El Patron

March 11, 2015

141 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, SW152TX  

Before I moved to London, I was told “never go south of the river”. This has stuck in my mind throughout the entire time that I have lived here. Not because I’m scared of what might happen on the other side of the traitorous Thames, but because there’s nothing south worth going for. But amongst the vacant streets of Putney a new tequila bar called El Patron has opened its doors. I make the journey to see if it is indeed worth crossing the river – a bar named after one of my favourite drinks has to be explored.

The freshly-opened El Patron is quite compact on entrance with a flight of stairs directly in front. Two floors each have a separate bar and both are 2-man-deep tonight. The basement area is full of people shimmying their way through the crowd whilst a house band is tucked at the side, playing their own keyboard version of chart songs.

Bar Review: El Patron, Putney, London

El Patron is like a tequila version of Blues Kitchen with a very Latino interior, if only the music were more Mexican. The drinks menu spills out a number of cocktails made from several different kinds of tequilas which are displayed behind the smiling bartender. I order a Scorpian made with Tapatio 110 tequila and chipotle, which sounds dangerous. The fiery elements blend well with the tequila and ginger wine, like a perfect pancake mix. It has enough spice to make you thirst but enough fluid to keep you refreshed. I could drink this all night.

Bar Review: El Patron, Putney, London

Obligatory bottles of Jose Cuervo can be seen from the back of the room but I spy the JC label on a machine too which serves the tequila in slush puppies, but it is far too cold to have one now. I have chills up my arm from just taking a slight sip but I can see this going down a treat in summer. I begin to wonder why no one has thought of an alcoholic ice cream van…

I warm up with a batch of toasty nachos and creamy guacamole. The food is served like Spanish-style tapas but is typical Mexican food. There’s a lengthy list of burritos, tacos and quesadillas which range from £4-7 each. You can also go for the fresh catch of the day or the chef’s choice, which will be different every time.

I spy a group huddled around a piñata, one of the shared cocktails which costs £35. The drinks menu is entirely based around cocktails but there are a few wines on offer at just £15 a bottle. Even if you’re not into mixology the spicy cocktails are worth trying. There is even a tequila version of the Old Fashioned which I thoroughly enjoy.

El Patron’s selection of tequilas, Mexican food and live music is enough to lure any South London tequila fan. And as for the rest of London? I think it’s worth crossing the river for.

Bar Review: El Patron, Putney, London

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