Hey y'all!

Maybe it's the weather, but I've been feeling extra autumnal of late, so I spent the weekend getting into the spirit of the season by making homemade hard cider. It's a lot easier than it seems. All you need is about a gallon of juice, an airlock (Victor's Home Brew—2435 San Mateo Place NE in Albuquerque—has them for just $2, and they're also available for about $6 on Amazon), a gallon glass bottle that will your airlock will fit into and some brewer's yeast, which they have at Natural Grocers (3328 Cerrillos Road, 474-0111). You mix the yeast into the juice in the glass bottle, stop it up with the airlock, and let it hang out in a cool, dark place for a few weeks to let it get nice and boozy. I'm lucky enough to have an apple tree in my yard (and a friend with a cider press), so I pressed my own, but it's also totally doable with something purchased from the store or an orchard.

I'll keep y'all in the loop about how my cider progresses, but in the meantime: Let's talk about apples!

Wagner Farms in Corrales (5000 Corrales Road, 898-3903) goes, like, peak October this weekend at their fourth annual Apple and Pumpkin Festival. You can pick up some apples for pies or to try your hand at making your own homemade cider (which you can do with a juicer) after cruising to the 900-tree orchard on a hayride. They have a ton of pumpkins, too, plus live music, fresh cider and local food from Apple Tree Café.

If you still haven't gotten your fix, head down to Albuquerque for the Cider Festival on Saturday. From 10 am to 3 pm, you can sip fresh cider and see how it's made at the ABQ BioPark (903 10th St. SW, Albuquerque, 764-6200). If you want to take the taste home with you, cider will be available for $5 for a half gallon or $8 for a full gallon. Just saying: It's really easy to make hard cider if you already have the juice pressed.

Another boozy way to get your apple on: the brandy cask-finished Colkegan from Santa Fe Spirits, a single malt whiskey that spent a year in their apple brandy barrels. Swing by the release party at their distillery (7505 Mallard Way, 467-8892) tomorrow (Friday the 13!) from 5:30-8:30 pm to celebrate what's sure to be a new winter go-to.

Forkin’ Around

Free food alert! The Detour Kitchen (1005 S St. Francis Drive, 930-5660) hasn't been open long, but they're celebrating their "Re-Grand Opening" on Monday with free food and music by Nosotros. If you need something to wash down all the fun, beer and wine will be available for purchase.

The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival starts next week. Aside from being generally awesome (and this week's cover story), this year's lineup features the film 42 Grams, which follows chef Jake Bickelhaupt's journey from owning an illegal restaurant to becoming a culinary celebrity in less than a year. Show times aren't until Oct. 20 and 21, but tickets for SFIFF screenings usually go quickly, so get your tickets today.

Santa Fe is finally getting a Chick-Fil-A, much to the mixed feelings of progressives who also love waffle fries. It's going in at the College Plaza South shopping center, conveniently close to Planet Fitness, meaning you can finish off your workout with a spicy chicken sandwich. We're sure the owner of the Facebook page "Santa Fe Needs a Chick-fil-a" is over the moon.

Is it just me, or are there a lot of new restaurants on the scene? I've been to a few of them (like Maize, in the old Georgia spot, which I reviewed this week), but I keep hearing of others. So I gotta ask: Where's your favorite new restaurant in Santa Fe?

That's all for this week!

Later,
Eli
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