Celebrate Mexico’s Day of the Dead in style

Forget Halloween: the Mexican festival Day of the Dead (November 1-2) is its hipper older sibling that swaps tricks for Tequila and costumes for cocktails – and this year, it’s coming to London.

Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s most ancient and vibrant festivals. Dating back thousands of years, the celebrations see departed relatives remembered with a festival full of colour, food, and – of course – Tequila.

This year, London bars and venues are celebrating Day of the Dead with rip-roaring parties that share one common ingredient: el Jimador Tequila. Smooth and authentic, el Jimador is Mexico’s most popular Tequila and is named in honour of the jimadors – the skilled farmers charged with selecting only the finest agave plants for distillation.

Celebrate Day of the Dead at one of the following events, or raise a toast at some of London’s best Latino restaurants and top cocktail bars.

Barrio Central and Barrio East

The Soho and Shoreditch branches of this deliberately kitsch and trashy bar will be right in the thick of the Day of the Dead celebrations with monster DJ beats, hair-raising cocktails and a Dead Gorgeous fancy-dress theme. Kick back with a couple of margaritas and enjoy the trailer-park vibe, dressed as your favourite late music or screen legends.

The Big Chill House

Raise the dead in style with The Big Chill House’s smashing Day of the Dead party, which will feature DJs including DJ Format, Yo Mama and Mr Gillard. Guests who create an el Jimador-themed mask to wear on the night will receive a free Paloma cocktail. Find out more.

The Blues Kitchen

Camden’s soul shack is hosting a night of voodoo rhythm, featuring a live mariachi band, face painting and free bowls of homemade chilli until the early hours. Find out more.

Cantina Laredo

To mark Day of the Dead, Cantina Laredo will be serving a specially created Black Death Margarita (a blend of blackberries, homemade hibiscus syrup, El Jimador Blanco and freshly squeezed lime juice; pictured above) for the ‘frighteningly’ low price of £4.75. Order yours from Cantina Laredo’s masked barmen throughout the two-day festivities.

Casita

This Hispanic home-from-home does favela chic in a big way, with feel-good music, moreish margaritas and an unpretentious, sunny-side-up feel. A ray of sunshine amid your Day of the Dead shenanigans.

Covent Garden Cocktail Club

This neo-Edwardian parlour is always up for a party, and on Day of the Dead, Tequila is most definitely on the menu – as well as seasonal favourites such as the zombie.

Dukes Brew & Que

Hop across the Mexican border for a North American barbecue-and-beer experience at Duke’s Brew & Que – where Day of the Dead celebrations know no boundaries.

Floripa

With its shanty-town-chic decor and bossa-nova beats, this self-proclaimed ‘colonial bordello’ specialises in all things Brazilian, from caiparinhas and batidas to moqueca and feijoada (fish and pork-based stews, respectively). Despite the Brazilian slant, there will be plenty of Tequila for Day of the Dead party animals.

London Cocktail Club

Gastro-mixology is the name of the game at this basement bar. Get the barmen’s creative juices flowing by ordering something suitable to complement your shot of el Jimador.

Off Broadway

The Stars and Stripes might fly outside this neighbourhood bar in Hackney, but the food is pure LA-style Mexican, with classics such as burritos and nachos on hand to soak up the Tequila slammers.

White Rabbit Studios

To mark Day of the Dead, Shoreditch’s coolest event space is screening Robert Rodriguez's 1992 cult flick El Mariachi – the first film in his Mexican trilogy – for free, as part of el Jimador’s Mexican cinema club. Find out more and book a space.