Aug. 20, 2017
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Claire Barrett

SFR Picks: Get in the Spirit

The Art of Alcohol

May 31, 2017, 12:00 am

New Mexico Cocktails & Culture is gearing up for its third year and, as always, the three-day fest remains Santa Fe’s go-to destination event for fans of new-wave mixology, delicious food options and the art of the drink.

“A lot more people are coming from out-of-state,” founder (and former SFR columnist) Natalie Bovis says. “It’s really exciting when the word gets out. People in our area have of course heard of it, but now we have people flying in to attend, which I think is an incredible sign.”

In addition to her work re-glamorizing the world of cocktails, Bovis also aims to educate a new generation of bartenders looking for new-school ways of creating artful drinks. But it’s not about getting trashed—rather, it’s about infinite possibilities and the chance to expand horizons.

“I always liken a cocktail to a piece of cake—we enjoy having a piece, but if we eat the whole thing we’re going to be sick,” Bovis says. “It’s all about sipping and treating it like a gourmet experience rather than drinking.” This includes what Bovis considers the marquee event of the fest, the Chef and Shaker Challenge on June 3, which finds local chefs cooking with a particular spirit and pairing the meals with cocktails crafted by their restaurant’s bartender using the same spirit. A panel of judges chooses the best one and the winning team gets $500 for the charity of their choice.

There are also workshops with esteemed mixologists like Dale DeGroff, a street taco-off with local establishments like Pranzo, Santacafé and others, and some pretty killer parties. Not only will the weekend speak to bartenders looking for inspiration and camaraderie, but it’s great for everyday folks in search of fancy, yet accessible, things to do.

“I think we can start thinking about spirits and cocktails as part of the culinary world,” Bovis explains. “It’s just a fun way for people to get a broader understanding of what cocktail culture is all about.” (Alex De Vore)

New Mexico Cocktails & Culture Festival
Various times Friday-Sunday, June 2-4. Free-$125.
Various locations.
Visit for more info.

Rollin’ on the Rio

Anson Stevens-Bollen
The week is tough, but since it’s basically summertime and the patios are opening up, some beloved local DJs are taking some of the sting out. DJs Mayrant and John Sherdon return this week with the Chama Patio Sessions, their annual relaxing outdoor gathering featuring the best in chillout, downtempo and deep house as performed by Sherdon and Mayrant themselves and pals (the series features the likes of DJ Oona, Billiam, Badcat and more). DJ Phi kicks things off on Thursday and is fully prepared to bring down your blood pressure. Throw a drink in the mix and you’ll be chilled out in no time. (ADV)

Chama Patio Sessions with DJ Phi:
5 pm Thursday June 1. Free.
Rio Chama,
414 Old Santa Fe Trail,


Mediterranea Productions
Generally speaking, film directors of Italy have proven a capable bunch, what with their genre-defining works of cinematic brilliance and all. CineFesta Italia knows this and, over a four-day period, presents some of the best Italian cinematic offerings at the Jean Cocteau Cinema. See films like Lo Chiamavano Jeeg Robot, L’Atessa, No Essere Cattivo and more, plus get down with some fantastic wine tastings and food events at Osteria D’Assisi and Cowgirl. Here’s your chance to say smug in-the-know things about international film, but also to truly know what it is to be a cinema buff. (ADV)

Cinefesta Italia:
Various times Thursday- Sunday, June 1-4. $12-$185.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,
Full schedule at

Hawt Dawg

The spring weather has been weird, so maybe you’re craving that summer sun more than ever. Luckily, there’s a music fest headed to a local brewery, and its proceeds benefit the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. It certainly wouldn’t be a dog day without your canine, so bring your pup—and the rest of the family—to the Dog Days of Summer and celebrate the kickoff of warm weather and your furry friend. See indie garage rock by Red Light Cameras; Memphis-inspired soul by Greyhounds; reggae rock by Innastate and a headlining brassy funk rock and jazz performance by the 15-person ensemble MarchFourth, which includes acrobats. There will even be games for your dog. (Maria Egolf-Romero)

The Dog Days of Summer:
3 pm Sunday June 4. $21-$26.
The Bridge @ Santa Fe Brewing Co.,
37 Fire Place,


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