In exploring the depths of the ocean aboard his submarine the Nautilus, Captain Nemo had a mission: to discover the wonders of marine life. 

The Squid and the Nautilus

The Squid and the Nautilus

Mexico City’s first and only speakeasy, Jules Basement, also has a mission: to make Mexicans discover better drinks. 

Captain Nemo would have fit right in at Jules. Firstly, the sea-faring character would find the trendy bar exactly where he likes it: below the surface. The exclusive Jules’ hides behind an industrial refrigerator door, hinged on a wall in a colorful taco joint, as well as a doorman fit for lucha libre, there to make sure that only those lucky enough to be on the guest list get through. 

Secondly, the wealthy sailor would appreciate the speakeasy’s neighbourhood, Mexico City’s swanky Polanco district where the country’s playboy’s come to play with Mexican beauties worthy of catwalks worldwide.

But Nemo’s strongest affection for Jules Basement would stem from the bar’s namesake, for Jules rests below calle Julio Verne, the Spanish translation of the fictional Captain’s real-life father, French author, Jules Verne. 

If the historically famous and timeless author is the inspiration for the cocktail club’s name, then it is the rich, resurgent history of cocktails portrayed in contemporary culture that fuels Jules’ menu. When creating their menus, the staff looks to the Prohibition bars seen in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and the heavy-drinking execs of 1960s MadMen to emulate their endless thirst for quality cocktails.

Did Captain Nemo find those big skulls in the depths of the ocean?

Did Captain Nemo find those big skulls in the depths of the ocean?

Of course, as with any superb cocktail menu, there’s a twist (pun intended). Jules’ professional staff intertwine the classics with Mexican ingredients. Bar Manager and the Only Professional Bartender in Mexico, Carlos Soto, could mix you his Snappy Dresser, a concoction of Glenfiddich, Mezcal, and lemon juice with a homemade almond-rose water syrup called orgeat inspired by a recipe from 1862 and a pink pepper, cinnamon and vanilla bitters made on the bar’s premises. Or perhaps you’d like the Falda Escocesa, the most distinct G&T on earth. There’s also La Cucaracha, a rum-based drink known in el D.F. in the 1920s with Kaymagui bitters made in-house from a secret recipe that includes coffee and chocolate from Chiapas. 

With other cocktails employing ingredients the likes of chipotle chiles, avocados and guayaba fruit, as well as the bar’s TV-inspired cocktail sessions and live jazz Tuesday’s, Jules Basement will guide your tastebuds and senses through a sub-surface adventure the likes the Nautilus and Nemo could never imagine.

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