GaySantaFe recently sat down with the mixologist to talk about NM Cocktail and Culture, Santa Fe’s mixology scene and to pick her brain for the best cocktail to make this summer.
You have some big events coming up with Santa Fe Cocktail Week and NM Cocktail and Culture. What made you want to start NM Cocktails & Culture and Santa Fe Cocktail Week?
“I really wanted to help support the bars, restaurants and hotels in town. Get them really involved in the festival and also get people to start talking to bartenders…We want to help inspire bartenders to see trends from across America so they raise the bar for their bar. This is to help show people that you can not only pair food with wine but also with cocktails. It’s also a way to not only engage the public [about cocktail pairing] but also restaurants.”
That seems to be a theme currently in New Mexico with festivals that pair craft beer and food. People seem to be interested in seeing what else pairs with food besides wine.
“This is something that has been happening for a while in big cities. I wanted to bring this here because we are already a culinary destination. People are pretty savvy about food and wine. I lived in Los Angeles for a while so when I moved back home, [I thought] we really need to be apart of this…[Santa Fe] needs to provide the same kind experience that one can have in other cities.”
What do you think makes Santa Fe different or better than LA and California when it comes to food, culture and cocktail scene?
“Well Santa Fe is on the top tourist guides from Condé Nast to USA Today, top ten on everything. I might go as far to say that everyone wants to come to Santa Fe. We have such deep cultural roots with art , nature and architecture and so many things that make us unique and part of what makes us unique is our culinary scene and mixology is one aspect of that scene. The liquid aspect of the culinary world.
We have so many wonderful native ingredients like sage, lavender and even green chili. Now we have local distillers and people who are hungry and thirsty to experience the whole Santa Fe or New Mexico scene and to complete that culinary world is mixology… This will help keep Santa Fe on those top ten lists because we can offer the full spectrum of the culinary world.”
So to cap this off, what’s the one drink you should know how to make for your Santa Fe party for this summer? Besides a margarita.
My go to cocktail for the summer is a Lavender Gin Crisp. I source my Lavender from the [Santa Fe] farmers market and with that I make a lavender simple syrup. Which is sugar, water and Lavender buds that you bring to a boil. Let it cool then strain out the lavender buds.
2 parts Hacienda Gin
1 part home made lavender
1 part fresh lemon juice
You can make it into a punch and top it with club soda or sparkling wine.
Garnish with an edible flower
For the complete list of events for NM Cocktail and Culture, please click here