which of these flavours you enjoy and the magnificent team at Gold Step will discuss ideas with you to make sure you find a suitable mix for you.

But before going let’s get some basic information set straight. For a start, there is a difference between mescal and tequila. Mescal is a Mexican distilled spirit that is made from the agave plant. Tequila is made from a single type of agave plant, the blue agave tequilana, and can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and in small parts of four other states. They are also distilled differently.

That is simple enough, no? Ok, then we move on to the types within tequila. There is blanco (silver), joven (gold), reposado (aged) and also extra-aged versions too.

Louis Chavin

Tequila was first produced in the 1500s and the agave plant had been used in the preparation of alcoholic drinks for centuries; even the Aztecs made a fermented drink from it. The fermented juices are distilled, usually twice, though sometimes three times. Tequila is often barrel-aged, and this helps develop the flavours and aromas of the drink.

Gold Step pays homage to this very misunderstood drink. At the bar there are over sixty fine and rare agave spirits. Owner Nick Letchford and his barman Louis Chavin are key here, as Louis is not only trained in mixology but has a real passion for this most Mexican of alcohols.

The most important and interesting offering at the bar is the opportunity to go on a journey with the team. There is no menu so you must take a leap of faith and talk with the team about what you usually drink, your favourite flavours and even your mood that day. They will then mix up a unique cocktail for you. They will pick a suitable tequila or mescal and pair it with flavours and taste to suit. A truly bespoke experience.

Or there is the option just to try a single shot to sip, of course, as this is about tasting savouring and exploring a totally new palette experience. There is such a large offering that there is plenty of choice but the bar team are exceptionally good at advising and that is part of the point of this little haven. This is about truly understanding what the drinks are all about. It is a way to bring yourself (via their help and guidance) to agave heaven!

Gold Step also have a selection of packages for party bookings that include education in agave spirits, tasters, coupled to the Gold Step experience.

Gold Step Basement bar at Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes, 32-36 Kingsland Road, E2 8DA GOLDSTEP/JAGUARSHOES.COM

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