Handshake Speakeasy

Mexico City

  • The Best Bar in North America 2024, sponsored by Perrier
  • The Best Bar in Mexico 2024, sponsored by Perrier

Hidden behind an enigmatic black door in Colonia Juarez, whose only sign is the number '13', lies Handshake Speakeasy. Copper arches frame the backbar and the long, marble counter sits in front like an altar to the cocktail. The devil is in the detail here: in the branded silver fixtures, the seriously smart mini-cocktail serves and the cooling system under the bar that ensures every glass stays frosty.

Amidst the beautifully designed space, bar director Eric Van Beek’s carefully crafted drinks list shines. Many of the maestro’s creations look simple enough but, upon sipping, one is treated to an explosion of unexpected flavours. The surprising results are achieved through extensive work in the lab – clarifying juices, creating new syrups and infusing cordials.

Upstairs, it’s a chic speakeasy. Downstairs, along the ‘staff-only’ corridors and beyond a false wall, you’ll find another part of Handshake: a bar splashed in graffiti that blasts achingly cool R’n’B tracks. The magic is evident in every glass – take the Butter Mushroom Old Fashioned (bourbon, brown butter, mushroom and maple served with enoki mushrooms), for example, or the curiously tropical and savoury Mexi-Thai that combines tequila with makrut lime, coconut basil oil and tomato. On the more traditional side, the massive spirits list includes a collection of rare bottles, many of which are scores of years’ old. An all-star staff ensures that navigating these options is a pleasure – like every visit to Handshake.

Handshake Speakeasy is again named The Best Bar in Mexico and takes the shiny new title of The Best Bar in North America 2024, sponsored by Perrier, back to its well-polished environs.