On a crisp autumn evening several nights ago, a friend and I headed to one of my favourite West London neighbourhoods, Notting Hill, to visit the late-night cocktail bar Viajante87. We would have walked past the venue (a short stroll from the tube station) had it not been for the retro neon cocktail sign that beamed out into the night from the top of an otherwise darkened doorway. At the front stood security and a host, welcoming us in from the cold. Down some steps and into an underground lair with a stunning backlit bar stood a team of friendly specialists, ready to greet us and mix up some magic.
Inspired by travel through Latin America, the bar has a lively energy with a relaxed ambience; a DJ played Latin-inspired anthems while we perched at the end of the bar, watching in awe as cocktails were crafted with precision and art.
We began with Viajante87’s famed Glacier Martini, inspired by the glacial fjords of Patagonia and coined as London’s coldest martini! Served at a chilly -20°, this delectable beverage uses grapes and plums with Apostoles Gin and Barsol Perfecto Amor. It came complete with two adorable smoked olives under a miniature glass dome.
Meanwhile, as we sipped the Glacier, our bar bites arrived. Creamy truffle guacamole, pato teriyaki crispy rice, and taco makis – a fusion of Mexican tacos and Maki rolls – were just a few dishes we sampled. We were pleasantly surprised by the food on offer at Viajante87, not expecting a cocktail bar to produce such high-quality cuisine, and this union of Latin-American and Japanese fare was a match made in gastro heaven.
We continued our exploration of the cocktail menu with Ya Esta, a combination of Tapatio 110 Tequila and Mexican Nocheluna sotol. The Ya Esta had a stunning herbaceous and satisfyingly dry finish. I love an Old Fashioned, and the Charanda Old-Fashioned hit all the right chords with notes of grass and unaged sugar cane, rounding off with a tincture of Amburana seeds from the Brazilian Amazon. We closed the night with a Spicy Margarita, my absolute favourite, featuring Tapatio Blanco Tequila, lime, house citrus liqueur, and a choice of green, red, and yellow pepper (I opted for all three). The spicy marg was a dream, and it certainly saw our evening out with a good hard kick!
In a Nutshell
Living up to its name, Viajante, translating to “explorer” in Spanish, is all about the journey and the experience! Taking you through an adventure of complex flavours and Latin-America-meets-Asian fusion, you must visit Viajante87 for the heavenly cocktails and the delectable bites that pair beautifully with them.
020 7221 6539
Basement, 87 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3JZ