In Mexico the Día de Muertos festivities take place on 1st & 2nd November, when it’s believed that the spirits of the departed are granted divine permission to return to the earthly plane and visit those still living. The ancient tradition is rich with instantly recognisable symbols like the papel picado; colourful bunting pricked with holes to allow spirits to pass through; and the fragrant cempasúchil (which are marigolds whose scent is used to lead the souls of loved ones to family altars laid out with offerings).
And so PATRÓN’s going to pluck a small slice of Mexico’s spirited celebrations, and bring it here for people to raise a glass in honour of the living and the dead. It’s teamed up with some of the best drinkeries across the capital to create exclusive Día de Muertos cocktail menus, variously accompanied by live music, DJs and colourful Mexican decorations at each venue to deliver that Mexican feeling. You can take a look at the different bars taking part on the map here (why yes they do form a rather convenient, easily navigable crawl…), and here’s what you can expect:
Hacha, Dalston (28th Oct – 7th Nov): an East End agave bar that’ll be decked out with traditional decor, and serving up an extra special menu of tequila-based libations;
Los Mochis, Notting Hill (30th Oct – 7th Nov): a recently opened mash-up between Mexican and Japanese culture, where you’ll be able to dance to DJs, nibble on fusion dishes like the miso black cod taco, and wash it all down with a PATRÓN cocktail or two;
HUSH, Mayfair (28th Oct – 7th Nov): a secluded courtyard where you’ll be able to sip Día de Muertos inspired cocktails al fresco thanks to their fine selection of heaters and blankets;
Raffles, Chelsea (28th – 31st Oct): one of London’s oldest nightclubs, which’ll be hosting a week of themed parties fuelled by an exclusive PATRÓN tequila menu;
The Anthologist & The Folly (18th Oct – 7th Nov): where bespoke PATRÓN cocktails will be served up against a backdrop of classic Día de Muertos decorations;
Restaurant IT, Mayfair (28th Oct – 2nd Nov): a glamorous retro setting to enjoy a customised PATRÓN cocktail list;
Park Row, Soho: a suave new restaurant & bar complex inspired by Gotham City, where cocktails will be served alongside live music; and
Café Pacifico, Covent Garden: Central London’s longstanding Mexican eatery, which is getting a bespoke Día de Muertos decorative transformation to go with its special drinks menu.
This last one also just happens to be where – should you find yourself strolling down Langley Street at 7pm on 2nd November – you’ll be met with an exuberantly colourful, high-spirited procession of people decked out in traditional Mexican garb and wearing giant calaveras skull masks, which’ll be snaking around the immediate vicinity for an incredible two hours.
That’s a lot to process.
NOTE: You can see a handy map of where to find PATRÓN’s Día de Muertos cocktail menus right here (or directly below this text) and check out its video all about Día de Muertos’ Mexican story on Instagram here. The parade’s free to attend – it starts outside Café Pacifico on Langley Street, Covent Garden, on 2nd November, 7-9pm.