The scent of fresh coriander, parsley and mint wafted through the air, conjuring up memories of tacos and salsa on Mexican beaches.
watered as the bartender vigorously muddled an aromatic concoction behind the
counter, working to the familiar tune of "All Shook Up" sung in
Spanish. At Tio's Cerveceria (14 Foster
Street, Surry Hills) drinks are king, and the only food on offer is the free
(and addictive) chilli popcorn.
Tio's, a Mexican-Guatemalan
tequila joint, is one of the city’s newest small bars, adding to the
growing popularity of Central and South American cuisine in Australia. Expect
eclectic decor, quirky tunes and delightful drinks served up by some of
Sydney's best bartenders at very affordable prices.
Herb Elixir (a muddled mix of herbs) is the shining star in the El Roberto
Especial refresco (refreshment), which also includes fresh apple juice, lime, cucumber and a kick of
tequila -- all for the bargain price (in Sydney terms) of 10 Australian
dollars. Joining the El Roberto on the 10-dollar refresco list are classics
like the Paloma (tequila, grapefruit soda and lime), a Tequila Sunrise with
house-made grenadine, and a Bloody Maria chock full of tomato juice, carrot and
a homemade pickled quail egg. There is also a $17 cockteles (cocktail) list made up of
different types of tequila are on offer, many displayed on the back wall along
with a hodgepodge of Central American relics and knick knacks, stringed lights,
candles and masks. Patrons can choose to sip their tequila cocktail or shoot
back shots with chasers of pineapple and jalapeno peppers. Beer and wine are
also available, with the popular choice being cheap cans of Rio Bravo lined
with salt and lime.
Cerveceria is the brainchild of Jeremy Blackmore and Alex Dowd, both from the Shady Pines Saloon. Drop by for a drink
south of the border from 4 pm to midnight every day except for Sunday when its
doors open from noon.
Schoenman is the Sydney Localite for BBC Travel
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly
referred to the capital of Australia. This has been fixed.