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Posts By: elcamion

£5 Cocktail: The Toreador!

Before the Margarita became the tequila-sipper’s drink of choice, another boozy tipple was making a name for itself among agave aficionados. This, friends, was THE TOREADOR!


First mentioned way back in 1937 in the ‘Cafe Royal Cocktail Book’, this delicious concoction of Reposado Tequila, Apricot Brandy and freshly squeezed lime juice predates the margarita’s first appearance in the history books by sixteen years.

Our new head barman Will Hawes is bringing this awesome cocktail back as the first of our £5 monthly specials. He follows Simon Difford’s classic recipe:

2 shots of Reposado Tequila (100% agave!)
1 shot of Apricot Brandy
1 shot of freshly squeezed lime juice


Enjoy now at El Camion for just five round shiny ones!


Forget Chocolate Easter Eggs – it’s all about Cascarón!

Happy Easter everyone! We’re feeling full of the joys of spring (counteracted by the lingering hangover from a Bank Holiday Weekend), but while for many of you Easter Sunday involves scoffing as much chocolate as you possibly can, we have another option for you.

Have you ever heard of Cascaróns? No? Well that’s a shame, because they’re beautiful. Take a look:

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In Spanish, cáscara means shell and cascarón means eggshell. Cascaróns are mostly used in Mexico during Carnival, but this craft is also a popular Easter tradition.

Here’s some more details from Hispanic Culture Online:

“According to historians, this Mexican craft actually originated in China. In the Far East, the colored eggs were filled with scented powders and frequently given as gifts, that is how they became part of Hispanic culture.

After Marco Polo visited China in the 13th century, the eggs became all the rage in the royal courts of Europe, especially in Italy and Spain. They finally arrived in Mexico in the mid-1800s, courtesy of the Emperor Maximilian’s wife Carlotta.

In Mexico, the cascarones tradition began to evolve. Instead of scented powder, Mexicans put confetti into the eggs. They then developed the tradition of cracking the egg over a friend’s head to release the confetti, which inspired the name cascarones or “shell hits.”

Many people believe that breaking cascarones over your friends’ heads brings a shower of good luck and good fortune along with the spill of confetti. Sometimes we also say you should make a wish before attempting to gently bump the egg on your friend’s head. If the egg breaks, your wish will be granted.”

So there you go – Easter eggs don’t have to be all about chocolate… get decorating, break some eggs with friends, and start making your wishes for spring!

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Fancy a Quickie? El Camion can help with that…

Introducing the El Camion Quickie – a perfect opportunity to fuel up with a traditional Mexican snack, quench your thirst with a Sol, and add a spring in your step courtesy of Altos Tequila.


Available weekdays from between 3 and 6pm, this deal is perfect for those industry bods that find themselves about to start work and, although they don’t want a full meal, would’t mind something speedy and satisfying. Or maybe you’ve just finished a shift and want to pop by to your favourite Baja Californian Cantina. For only that crumpled fiver in your pocket – or five shiny coins that you picked up as a tip – you can enjoy a freshly cooked Empanada, a chilled bottle of Sol, and a revitalising shot of Altos.

A truly fulfilling quickie for a fiver in Soho? Now that’s value!

Our Sexy New Tequila: FORTALEZA

Our tequila cabinet has a sexy new addition that has seduced our bar team already. It might be £9 a shot, but boy, is this something special.

Say ‘Hola’ to Fortaleza. Yep, it’s even enjoyable to say. But with a soft and sweet flavour, a creamy mouth-feel and a clean finish, it’s even more enjoyable to drink.

Fortaleza Tequila is crafted in the stone-milled estate of ‘Destileria La Fortaleza’ in Tequila, Jalisco. Made from 100% mature Blue Agave, Fortaleza is a family-produced artisanal tequila that is born out of heritage and passion, using old-style techniques. The outcome has blown tequila fans away – it tastes like pure class in a glass.

Tasting notes:

‘The blanco (silver) tequila is stored in stainless steel tanks and never touches wood, giving it a crystal clear appearance. It is smooth and floral with a creamy and delicate feel in the mouth. Fortazela Reposado (rested) is aged for six to nine months in charred oak barrels to give it a distinctive soft gold colour, and exudes warm nutty aromas with a lingering residual spice on the tongue. The Añejo (aged) tequila is aged for years in the charred barrels, giving a deep caramel colour, vanilla aroma and exceptionally smooth and velvety feel on the palate and throat.’

Enjoy like a fine wine and sip slowly. Tequila heaven.




Celebrating Octavio Paz

Today we’re celebrating the life and works of Mexican poet Octavio Paz – thought to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century, one of the greatest Hispanic poets of all time, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1990.

Octavio Paz was born on March 31, 1914, in Mexico City. He was surrounded by literature and creative/political thinkers from a young age, and in 1933, he published his first collection of poems, Luna silvestre. Several years later, he helped found and edit a literary magazine called Taller. Over his lifetime, he produced more than 30 books and poetry collections, and often switched between prose and poetry. He died on April 19, 1998, in Mexico City, Mexico.

“listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the years go by, the moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the next room?
not here, not there: you hear them
in another time that is now,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight, nowhere,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the grove,
lightning has nestled among the leaves,
a restless garden adrift-go in,
your shadow covers this page.”
― Octavio Paz

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Tags: , , , | Filed under: Mexico

Valentine’s Day in Mexico

Well, before long it will be Valentine’s Day or, as they call it in Mexico, El Dia del Amor y la Amistad. This translates as ‘the day of love and friendship’.

And they have well and truly embraced this holiday, combining it with their own traditions and values of warmth and love. While Valentine’s Day is still a celebration of romantic love, it also serves as a day of appreciation of love as a whole. This means that as well as giving balloons, gifts and red roses to lovers, cards are also commonly presented to friends and family.

Although St Valentine does not specifically appear in Mexican history, the Mexica people did in fact have two deities that represented love.

Xochipilli was the god of love, games, beauty, dance, flowers, corn and songs. His name meant ‘prince of the flowers’ and he had a twin sister or wife; Xochiquetzal, which means precious flower or ornate bird. She was associated with the fertility of nature. Centeotl, the god of corn was their son.

In honor of this pair of gods, four days of fasting was observed. They sacrificed by inserting maguey thorns into their tongues and made offerings of bread and corn. They also danced to the beat of drums called teponaztli. Sounds far more interesting than just going out for dinner, that’s for sure!

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Filed under: Mexico

£7.50 Lunch Deal!

Soho has got great food everywhere you turn, but for some reason come lunchtime you get overwhelmed by the choice, curl up in a ball and then beeline towards some overpriced chain sandwich shop for a sad, cellophane-wrapped carby parcel, complete with some dog-eared rocket poking out the sides.




For the same price as that carby parcel with a drink, you can pick up a lunch deal from El Camion. YUMMY. We’ve got a sexy burrito for you, that comes with a side of tortilla chips and salsa. AND a soft drink.




Available Monday to Thursday, 12 noon until 5pm. VIVA LA LUNCHTIME!




Festive Memories!

January can be a weird month for some of us: we all feel poor, we all feel fat and we are all on a month-long hangover from December partying. And some of us, God forbid, are having a SOBER month (Dry January – ick) and the December debauchery is a distant memory.


As we use January as a time to ‘take stock’ and think about what the hell we’re going to do with a brand new year, we thought we’d look back at some pics of party season. Ah, there it is. Now we remember!


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Now, we hope you feel suitably inspired again to fall off the wagon. See you shortly!



Christmas in Mexico – some fun facts!

What with Christmas approaching, we look at some fun Christmas facts and traditions relating to Mexico:

In some states in Mexico children expect Santa Claus to come on December 24th. In the south of Mexico children expect presents on January 6th at Epiphany, which is known as ‘el Dia de los Reyes’.

On el Dia de los Reyes the presents are left by the Three Kings (or Magi). If you’ve had a visit from Santa on Christmas Eve, you might also get some candy on el Dia de los Reyes!

It’s traditional to eat a special cake called ‘Rosca de Reyes’ (Three Kings Cake) on Epiphany. A figure of Baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake. Whoever has the baby Jesus in their piece of cake is the ‘Godparent’ of Jesus for that year.

Image from

Image from

Another important day, is Candelaria (also known as Candlemas) on the 2nd February and it marks the end of the Mexican Christmas celebrations. Lots of Mexicans have a party for Candelaria.

In Mexico, presents might also be brought by ‘El Niñito Dios’ (baby Jesus) & Santo Clós (Santa Claus)

In Mexico people speak Spanish (Español), so Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Feliz Navidad’. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.

Poinsettia flowers are known as ‘nochebuena’ (Christmas Eve) flowers in Mexico.


The largest ever Angel Ornament was made in Mexico. It was made in January 2001 by Sergio Rodriguez in the town of Nuevo León. The angel was 18′ 3″” high and had wing span of 11′ 9″! Perhaps the most amazing thing about the angel was that it was completely made out of old beer bottles, 2946 of them!


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Get the festive feeling with this Christmas Punch!

There’s nothing better than indulging in some great hot Christmas cocktails during December – after all, it’s the time of year when it’s acceptable to be tipsy for most of the day. And in Mexico, one must-drink tipple is Ponche Navideño Mexicano – also known as Mexican Christmas Punch. We’ve sought the expertise of Mely Martinez from Mexico In my Kitchen to get a recipe that is sure to get you into the festive spirit.

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“Christmas time in Mexico is a time to prepare the traditional Ponche Navideño/Christmas Punch. At family gatherings some will have a large pot simmering on top of the stove with the sweet liquid full of fruits, while the cinnamon and citric fruit aromas float in the air. The Ponche Navideño is another essential part of Christmas in Mexico. The recipe calls for some traditional ingredients like cinnamon,  tejocotes (a small yellow fruit that resembles crabapples), piloncillo (raw sugar cane), sugar cane sticks, seasonal fruits include guavas, apples, pears, oranges and dry fruits, too. The punch can be found with different added fruits depending of the region in Mexico. You can find punch with acid fruits like oranges, Mexican sweet lime or pineapple. And as far as spices go, besides cinnamon, some cooks will also add anise star and chamomile. This is the good part about this drink, that you can add the fruits you have available and it will still come out fine.”

I hope you try this recipe, and your whole house will be filled with the Christmas flavors.

12 servings

  • 4 quarts of water (1 gallon)
  • 1 large piloncillo cone (12 oz) or brown sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lb Tejocotes*
  • 1 1/2 Lb. guavas (about 12 guavas)
  • 1 1/2 cup apples, chopped
  • 1 cup pear, chopped
  • 3/4 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 sugar cane sticks about 5 inch long, cut into four pieces each.
  • 1 cup of Tamarind pods, peeled (or 1 cup of Hibiscus Flowers)***
  • Rum to taste
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1. Place water in a large stockpot.

2. Add the piloncillo (or brown sugar) and cinnamon to cook for about 15 minutes. If you are using fresh Tejocotes, add them with the piloncillo and cinnamon since they take longer to soften.
3. Add the chopped guavas, apples, and prunes along with the rest of the ingredients like the sugar cane sticks, tamarind pods or hibiscus flowers. If you are using the canned version of the tejocotes then add them in this step.
4. Simmer for about 1 hour. Serve hot in mugs, ladling some of the fruit in and adding rum to your liking.

¡Buen provecho!


To read more of Mely’s recipes, check out her blog here

Filed under: Christmas, cocktails, general