Recently, SFR put out our newly updated Annual Manual, a definitive guide to living in Santa Fe. If you haven't picked one up yet, they can be found throughout the year near our paper racks or at SFR's offices. But lest you use this tome of hard work only as a reference guide, we're posting an article from it each weekend for your perusal. This week, Alexa Schirtzinger and Zane Fischer sip on plenty of cocktails so you can sip on the best.---
By Zane Fischer And Alexa Schirtzinger
Santa Fe may run a little behind the times as far as mixology is concerned, unless, of course, you count our overabundance of excellent margaritas. If you need something a more upscale and urban libation, you can find it if
you know where to look. By culling through the past year’s highlights from the SFR’s online cocktail chronicle (Bourbon & Lace at SFReporter.com), we’ve assembled a short list of concoctions sure to coax you toward questionable behavior. And, yes, we realize we have a fondness for “girly” drinks.
The Mavi at Amavi
221 Shelby St., 988-2355
Muddled fresh fennel and a few drops of fresh “flamed”—ie, squeezed through a regular Bic lighter—orange give this cousin of the gin martini a refreshing, ethereal quality. Amavi sommelier Mark Johnson, the kind of guy who can manage to announce he’s the state’s top-ranked sommelier without sounding pompous, says flaming the orange sears the citrus oils as they’re squeezed. Or something.
The Rockstar at Coyote Cantina
132 W Water St., 983-1615
When requesting “something fun,” expect to be steered toward the Rockstar, described on the menu as a “Gorgeous Strawberry Lemon Drop Accented with Pop Rocks on the Rim.” Before refusing on the grounds that there should be a cutoff age for Pop Rocks, give it a try. The Rockstar wins every contest in the girly-drink book, from color (bubble-gum pink) to fruitiness (extreme) to alcohol-masking ability (neon pink Pop Rocks—need I say more?).
Basil-ica at Secreto Bar & Loggia
210 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-5700
Our go-to favorite is the Basil-ica, a freshly sweet combination of St. Germain, basil, vodka and lemon juice. It’s girly to the point of a Sex and the City-era cosmo, but it’s also delicious to the point that Bourbon & Lace writer Alexa Schirtzinger’s mother, who drinks exclusively margaritas, brought a flask of her version of the Basil-ica on vacation. (She’s not a lush—they were going to Utah.)
Dark’n’Stormy at the Cowgirl
319 S Guadalupe St., 982-2565
There is no better way to drink a Dark’n’Stormy than outside, with the sun setting and the nip of autumn in the air. That the Cowgirl has this refreshing libation—dark rum and ginger beer, on the rocks with a splash of lime—is a seasonal blessing. For those of you curious as to the Stormy’s origins, Wikipedia notes that it’s actually trademarked by Gosling’s rum in Bermuda. The Dark’n’Stormy shares the title of “Bermuda’s National Drink” with the rum swizzle, however, which might negate any claim Bermuda may have to the former. Any nation that’s going to tie itself to a swizzle needs to think seriously about its drinking chops. Cowgirl’s version is as a Stormy should be: straightforward and strong—because nobody drinking ginger beer wants to hide the delicious complement of sweet, dark rum.
Streetfight in New York at La Fiesta Lounge at La Fonda
100 E San Francisco St., 982-5511
La Fonda, located at the heart of Santa Fe beginning in the 19th century, has probably been serving what John the bartender calls “the best margaritas in Santa Fe” since margaritas were born. That said, the bar here is as versatile as it is traditional and, as long as you know how to ask for what you want, you’ll get it. Case in point: the newly christened Streetfight in New York, made with Irish whiskey, Frangelico, coffee, whipped cream and a floater of Kahlúa. It’s like bringing a girly drink to a knife fight.