What comes to mind when you think about a tequila bar? Bright colorful murals and smooth yellow tiles, right? At Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar, with its subterranean layout, pitch-black interior, dim-red lights, wrought-iron fixtures and gothic candelabras, it’s closer to the Fangtasia bar from True Blood. I kept expecting the vampire queen of the Back Bay to swish through and take a quick pull from my neck. With all the tequila in my system at the time, she probably would’ve fallen on her pasty ass.
“It’s kind of gothic chic,” says co-owner Chris Jamison, who opened the Mexican restaurant and tequileria in late December. “A lot of people call it a vampire dungeon.”
Perhaps the only thing monstrous here is the size of the tequila list (roughly 175 at the moment).
“People are developing a new or renewed interest in tequila, besides what they were puking on in college,” he says.
It’s about time people get to know tequila again. It may be the most misunderstood of all the major spirits. See the sidebar at right for a quick primer.
Get in the spirits
The menu is divided into normal tequila types, like reposado (aged between two months and a year in oak barrels) and extra anejo (aged a minimum of three years), but it’s also broken into flavor profiles like “cinnamon, chocolate and peppers” and “pale honey and butter.”
I tried a Campo Azul Gran Anejo ($25) that was light and creamy vanilla, with a bitter aftertaste and caramel up front, and a Siete Leguas Anejo ($15) that was hot and almost mossy like a Scotch.
“Close your eyes, you’d be hard-pressed to tell some of these are tequilas,” Jamison says. “Especially once you start drinking Don Julio Real for around $100 a shot.”
The only scary thing about that is the price.
Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar
271 Dartmouth St., Boston