The Lusher, stumbling his way through Tulum finding the BEST Happy Hours Joints to Imbibe at.
By: Jonty Rees | November 2020
Rincon Poblano - a particular Happy Hour favorite of The Lushers. Why? Because its Happy Hour All-day every day
Mango Margarita with fresh mango and Sangria
Photos by Bernardo Flores
Rincon Poblano - Where Every Hour is Happy
Happy Hour. Two simple words that offer so much hope and joy. The evening stretches out before you, there is anticipation in the air, and your favorite establishments are enticing you with drink specials. But which one do you choose? It’s vitally important to put your night on the right trajectory, and The Lusher’s finely honed appreciation of 2 for 1 cocktails and cheap chelas will steer you away from disappointment and toward Happy Hour Nirvana. Every month, we’ll be sampling the delights of Tulum’s vibrant bar scene, making sure you know where to find that perfect 2 for 1 loosener, and even searching out the best early evening snacks. It’s a tough job, but The Lusher is up to the task.
What makes for a great Happy Hour bar? It’s not just cheap drinks, although that’s never a bad thing. No, we want atmosphere, a buzz while we catch a buzz, and we want to see and be seen. We’re not going to be here all night, so we want a great location for stepping out on the town, and we want to make those early rounds count. Which brings us to Rincon Poblano - a particular Happy Hour favorite of mine. All-day every day, it’s 2 cocktails for 100 pesos, or if you’re hot and thirsty, 5 cold domestic beers for 140 pesos. So the price is right, and the hours fit any schedule, but how are those drinks? Top-notch! There is nothing more disappointing than to order a couple of Margaritas and have them arrive poorly presented and light on the liquor, with an obviously pre-made Marg mix. That is not going to be a problem at Rincon Poblano.
We first sampled the excellent Margarita Classica. The freshly squeezed lime juice and generous pour of tequila both packed an eye-opening punch, and the wide conical glasses let you know it’s time to get happy. Also served in the wide Margarita glasses were the stars of the show, the frozen Mango Margaritas. These bowls of bright orange slush were delicious. The tiny pieces of smashed mango told us these were freshly made, the ice wasn’t too cold to drink through a straw, and again there was enough tequila to leave a mark. Bravo!
Margaritas - check. How were the Mojitos? Another winner. Served in tall, straight Bacardi logoed glasses, they were packed with fresh mint, tangy lime, the right amount of sugar (even if it wasn’t quite dissolved until about the third sip), and that all-important hit of rum. Leaving no stone unturned, your diligent tester investigated the Caipirinha, and was informed that it is “Mojito, no mint.” Possibly not what the Caipirinha purist demands, but they tasted terrific, and at 100 pesos for two, there were no complaints from our table. Tequila Sunrise, Pina Colada, and Cuba Libre are all on the menu, and no doubt are up to Rincon Poblano’s high standards.
Rounding out the cocktail line up is Sangria. Consider it a light refreshment rather than a cocktail, though. While some recipes call for red wine, brandy, lemon juice, and orange juice, Rincon’s version is red wine and lemonade served in a tall glass over ice, with the sweet lemonade at the bottom and the tart red wine on top. It’s a good look, and a nice change of pace from the more potent drinks on offer, along the lines of a wine spritzer.
For a truly successful Happy Hour experience, we also want good snacks or even a full meal, and Rincon Poblano delivers with very well executed standard classics - good ceviche, enchiladas en mole, tacos, and even hamburgers for the less adventurous. Try the excellent chicken tortilla soup, served piping hot, which is not a given around these parts.
If you’re looking for a great place to start, maintain, or finish your evening, Rincon Poblano has you covered. The location, on a corner of the main Avenida Tulum, is a block from the ADO bus station and with its open seating, offers great people watching. The tables are usually full, lending a lively vibe, and the service is excellent - look for Jesus the manager who is always ready to chat. This one has The Lusher stamp of approval.
Rincon Poblano Avenida Tulum y Júpiter Norte, Tulum
Hours Mon-Sat 8 am to Midnight, closed Sunday